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There was a time when marketing was very structured and limited. Whether you bought a newspaper ad, a billboard or a TV spot, you generally followed the same formula as everyone else.

But times have changed. First, the internet offered up all manner of new marketing opportunities, from pre-roll video to banner ads. Then social media put the power of advertising in everyone’s hands, allowing for truly DIY, organic marketing that didn’t really have any rules at all.

The options are endless in social media marketing. And that’s part of the problem.

The truth about increasing your social media followers is that you do need some rules and some structure if you want to get maximum marketing value out of your organic social media posts. And as experts in the space, at Traction, we’re perfectly placed to show you how.

Taking a structured approach to increasing social media followers

Whether you’re trying to think of your very first post or your profile is almost as old as Facebook itself, you need to take a research-based approach to social media marketing.

Look at what your major competitors are doing – what’s working well and not so well. This isn’t about plagiarism; this is about getting some inspiration. You should then work to understand what your audience wants, using those insights to inform your posts. Take an idea then tweak it so that it resonates with your specific audience.

You should also follow the Instagram and TikTok accounts that your target customers follow, and keep your finger on the pulse of trends. If an Instagram Reel has millions of views from the sort of people you’re trying to get in front of, that’s a fair sign they’d be interested in watching your version of it too.

But why do trends become trends in the first place? That question leads us neatly into…

Understanding the social algorithm

The algorithm: it strikes fear into content creators and digital marketers everywhere.

Every social platform has its own recipe to decide which posts it will serve up to a wider audience. These algorithms are closely guarded secrets, because if the players knew the rules of the game, they’d be able to exploit them. This means that each platform’s algorithm is a black box: no one knows exactly what’s inside. But with a bit of trial and error, we can take an educated guess.

At Traction we spend a lot of our time working to understand the wants and needs of the algorithm through things like A/B testing: creating two versions of a post, and seeing which works better. Over the years we’ve built a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t; knowledge that we’re more than happy to pass on to our customers.

The next step: content creation.

Striking a balance

Variety is the spice of life in social media content.

The reason a person will choose to follow a brand account is that they feel like they get value from it. Perhaps the posts are super fascinating, informative or entertaining. The quickest way to lose followers is to use your profiles as nothing more than advertising channels, posting purely promotional material. Sure, special offers and product shoots have their place, but they should be used sparingly.

Ask yourself: what do I like about the brand accounts I follow? Think of the value you can offer your customers that aren’t tied to a specific product or service, like industry explainers, how-to videos, thought leadership pieces and behind the scenes footage.

A digital marketing agency can help you with this ideation and creation, which will ultimately lead to an increase in your follower count. But the aim of social media marketing isn’t to generate a long list of faceless followers. You want to build a meaningful community.

Building a community

When you target the right customers with truly valuable content, you not only build trust between you and them, you begin to build a self-sustaining community – a place where your customers meet and engage with each other. You can then both drive and facilitate conversation by posting, liking, sharing, commenting and generally engaging with your audience in ways that further develop that trust.

At Traction, we specialise in building strong communities of target customers. We believe in quality over quantity, so we develop messaging that speaks to the right people in the right places (and for the right price.) Doing so can be a sophisticated technical process, but our expert team will guide you through it using language you’ll understand.

While each of the above steps are critical for anyone looking to capitalise on social media, this final point is perhaps the most important of all. Partnering with the right digital marketing agency will have the greatest impact on your chances of success, so it’s critical that you take the time to find the right team to help you.

If you’re ready to dominate social media, our team at Traction is ready to help.

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