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March 15, 2018 Shownotes:
“How do I get more followers on social media?” It’s a question Orange Label Account Strategist Michelle Regrut and Social Media Specialist Chelsea Ragland get all the time, and, in this episode of The 19: Retail, they’re giving us the answer.
The 19: Retail – Episode 6
Follow the Leader
This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game-changing Insights in Retail from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.
Hey, it’s Marcus Johnson, Art Director at Orange Label, and I hate to start the episode this way, but I have some bad news. Remember that follower you added the other day? You know the one with like thirty thousand followers but only thirty likes per post. Yeahh…that wasn’t a real person. No, I’m not joking. That wasn’t a real person, it was a robot. And I’m not talking like you know, Sarah Connor, Terminator robot. But you were swindled by a fake profile, a spambot that won’t like a single post, start a single conversation or provide any real value to your brand at all. So why do these spambots exist in the first place? Well, believe it or not there’s actually a market for fake followers and purchasing them in the thousands is a pretty common occurrence for some brands and celebrities. Don’t worry, don’t worry! This sort of thing happens all the time and there are lots of ways to identify fake followers and grow your loyal follower base, so you never have to deal with the bots again.
So, today we’re focusing on how to grow your follower base in a way that maximizes engagement and brand value, and here to answer your most pressing questions is Orange Label Account Strategist Michelle Regrut and Social Media Specialist Chelsea Ragland – Michelle, Chelsea, welcome back.
Alright, let’s jump right into it. You two get this question all the time I’m sure: How do I get more followers right now? Is there really a get-followers-quick strategy? Or is it a little more complicated than that?
MR: You know what they say, nothing worth it comes easy. An that’s true with social followers as well. HOWEVER there are some quick campaigns that you can run to spike the growth. In my opinion, dedicated “Like” campaigns with the specific Call to Action (CTA) to follow the page is really the FASTEST way to increase followers. The message is clear and there’s only one action a user can make on the actual ad is to follow the page. We have historical data also that proves it’s true. When looking at all of the charts across our clients’ social analytics, there have ALWAYS been spikes in growth during months of “Like” campaigns. So that’s kind of the quick fix for that.
Okay, so is quality more important than quantity when it comes to followers?
C: BUT OF COURSE! Though follower count is impressive and can add credibility to a brand, it’s much more of a vanity metric. If this is your sole goal for social media, go for it, but we think a steady increase wins the race when it comes to follower growth. Quality followers engage, which enhance brand relationships, value and influence. These results only come with a follower base of true fans.
So, what’s the tell-tale sign for a fake follower profile?
MR: If they’re following WAY more profiles than the number of people who are actually following them back AND a lot of these fake profiles have zero posts themselves. So, if you go to their page they have a giant number of people that they’re following not that many people following them. And not that many posts to begin with. You can kind of assume that they’re probably a robot.
C: Another tell tail sign are Spammy comments! These are super generic and mass-produced like “Cool!” or “Great post. So, it’s nothing specific to the actual post, but more mass produced.
Oh man I get those all the time. How can you tell if a brand is purchasing their followers then?
C: It’s clear as day in the follower to average post engagement ratio. If a brand has 10k followers but only receives 30 likes on its posts, something is off.
Yeah that seems a little strange. So, what are some basic tips you have on increasing social following?
C: Just like all relationships and conversations, it’s a two-way street. Being “extroverted” or so you say on social media has some great rewards. By engaging with others’ posts, starting conversations and following others, you’re proactively seeking out your audience and building those brand relationships that lead to mutual following. We also recommend paid “like” campaigns to make larger jumps in following.
MR: I one hundred percent agree. It’s definitely a two-way street and social is an amazing opportunity to communicate WITH your audience versus communicating AT them. Your content strategy is important and that’s why doing your homework upfront is a must – you must define who your quality audience is. And ask yourself; What are they interested in? What shakes them up? And why do you matter in their world? With that you can develop themes of content that makes sense for them and will make them want to engage back with you. And of course, like Chelsea mentioned, paid spend matters. No one will know about you unless you put dollars behind the content. And we’ve said it a million times and everyone’s probably sick of it, but you really do have to put dollars toward the platform. Amazing content shared with an audience of zero really means nothing.
Makes sense. So, what are some of your favorite campaign strategies for increasing follower base?
MR: Well, the givens are “Like” campaigns like we’ve touched on. Ahum, and that also depends on the platform. The Facebook Like Campaign is usually the game changer for our clients and they see huge increases. That’s because the ads are very simple, there’s minimal character count, so it forces you to explain who you are and why someone should care about you in a sentence or less, AND there’s the giant thumb which is helpful too because it’s a giant like button making it very simple to like the brand’s page. We’ve also seen great results in Instagram brand awareness campaigns – it’s not AS direct as a Facebook LIKE campaign because it requires more clicks to finally get yourself to like the page, but it’s been an effective way of visually sharing what your brand is about and increasing reach on Instagram.
C: I would agree and say the Instagram carousel and gallery has also been a super effective at a format in gaining following. This type of campaign has the ability to showcase the different aspects of a brand and their full story to encourage the action (a follow). We also highly recommend including a follow button in all LinkedIn sponsored content to make a follow quick and easy. This gives the user a little preview of what type of content they would be opting into by opting to follow. Facebook like campaigns are also a clear winner in our book as Michelle said.
Alright. So, when developing these campaigns, how can you make sure you’re targeting the right audience?
C: When it comes to follower growth targeting for campaigns, it’s important to consider audience templates we build based on target demographics and interests, retargeting website visitors, and matching email lists. Those three are kind of the magic mix.
MR: Exactly. Building audience templates allows you to reach people by their demographics and online behaviors. This approach is really to reach a wider audience. So people who may not know about you yet but are very likely to no pun intended, to “like” you. When we step into the retargeting and matched audience custom segments, these are more or less your low hanging fruit – we know that they already know of the brand, so having them “like” the page shouldn’t be as much of a “pitch.” There’s SO many advanced targeting techniques now…. We find it best to test multiple audience segments.
C: In our experience managing social media accounts, we come across fake accounts and automated comments daily. It’s an epidemic I know the platforms have been adjusting to discourage!
MR: Yes! We know that the varying platforms have gone through rounds of “purges” to clear inactive and “fake” users because it’s definitely been an issue. It’s important for brands to not buy into the multiple sites/pages that claim to grow your audience size significantly overnight, because you’re probably paying for fake followers and does that really give you ROI ? – no!
Got it. And so if you’re going about it honestly, which everyone should be. How do you make sure your social strategy is attracting the right followers?
C: It’s all in the analytics and insights. The demographics of the users you’re reaching are the best marker, along with a strong engagement rate of your posts. It’s important to regularly check in on this analytics to ensure targeting is reaching the right people.
MR: The greatest part about digital and social marketing is that there’s no shortage in data. The hardest part is understanding what the data means and what you should do about it. Looking at the demographic trends for engagement and for audience following is key. Your social strategy can’t be a set-up and push play. You need to be learning as you go and more importantly optimizing and making changes along the way.
Absolutely you gotta adjust right? So, should audience follower growth really be the main KPI to measure success?
C: We encourage brands to make engagement their first and foremost priority when it comes to social media. These are real humans behind these comments and follows and those relationships are the most impactful piece of what we develop. Follower growth certainly has a part to play in this, but not the key.
MR: Yes, and I think it really depends on what the brand’s main goal is. Is it sales? Site traffic in general? Brand awareness? Store traffic? Usually when we ask, most people just say “YES, all of the above” but it’s important to prioritize the KPI’s to maximize the desired ROI.
Okay, so let’s say I’m a brand that’s just diving into the world of social media marketing for the first time. Don’t know anything about it. How do you build a social media following from the ground up?
C: We’d recommend starting with who you know. So, this means your friends, business partners, associates. These are your supporters you already have connections with. Next, I’d dive into those a little further outside of your bubble. Maybe it’s the city your business works in, that coffee shop down the street, or a conference you’ve attended. These touchpoints all add up to become your network on social media.
Ok, so I just got the cue to start wrapping things up, but I have one final question for you: What is one major takeaway you want to share with our listeners?
C: If something seems too easy, you’re probably right! Stay the course and it will pay off. If you take the time to develop campaigns and engage to build quality followers, you’ll be glad you did with the engagement you’ll receive in return!
MR: audience following is important but it’s not everything. There are other social media metrics to look at and they depend on your overall business and marketing goals.
Awesome well Michelle and Chelsea – thank you again for coming out we really appreciate you sharing your insight with us!
C/MR: Thanks for having us.
Thank you for listening to The 19: Retail – Follow the Leader.
If you have additional thoughts on this topic, please share them with us. Visit our website, orangelabeladvertising.com and contact us. Be sure to subscribe to The 19 on iTunes and Google Play, and, if you like what you heard today, leave us a review! And be sure to tune in for our next episode of The 19: Retail, which will cover retail’s roots in traditional media.
This was The 19. Brought to you by Orange Label. If you’re interested in MORE retail response marketing, visit our blog and subscribe to our content, where we share our response marketing expertise on current retail industry topics. Visit orangelabeladvertising.com for all the details.
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