For individuals and businesses alike, having a large number of followers brings opportunities. Celebrities, athletes and musicians can build their own brands or earn money for promoting a product or event. For a business or organization, more followers means reaching new potential customers, clients, donors or business partners. Social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways for a brand to reach and communicate with its target audience. While it can be tempting to take the shortcut and buy more followers to reach the masses, earning them will prove more beneficial for your business in the long run. Here are some tips on how to build a social media following without buying followers. 

Create Quality Content

Before you can earn more followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media platform, you must first prove why someone should follow you. This is where you get to be creative and share the message of your brand to your target audience. From videos and blog posts to graphics and articles, there’s no shortage of content to share on social media, so don’t limit yourself to just one medium.  

Your social media posts should also include a call to action. For the purpose of gaining more followers, encourage users to share the post or tag friends in the comments. Every time your content is shared by someone else, it allows your brand to reach a wider audience that may not have otherwise seen it. However, it all starts with the quality of your content to give people a reason to follow your business and share your posts with others. 

Be Engaging

Just as social media is your company’s greatest tool to reach your target audience, it’s also their most effective way of communicating with you. The more followers you get, the more likely that someone is going to comment on a post or send a message. Engaging with members of your audience is essential to growing your following. Nothing will turn people away from your brand like the perception that they are being ignored. 

Of course, it’s easy to engage when someone is saying nice things about your business. However, social media also provides an outlet for those who are not as fond of your brand. Baseless trolling can (and should) be ignored, but any legitimate complaints of your business warrant a response. Owning up to mistakes and offering apologies shows your company’s transparency and encourages others to follow you. 

Be Consistent

Have you ever felt the pain of falling in love with the first season of a new TV show only to have it not be renewed for a second season? That’s how it feels when someone follows a business on social media because of a post they saw, and then the brand doesn’t post again for days or even weeks. Consistency is the key to attracting and retaining followers on your company’s social media accounts. 

Consistency doesn’t mean you have to drop your other responsibilities and devote all of your efforts on your social media accounts. Something as easy as one post a day on each of your social platforms is all it takes to have a presence. Scheduling posts is an easy way to ensure that you’re delivering consistent messages, but be sure to keep an eye on any active posts for potential engagement opportunities.   

Implement a Unique Brand Voice

Standing out in a crowd as vast as social media can be a challenge to say the least, but establishing a brand voice is one of the most effective ways to differentiate your business and communicate value to your target audience. Your brand voice is how you inject the personality of your company into the content you share. While you can portray many different tones, it’s important to find a few that represent you best and develop a style that is consistent. When done right, this uniformity paves the way for a deeper connection with your followers.   

An authentic brand voice is one that is a reflection of the business or organization it represents. We’re likely all familiar with brands that have a funny presence on Twitter or Facebook. That tone works for them because they have established it as part of their brand voice, and just because it works for them doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Rather than trying to mimic other successful brands, focus on implementing a tone and style that is unique to your company and its mission.