Are you a blogger or author seeking to grow your social media presence? Are you struggling to gain new followers? If this sounds familiar, then this guide is definitely for you!
by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life.
This post contains affiliate links. Learn more about our affiliate links by reading our Affiliate Disclaimer HERE.
Every published author and successful blogger will tell you that you need to grow your online exposure in order to make any real money and the best way to do that, is through social media! In order to do this, you need a toolbox filled with a large arsenal of tips and know-how, to use.
Want a literary agent to represent you? Trust me when I tell you, they’re checking your social media. Don’t have a big enough following on social media? Say good-bye to your chances of getting published, no matter how good your book is. Want a company to pay you for your content? Then you need an online presence that is competitive and valuable. But no company, publisher, or literary agent will offer you compensation or representation without having a social media strategy that includes consistency, a target audience, and great content!
But how do you grow your following on any of the social media channels? Should you Buy tiktok followers? Should you pay for ads on Facebook or Instagram? These are all valid questions and we’re going to answer them here!
Who is your audience?
You need to identify an audience to target your material to. There’s no point in posting randomly if you’re not sure who’s going to be listening or who your material is for. The best advice I ever received was to “niche down”–carve out a specific niche in your audience. Are you talking to parents? If so, then what kind of parents-single or married? Are you talking to coders? Be specific in which coders you are talking to.
Once you have a target audience ready, then you need content. Ask yourselves, “What am I trying to share?”, “Who do I want to help and why?”, and if you can answer these, then you will have a path to starting your social media growth.
Should you advertise?
The short answer is yes! Social media advertising is quick, fast, and user-friendly. You don’t need to make hundreds of calls to radio stations or bookers or tv shows to try and pitch why your company deserves some spotlight. With social media advertising, you control the message, the ad, and your budget.
The real question you need to ask yourself is, “What’s my budget?”, and you definitely need to set aside a budget for advertising on social media. Lay out a growth plan using your current social media stats. Figure out how you want to grow and how fast, then set your budget accordingly.
Now let’s talk about which social media channel is best to grow your following!
Social Media Platforms Worth Your Time
Instagram is great for visual lovers and in my opinion, is the best social media channel to grow online presence. You can share and edit photos and videos on here. Considering that in 2021, Instagram had 1.074 billion users worldwide, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot for not setting up to grow on Instagram. It’s not hard, either. Check this out. One year ago, I started with zero followers. I now have over 23K followers. Here’s something even better. I also started an account for my dog on Instagram. She already has 68 followers and I’ve only posted 6 pictures in the last 30 days! Not to mention, she has three affiliate partnerships earning us money. Instagram is great for this kind of thing!
Here’s a few tips to grow on Instagram: (1) Post consistently. Here’s my schedule: 15 stories per day, 2 reels per week, 10 to 15 posts per day, and 1 live a week. (2) Bulk create posts. You can use Canva to create all of your posts for the week in one day. Then schedule them to be posted using the Preview app or Hootsuite. (3) Engage authentically with old and new followers. As you grow, this will get harder, but you should still make a point to do this. Comment on every follower’s posts you like, respond to their comments, DM new followers welcoming them, etc. (4) Don’t be a perfectionist. No body cares if you posted something with bad grammar or wrong spellings or with a messed up face. Just be you. Instagram users love to see the behind-the-scenes of real peoples’ lives.
TikTok is my pick for the second best social media channel to grow on. It’s really easy to use and is only for videos. And because it’s only for videos, is the reason it didn’t land the top spot. In September of 2021, TikTok had 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. So, why use TikTok if you can’t post photos?
The videos! You can literally post one video and gain a ton of likes, exposure, and followers. The trick is to post a video that is engaging, over the top with energy, and has a theme. What do I mean? Well, if you’ve never been on TikTok, then go and sign up now, because you’re missing out on some of the best videos.
Users can tailor their videos to any audience. And because video is such a versatile tool, you can literally try anything to get the users’ attention. There is one universal truth to the videos, they all have a theme even if the creators don’t realize it. Some are dance challenges, others are funny, cute, family fun, pranks, tutorials, sarcasm, cultural, job related, injury related, relationship stupid, marriage goals, inspirational, and the list goes on. There is really only one trick to the TikTok world, make it worth watching. So, if you wouldn’t watch you, then no one will.
With that said, here are a few tips to help you: #1 No one cares what you look like. TikTok can be excruciatingly intimidating because of all the hot youngsters running the show. Trust me, they wanna stay on TikTok as much as you want to get them to watch your stuff. So, create something worth their time. #2 Be over the top with whatever topic you choose. One of my most viral videos (deleted for my board of education campaign), was of me pretending to be my teenage daughter. It had over 12,000 views! #3 TikTok style videos are different than Instagram style videos. So, whatever you do, don’t copy and paste into each other. The algorithm notices and it looks tacky. Create new stuff for each platform.
Twitter is much harder than people realize, but is still my third choice. And I can tell you from personal experience, I had Twitter for years before creating a new account and starting over. In the beginning, I tried to post on Twitter the same amount as on Instagram and in the same manner. Let me tell you, Twitter is not for the visual lover.
Sure, people might say that’s not true. But after all this time, I finally found a rhythm that works great. Twitter users love authentic posts, full of value, but without the actual value. I know, I know, what does that mean. Twitter users love philosophical questions that get them thinking. And it doesn’t have to be philosophical like it’s coming from Socrates. Nope. It can literally be anything. Here are a few of my most viral Tweets: “Riddle me this… if you were cheated on 5 times by your partner, would you (A) leave, (B) smash their car, or (C) forgive them?” That single tweet received 110 comments, 5 retweets, and 61 likes. Or you can tweet something as simple as, “What kind of a person are you: Coke or Pepsi?” and people will flood your account with responses.
When using Twitter, follow these tips to keep your growth moving upwards: #1 Be authentic. Twitter users enjoy getting to know one another and are fiercely supportive once they decide they like you. #2 Don’t go MIA. Twitter users like to be spoken to regularly and not forgotten about. #3 Consistency is key. Try to tweet several times in an hour, per day. The Twitterverse is extremely noisy, so one tweet every hour doesn’t have the same potency as a post on Instagram does. Here’s what I do. I post 5 to 7 tweets in the mornings. Then come back at lunch time and do it again. I do the same thing at bedtime. I post random thoughts. Once, I posted a coupon code I got in the mail. People loved that. #4 Ignore the negative nellies. Just laugh at the nonsense. It’s all a show. Just like I’m explaining how to create a show worth following, they are doing the same thing. Keep that in mind.
Here’s a social media platform that almost no one realizes is actually a pretty big deal. Pinterest, in my opinion, is the best social media platform to promote your business, blog, merchandise, books, and more! In the 3rd quarter of 2021, Pinterest had 444 million monthly active users worldwide! And here’s some more stats to prove my point. According to the Omnicore Agency, 77.1% of Pinterest users were female, with 89% of its total users searching for purchase inspiration. Those are amazing numbers for growing your business and brand!
To give you a breakdown of the kind of growth this could mean for you, I’ll tell you the growth my company saw in the last year. Once upon a time, I had a personal Pinterest account for years. I never had a business to really utilize it, until a year ago. And once I realized its power, I went from only having a few hundred monthly views to over 100K monthly viewers. That’s a huge audience to promote a business to.
Plus, this is a social media channel worth paying to advertise on. I spend about $4 per post for advertising each article posted on my site. This has a proved a small expense which gains my site and authors, over 30,000 monthly page views. Not to mention, advertising on here really helps spread your brand’s message and get it out there on a global scale.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of Facebook for anything other than keeping in touch with friends and family, and here’s why. When I created a Facebook page for my business, it made zero noise, no matter how often I posted. Then I decided to pay to advertise my page. Bad idea.
Why? Because I paid for advertising on Facebook a few times and out of all of the money I spent, I didn’t get any page likes or new followers or new business income, or website clicks. So the hundreds of dollars spent in this social media platform, was not worth it for my business.
Eventually I deleted that Facebook page and started a brand new one. Where I have seen the most growth is through (A) inviting my personal page’s friends to like my business page and (B) through joining business groups that allow for the promotion of your business. Be careful with this one though, most Facebook communities and groups specifically do not allow people to promote their businesses. So before you officially join any for business purposes, read their rules. Don’t make the same mistake I made either. Don’t join so many in the hopes to gain exposure. It will be too hard to keep track of which days the admins will let you promote your business.
One other point to note. In order to create a shop on Instagram for merchandise, you do need a Facebook Page. Another note worth mentioning, a lot of companies and affiliate companies want to see if you have a Facebook page. It’s almost a prerequisite to get accepted into these monetizing programs. You don’t need a ton of followers on Facebook to get accepted, you just need the URL.
Perhaps the worst social media platform to promote your brand or business (in my opinion), is SnapChat. And here’s why. All Snap stories disappear within 24 hours, so how can any business expect to grow a brand or business when their efforts will be destroyed so soon after posting?!?
While I don’t think this social media channel is worth the time or the effort for business growth and exposure, it doesn’t mean that it’s not good for your business. If you are able to come up with a posting strategy that builds your exposure, then go for it! It’s better to try something and fail, then never to have tried at all.
There you go. My personal favorite social media platform to grow your brand and business is Instagram. As I stated earlier, strategy is a key component to having a business go from barely surviving to all out success. Having a social media strategy is just as important as having a business strategy. And remember, don’t forget to keep your audience in mind. Above all else, have fun with it!