Working in the digital world is a hustle. You are competing against a multitude of other content creators for the same space. Sometimes, you are even in competition with your older posts. In order to ensure the success of your online endeavors, you have to rise above the crowd so people have the opportunity to see what you do and who you are. While trying to gain more followers isn’t enough to ensure the success of your digital marketing, it increases your online exposure, which can help you reach more prospective buyers and achieve greater success in reaching your goals.
In the graphic above, we can see how organic reach on older platforms, like Facebook, declined over time. Even Instagram, which is a newer platform, faces a decline or organic reach, which means brands must use other tools to achieve sufficient reach to meet objectives. So, let’s look first at the concept of reach so you can understand why this declining organic reach is a bad thing. The chances your post reaches a user who doesn’t follow your brand on the social platform are controlled by the amount of engagement (shares and comments) you achieve.
The decline in social media reach
Reach is an advertising term that predates the digital age and represents the number of people exposed to your message. Organic reach is unique to the digital world and represents reach achieved without advertising. For instance, when you post content on Facebook (or any other social platform), some users see that content based on the factors that figure prominently in the social platform’s algorithm, that’s organic reach. In an effort to make more money from advertising and to deliver interesting content to users, each social platform only shows a small number of posts from friends and the companies you follow in the average user’s newsfeed (now simply called Feed).
Again, let’s use an example of that post you put up on Facebook. When someone engages with the post, that post now reaches their online community of friends and family. You now increased the organic reach of your initial post beyond 8.6% of your followers reached according to the graph above. But, reach doesn’t stop there. Let’s call the fans who originally saw your content first generation and the friends who saw your post when a friend engaged with it, second generation. Some of the second-generation folks might engage with the post, transmitting it to the Feeds of their friends on Facebook (third-generation). And, the post might gain new life through succeeding generations until engagement stops. The more users you reach, the greater your potential to sell your product, so you want to achieve the most reach possible. We used Facebook for this example to simplify it but the same engagement process works across all social media platforms with the only difference being the terminology and the extent of reach across the generations. As the brand message spreads across each generation, the potential grows exponentially, as you can see in the graphic below.
But engagement on social platforms does more than simply spread your brand message to new users because a user’s friends on a social platform often share similarities that make the friends a part of your brand’s target market. Think about it and look at the friends you connect with on any social platform. Facebook calls this your social graph and it likely contains friends from school and work, colleagues, family, and others you know in real life. Some of these people like the same things you do, have the same values, and face the same problems, which are the dominant factors that drive purchase decisions. Plus, when you engage with a brand message, it’s like your endorsement of the brand, which further influences purchase decisions.
The goal of a business when it comes to reach is to reach as much of its target market as possible.
The concept of frequency
Frequency is another term from advertising and refers to the number of times the average member of your target market sees your message. Frequency is important because we know that it takes multiple exposures to the message before someone will consider buying your product. The minimum message frequency varies by market niche and customer type, but it’s likely somewhere between three and eight. That suggests that even 100% reach isn’t sufficient to move the needle on your revenue. You must reach as many prospective buyers as possible, as many as eight times (maybe even more depending on the time elapsed between exposures) to optimize your market performance. And that’s a big challenge.
How it helps to gain more followers
The number of followers is what experts call a vanity metric as it has no strong correlation with performance. But, when you gain more followers, you increase the number of users who see your content — become part of that first generation in our reach example above — and increase the number of engaged users. This sets your business on the path leading to better ROI.
So the question remains, how do you gain more followers?
Rethink Your Bio
Having an eye-catching and inviting bio on all your social media platforms is an essential part of your brand. When potential followers view your content and decide to learn more about who you are and what you stand for, you need to ensure that your bio shines. You want to be engaging, relevant, concise, and catchy in as few words as possible. Encourage visitors to go to your site with a call to action (CTA) and an easily available clickable link for your website.
Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to add a clickable link to your TikTok bio. This link is a viable business strategy as it will bring visitors directly to your website for more content, products, or services.
Use paid advertising
Increasingly, brands face the reality of using paid advertising to gain more followers. Luckily, social media advertising is very low cost, highly effective, and uses targeting that helps you reach your target market without wasting money on users who aren’t part of the market. Every platform offers different targeting tools but Meta (Facebook/ Instagram) has some really excellent options. Not only can you choose users based on a host of demographic variables (age, education, income) and geographic variables (city, state, region) but you can also choose your advertising audience based on what they like to do or the types of content they view called psychographics. Meta also lets you choose lookalike audiences based on their similarity to another audience that worked for you such as engaged users or those who are already followers. You can even target ads at users who visited your website in the past.
With advertising, it’s much easier to gain more followers when you choose the right audience for your ads.
Get More Likes
You can also gain more followers by creating better engagement with your existing followers.
When you are submitting content online, you want people to see it instead of leaving your videos and articles there for someone to stumble upon. Beyond that, however, you want to engage and grow your audience through their consumption of your creations. To do this quickly and effectively, you can get free TikTok likes, for example. This action will help you reach more people.
It is essentially a snowball effect whereby once you have more likes you get more followers, the momentum increases exponentially. Your channel receives more attention and spreads quicker because you have more likes to begin with when you seek assistance to grow than you would on your own. For Facebook, this improved engagement also means you reach a higher percentage of your followers with each post as engagement is a factor in the algorithm they use.
Look at Your Old Content
Another way to gain more followers is to provide value in the content you post online so look at some of your old content. As time passes, things change. You may have changed since you first began posting content online, too. It is a good idea to take some time and look through all of your old content. Sift through every social media platform where you have an account, even if you are no longer active on some of them.
If you do not intend on using some of the platforms, delete your account or remove the content. For accounts where you still actively post, determine if your older posts still fit with your current intentions, views, and goals. Edit and delete the posts as appropriate to create a more streamlined and cohesive version of what you want to present to the world.
Everything is online today. That is where you work and play. When it becomes frustrating and you are not moving the needle towards greater visibility and achieving more followers, you need to take action. Show the world who you are by getting more likes, making an appealing bio, cleaning up old content, and generating more original content that people will rush to follow.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.