December 4, 2014
Building a Social Media Following From Scratch – 0 to 1,000 Followers
It’s easy to jump-start some small buzz for your business in social media. Staring at a Zero Follower count could be intimidating and seem like an uphill battle, but the truth is, once you get the ball rolling you will be raking in the followers. I have put together this guide to help you go from 0 to 1,000 followers.
In brief, the steps are:
- Produce content.
- Attract an audience.
- Link the audience to your profit mechanism.
- Network and socialize to keep your momentum going.
To save time, we’ll pick a random industry to use as an example so that we don’t have to talk in such abstract terms. Let’s pick collectible trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon if you will.
Using this example, here’s the steps:
Grab a content platform and start cranking out content about your market. This can be Blogger, Pinterest, WordPress, Tumblr, or any other major blogging platform. Or use your own domain, which is strongly advised. You can buy website hosting for pennies, some $10 per month for a good one, and then it’s your site done your way by your rules.
Whatever your platform, start cranking out content. For card games, you could do funny memes about the cards, great shopping deals you’ve found on cards, reviews of card sets as they come out, or going to a tournament to play them and reporting on how you did.
Get at least 20 posts up before you move on. Nobody likes to come to an empty blog with just one greeting post in it.
Attract an Audience
Get on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Reddit, plus every other social media platform. You will not make this work unless you spread a very wide net. Ideally, you should have established accounts already.
Once you have content, post links to it. Now on social media where your first mission is to get the widest possible following, do this:
- If anybody follows you, follow them back. Look out for useless bots.
- If anybody in your circles or followers posts something interesting, forward it to share with your followers. This encourages them to return the favor with your posts. The more relevant to your target market, the better this will work.
- Avidly follow anybody with a large following who is doing the same thing in your market. Social media thrives on mutual cooperation.
- Seek out and join any groups, message boards, circles, or whatever related to your market.
In any industry, there are industry-centric groups, forums, and websites devoted to strategy and insights. Create accounts there and be sure your username is the same as your social media username and the name your content is posted under. This creates personal brand continuity; you can lure followers from the general social stage like Facebook to the more specific forums. And vice versa; you can occasionally post something with a link from the specific forum back to your profile on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc..
Your best friend is that mouse pointer, so always make it easy for the user to access your whole system in one click. Put sharing buttons on your blog posts, so readers can easily link to it from their own accounts. Use big, friendly buttons at the top. Make everything easy to share. Don’t make the user have to swat down pesky pop-up windows or paw through pages of irrelevant walls here.
Link the Audience to your Profit Mechanism
This can be anything from ad revenue on your content, affiliate links from your site to Amazon or whatever market, your own kiosk on eBay, or your website’s customer service page where you, yourself, operate a store with a cart. Again, make this easy to find from any of your content – ideally it will be in the sidebar of your blog.
There’s no reason you can’t make multiple streams of revenue from the same market. For the trading card market, you can have Google ads in the sidebar, link to books about the games on Amazon with an affiliate link, and have sidebar links to your own eBay store where you sell custom-made deck-boxes made to order or your own gaming dice. Or simply buy the product wholesale and sell it retail, like any store.
Network and Socialize to keep your Momentum Going
Guess what? That’s just step #2, repeated over and over again! Good luck, pick a market with high demand that is also a good target for content, and have fun!
As the CEO of 5WPR – I understand the value of having a strong Social Media following. I hope these tips help you take your new accounts to the moon with these strategies laid out here!