Social media is one of the most important elements of any business’s digital marketing strategy. Each channel, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or LinkedIn, offers you the unique opportunity to instantly connect with and engage customers and leads, promoting new products and services, showing off what makes your business and its employees unique, and working to solve customer problems.

The better your social media reach is, the more success you’ll have in terms of attracting these followers to your website and online store, meaning you’ll see increased traffic and higher sales. This is easier said than done, as many businesses have a difficult time attracting and keeping the attention of their customers on social media. While your follower count doesn’t mean nearly as much as how much engagement your social media channels are receiving, it’s important that your messages and content aren’t being broadcasted to the void. Having an established social media presence will allow your upcoming campaigns to thrive, and will pay off in dividends in the future.

Determining your social media needs

Before you embark on a journey to gain more social media followers, you first need to determine what it is you aim to do so you can know what your options are. If you’re client-facing, your options will be different than if you’re selling primarily to other businesses. What platforms are your clients using, and where are you most likely to capture their attention? For B2C businesses, the most popular options will be Facebook and Instagram. For B2B-focused businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are your best bet.

Your business can make use of platforms like Twitter and Instagram where users can be easily added in the hopes that they follow back. Over time, this can lead to organic growth for little to no cost, allowing your business to build a small audience of followers who decide to follow back. This method is very time-consuming as it is generally done manually, but it’s cost-effective as it can be done by anybody at any time.

Businesses which find themselves using Facebook and LinkedIn as their primary social channels will be forced to take a different route. These platforms make it more difficult for organic growth, forcing you to run paid ad campaigns to gain followers. These campaigns are much more effective than the organic following approach on these channels. Campaigns can be effective on Twitter and Instagram, too, but organic follower growth on those channels always remains an option for those with a limited budget. With this in mind, if your business has a limited social media marketing budget, whether you’re B2C or B2B-focused, it might be wise to spend advertising dollars on channels where organic growth is far more difficult.

Using low-cost advertising campaigns to attract new social media followers

With the right targeting, you can very successfully use a small advertising campaign to gain followers on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. For a low cost (generally between $200-$300 per month), you can run regular campaigns that work to boost brand awareness and attract new followers to your social channels. 

Simply telling an audience to follow your page isn’t good enough, and will mean that you’re throwing your advertising dollars away. Your best bet is to show your targeted audience what makes your business unique and tell them why they should follow you – whether it’s helpful news and content, or special promotions, you need to differentiate yourself from competitors and make users want to follow your page.

Once you’ve gained some followers, you can use these campaigns to promote things like sales, new features and products, and original content. In addition to gaining followers and promoting what makes your business unique in the process, low-cost campaigns allow you to fine tune your targeting and find out what works and what doesn’t without a major financial investment. With the right blend of regular low-cost campaigns and offering compelling content on your social media channels, you’ll see constant growth in both your follower count and engagement numbers, leading to more traffic on your website, increased revenue, and a loyal following.

But what about contests? 

Contests can be a good way to boost your numbers, but the prize has to be something directly related to your business – preferably a product or service that you sell. This is because engagement with contests is extremely short-term and people are attracted to the prize, not to your company. 

When designing a contest for social media platforms, for example, you wouldn’t give away a dishwasher if you sell blinds, because you’ll attract people who aren’t really interested in your product – they want to win the dishwasher. 

If, however, you give away blinds, that contest entrant will be a “good” follower since they are expressing an interest – however short-term – in your product by entering the contest. Targeted ads are better than contests in that you can target the exact demographics you are looking to sell to – with contests, you are really just throwing spaghetti at the wall. But that isn’t to say that they don’t have their place – they are excellent for brand awareness and building email lists. 

Social media growth takes time and effort, but can pay off in a big way. For maximum effect, your best bet is to enlist the services of marketing professionals to grow your audience for you so your team can focus on what matters most. 

The digital marketing experts at ion8 are well-versed in what works and what doesn’t on social media, allowing our team to implement more effective campaign strategies that will see your social media following and engagement rates increase like never before. For a return on investment that you can depend on, get in touch with us today.