Contrary to popular belief, the “thrill” of social media has not gone away; if anything, it’s in full swing! I know this because of the increasing amount of questions that we receive from prospects and clients about social media. One of the most common questions I receive from people is how to get more fans/followers. I’ll be honest with you- it’s a question I’ve thought about for a long time. I’ve researched ways to build your fan base, talked to numerous social media folks, and observed what other brands have done trying to get an idea of what the best tactics/strategies are to build a fan base on social media. There are a lot of ideas out there on how to do this, but I still find it difficult to determine exactly what you can really do to build your fan base.

Truthfully, I think it’s more important to think about the why behind your social media efforts before you start worry about how many fans you have or why you are not gaining new followers fast enough. I know I’ve talked about this before, but think it’s important to mention this again to help determine what tactics you can execute to build followers. Yes, I agree that having an established fan base is what makes your social media efforts more successful, but if you are just focusing on the numbers, you are missing the boat.

There are many ways to build your fan base by spending money. Paid advertisements on Facebook and Twitter are a good way of exposing your brand to a large audience and can be very effective at helping you increase your fan base. You could consider hiring a social media consultant with an impressive large network who promises to grow your fan count to 10,000 in 6 months – but your wallet (and annual profits!) would take a hefty hit. Perhaps these tactics have worked in the past, but most of the time they do not yield the results that businesses are looking for. Before you start investing your hard earned cash on building your fan base, take a moment to think through the following:

  • Why would someone want to be a fan of you or your brand?
  • Who would want to be a fan of you or your brand? Employees, Family, and Customers are all great target audiences!
  • What are you planning to give them? I don’t mean freebies or incentives for being a fan- I’m talking about your plans to share content with them in the future. Think beyond the traditional “marketing” message of your organization.

Once you think through the why, you’ll have a better idea of how to build you fan base. Still, building your fan base is not an easy task. You have to let people know you are there and give them a reason to find you. If you are just starting out, make sure you let your employees know about your new fan page. Encourage them to Like the page and to share it with their networks. Don’t forget to update your website to include a call-to-action for social media and make sure you mention why they should connect with you. You may even want to consider writing an article or press release to explain your reasons for joining and what kind of information you plan on sharing.

Using these tactics, you’ll be able to build a strong base to get you started. However, you may find that your growth becomes stagnant after a while. Try not to get too frustrated! It’s important to remember that growing a social media network takes time- just like growing your business takes time. It won’t happen over night, but if you stick with it, you will see the needle move in the right direction.

Ironically enough, as I was writing this blog I saw a tweet saying “It doesn’t matter how many fans Facebook has. The question is, do your customers care that you have a Facebook page?” I couldn’t agree more- think about this as you are thinking through the “why”.