You’ve got your social media networks setup and branded. Now you need a following.

The best way to grow a social media following is organically. You never want to buy followers — they are fake accounts and the networks are cracking down on fake accounts. Moreover, it’s a waste of money.

How do you grow a social media following?

growing your social media followingFirst, you need to post relevant content daily of interest to the audience you want to attract. If you don’t post, there’s no reason for someone to follow you. Before you start posting you need to ask yourself…

  • Who is your target market is and what interests them? Get a Free Define Your Target Market Workbook here.
  • What type of content are you going to create — blogs, videos, podcasts or graphics?
  • Who are trusted sources of good, quality, relevant content of interest to your target market?

How to get People to Notice you on Social Media:

Follow the people you’re targeting. This works on Twitter, Instagram and Google+. They’ll get a notification when you start following them and they’ll decide if they want to follow you back or not based on what you’ve posted. Keep posting great content and your followers will become advocates and share your content with their friends.

On Twitter, make sure to thank people for following you, retweeting (sharing) your tweets and mentioning you via a tweet — not an direct message (DM). Use TweetDeck to help you manage notifications and scheduled tweets.

If you’re B2B, on Facebook, you can follow a company’s page with your page. They’ll get a notification. For B2C, you can’t reach out to individuals without doing paid ads. You can invite your friends to like your page.

On LinkedIn, users get notified when someone views their profile. But the best way to get noticed on LinkedIn is in groups. Search for and find groups with…

  • your target market
  • potential referral sources
  • industry peers

Share content there 2-3 times a week (and not just your stuff). Make sure you read the group’s rules and respect them. Share useful information — DON’T SELL!

Also, like and comment on other people’s posts. They’ll notice you that way.

How often Should I Blog?

You can blog it!Seriously, at first, especially if you’re brand new and Google doesn’t know who you are yet, DAILY — for at least 2 weeks. Then 2-3 times a week. Once your analytics tell you that Google is the main source driving traffic to your website, they you can go down to once a week.

Share every blog post on your social networks. WordPress has a free plugin called JetPack with a feature, Publicize, that automatically shares your posts on Facebook, Twitter, your personal LinkedIn, Google+ and tumblr (if you determine that you want to reach millennials – they still use tumblr.

Here’s a tip to help with SEO:

You need to manually share it on Pinterest and bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbledUpon and Reddit.

Social Media share and follow buttonsHere’s another tip that many people forget:

Have both social media share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you and make it easy for visitors to share your content with their friends.

These are also legitimate links that Google notices for SEO.

How long does it take to grow a Social Media following?

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’ll happen overnight because it won’t. If starting from scratch, plan to spend at least 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days — and that’s just on social media, not blogging. Yes, it’s a little sweat equity, however, once you’ve got a following built, using the free tools, you can manage your social media marketing in 30 minutes a day. (And blog once a week.)

What if I don’t spend this time up front?

The longer you wait to build your following, the longer it’s going to take you to start seeing results.

How many is a good following?

In 30 days, you should have:

  • Twitter – 100 followers
  • Facebook – 100 likes
  • LinkedIn – 50 connections and 10 followers on your company page
  • Google+ – 10 followers
  • Pinterest – 25 followers
  • Instagram – 50 followers
  • YouTube (if you’re planning on monetizing your channel) – 10,000 views

On most of these, you need at least 100 followers to get decent analytics.

It’s so overwhelming! Where do I start?

  1. Clearly define your target market. This free workbook will help.
  2. Do some research and figure out what interests your target, where they hang out and what keywords they’re most likely to use when searching for what you have to offer.
  3. Set Goals.
  4. Develop a strategy to reach those goals.
  5. Determine your tactical plan to implement the strategy.
  6. Set-up, brand and optimize your social media profiles.
  7. Learn how to properly and EFFECTIVELY use the tools. Here’s where my free classes on YouTube come in.
  8. Just do it. Implement, connect, build relationships, create and curate content.
  9. Monitor and measure. Check your analytics every month to see what’s working and not working. Then, adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.

If you build it they will come – NOT!

Check out my upcoming classes at Greater Phoenix SCORE. 

This post originally appeared on the AZ Social Media Wiz Blog

About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, content & digital marketing consultant & trainer. She specializes in market research, strategic planning, search engine optimization (SEO), social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
How to Grow a True Social Media Following that will Help your Business