There are many little ‘hacks’ that come and go, work then don’t, on the various social media platforms. I am not into gimmicks, and want to give you evergreen strategies to get more organic social media fans, followers, likes, shares, views and customers. Here are 10 ways to grow your influence and reach, fully organic and free (no paid ads or marketing required, just time):
Populate your profiles
Step zero (0) is to ensure you have an account on all the main social media profiles like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, Podcasts. Start with the main two or three that are more relevant to you and your market. For example artists would do well focusing on the visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Business people might start with LinkedIn and Facebook pages and groups.
Ensure all platforms are fully populated with a bit of history, good pictures, posts and content. Followers, fans and customers will bounce away of you are unpopulated or don’t look like a real person with some history. You can make this easy by adding old or existing content such as blogs, posts, pictures and quotes.
10 ways to get more organic fans, social media followers and customers :
1. Post consistently
My friend Yianni who has 1million followers on his car wrapping “Yiannimize’ Instagram account, posts 9 times a day across Instagram and Snapchat. I upped my posting from once a day to three times a day. I used to fear overwhelming people, but as the platforms control and restrict your reach, you need to post more to reach more people. Some of the big influencers like Grant Cardone sometimes post hourly on Twitter. The shorter the platform format, the more frequently you could post.
Your reach, following, engagement and visibility only increase if your volume of posting increases, with the caveat that the content is unique, useful or interesting.
2. Repurpose across media platforms (cross post)
I focus personally on Facebook live videos and community posts and articles, and my researcher reformats the content onto my other platforms and media. He’ll extract the best one minute segment and post on Instagram, 4-7 minutes for LinkedIn, take the best quotes out and make an image for Instagram, and so on. Some of my keynote speeches get recorded and published on my Podcast the “Disruptive Entrepreneur”. Sometimes a podcast or article makes up a chapter of a book, and sometimes a popular chapter in one of my books, for example “Money”,
becomes a post on social media in various forms. This saves you time and increases your exposure.
3. Ask for likes & shares (but not too much)
You tend to get more likes and shares of you ask for them. But if you ask too early, or too often, you appear desperate and people tune out. Never ask for likes and shares before you present your content, because people don’t yet know what to like and share. Wait until the end, and ask “if you think this has helped you and others you care about could get help from this post, feel free to share now, you don’t need my permission”. I posted about depression, asked people to share the post at the end, and had a 600% uplift in my usual volume of shares.
When doing videos you are fighting to keep people engaged and watching, so use ‘responsiveness’ techniques by occasionally asking for them to hit a like, or smiley face, or frown face. This will increase your metrics and your reach.
4. Post good content (people want to share)
There is no substitute or gimmick that beats great content. What makes great content? It of course varies across platform and niche, so listen to your followers and give them what they ask for. Crowdsource ideas and content from them. Solve their problems. Share problems you solved yourself and how you did it, step by step. Educate and entertain. Give value. Give something new, or a new take on a common theme. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Give granular tips as well as fluffy visions. Share proven great content, always quoting the source.
5. Gear your content to the platform
YouTube needs fast editing, sharp, hard-hitting content. Facebook might require text overlays on videos. Twitter has a character limit. Instagram needs to be highly visually appealing. Medium is great for reviews. Interviews work great on podcasts. AMAs (Ask Me Anything) work well on Reddit. Learn the best style of content for each platform, and tweak according to the platform for better reach, more followers and raving fans.
One of my posts titles “All This 5am Club Bollocks” got hundreds of thousands of views. It is a simple premise, and people seem to like a rant about things they were thinking too, or have had enough of, or don’t agree with. If you have a rant about things you believe are wrong in the world, or nonsense and noise, you will wildly expand your reach. Rants do tend to polarise people, so don’t expect to have a rant and not get a little bit of a backlash. But backlashes will be part of the reason you vastly increase your reach. Don’t rant everyday otherwise it becomes normal
7. Newsjacking & trending
When Conor McGregor lost to Nate Diaz, gong up a weight class, I posted about his commitment, how he will bounce back and some lessons for Entrepreneurs. Despite not being my niche, this was my most viewed, commented and shared Twitter post to that date. At that time, it was trending. When he fought Floyd Mayweather, it would have been even more talked about. What is hot in the news, or the talk of everyone, that you can ‘news-jack’ and comment on. Some people do this too much, and jump onto easy political or polarised debates, but this can become gimmicky. If
your content and message is good, then newsjacking will have vastly more reach and exposure, especially if it’s an emotive subject.
My ‘5am club’ post was popular because people were sick of being told they’re a loser unless they get up at 5am. What have people had enough of being force fed? What’s now boring and been done to death? If you have the element of surprise, or going against the tide of conventional wisdom, you will get great traction in your posts. Once again, don’t overdo it, pick your battles wisely.
9. Run competitions & giveaways
People will share and like more if they are incentivised. Offer a gift for sharing a post. You could run a competition with a winner, or you could give everyone a gift for sharing. In almost all tests I’ve done, the traction is far greater wth an incentive. Make sure your giveaway is highly relevant and desirable to your followers, and isn’t too expensive for you, in case it spreads like wildfire!
10. Engage (& partner with) Influencers
Follow all the top influencers in your market, niche or areas of interest. Watch their best posts and engage with them, share them and perhaps model some of the best ones. Play a smart game influencers and ignore most of the bad advice around engaging with them. Don’t post your stuff riddled with links on their wall. Don’t nag them to help you. Engage with them. Get noticed for being smart, not annoying. Nurture a relationship. give value to them first, and in time a relationship will build. One great influencer could send your social media platforms into overdrive.
Do not have any fears trying things on social media. Test Test Test. If it works, scale it up. If it doesn’t, you can simply delete. I posted a rant about people pouting and taking photos of their food, that I thought no one cares. I didn’t feel 100% comfortable with my message or delivery. I wanted to delete it, but left it because I wanted to delete it. I should let my audience decide if it is worthy. If I can’t live with it, I can delete it, to be forgotten forever, and onto the next.
Yes, consistency is important. But so is surprise, intrigue, and interrupting habits and patterns. So vary your style of posts, backdrops and locations and styles of videos, from time to time. Keep people guessing a bit, and always keen to see what you are going to do next.
Social MEdia should be renamed Social YOUdia. Remember to give value and interest to your viewer. Sure, it’s your platform, you can post what you want. But I guess you read all the way to the end here because you want ,more followers, fans, reach and customers. So give them what THEY want, not what YOU want.
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