(This article is part 1 of our 2-part series on social media marketing. You can find the second article here.)
Is anybody not on Facebook or Instagram these days?
That’s a rhetorical question, but the actual answer is — not really: 90% of the US population actively uses social media.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why social media is a great way for businesses to connect with their customers. In fact, 77% of small businesses use it “to help build brand awareness, facilitate customer service, and increase revenue.”
We’d wager that the number would be even higher if all businesses were aware of the best practices we’re about to share with you. These best practices will help answer two common questions:
In this article, we’ll mainly focus on answering the first question with five easy tips on how to increase your social media followers. (For answers to the second question of what content to post on social media, look to this article.)
This is the most obvious tip, and the one that will bring you the most bang for your buck: Simply ask your customers in person to follow your social media accounts after you — or your tech — completes a job.
We already know that 70% of customers will leave a review when asked. In the same vein, many will also happily subscribe to your social feeds if you just ask them to — especially if they were satisfied with your services.
Want to be a little more persuasive? Give them a small incentive for following you, such as a discount on their next maintenance or tuneup service.
Another effective (and free) way to ask customers to follow you on social media is to include a small reminder in other marketing materials, from your customer handouts to your monthly e-newsletter. Here are a few examples of where to include that blurb:
As a reminder, mentioning your social media in marketing materials costs you nothing so do it in as many places as possible!
The idea of winning free stuff really excites people. Even when you're a bajillionaire like Paul McCartney.
This is why “follow us to win” contests are so popular on social media. Think of one good prize — ideally related to your business — and make that the cornerstone of your contest.
The prize shouldn’t break the bank but should be enticing enough to make people want to sign up. It can be either a physical prize or a service if you don’t want to pay any upfront costs.
Once you’ve got your prize figured out, start mentioning the contest whenever and wherever you can — for example, after a job or via your other marketing collateral. (If that sounds familiar, it’s because those are literally the first two tips of this article — just in a slightly different context ;).)
Pretty much all social platforms allow you to advertise your business on them, but Facebook has a type of ad specifically designed to get customers to “like” your page. You can learn how to set one up here; it’s pretty straightforward. If you’ve got some spare budget, it can be worth it to give it a shot.
With this type of campaign, you can expect to pay about $0.38 per new “like.” So theoretically, it would cost you ~$380 to get 1,000 new likes. However, there are a lot of variables affecting that number, including seasonality and ad quality, so we suggest you start small — say $50 or $100.
Then, as you get a better sense of your actual cost, you can determine if you want to keep your ad running (keep in mind the cost per new “like” might decrease slightly over time as Facebook’s optimization sets in).
An important note: Many companies allow you to outright buy social media “likes.” That is very different from an official ad campaign, and usually a no-no. The reason for that is that fake “likes” are purely artificial, and Facebook's algorithm doesn't like that at all. Plus these "likes" won’t do anything for your sales and they'll decrease your credibility to your customers. (Worst-case scenario: Buying "likes" could even get your account(s) shut down.)
Posting regular and high-quality content has the obvious benefit of keeping your existing followers engaged. But it can also help you when you are trying to get more followers. All the strategies we’ve outlined in this article simply work better if you are posting good content to your feeds.
Even if you are providing an incentive for customers to follow or like your social accounts, they might not do it if they don’t see engaging content on there. In other words, you need to give them a reason to subscribe.
Not sure how to do that? Check out our article on how to run an effective social media strategy in less than 5 minutes a day.