Is your follower count inching up too slowly for your liking? We’ve got a few tips to make sure your content is meeting the right eyeballs.
Growing an audience should be more about finding your tribe than focusing just on follower count.
Growing your audience can often mean growing your side hustle, but it can be a slow game getting to the kinds of follower numbers that show you mean business. So we asked our very own audience of Linktree side-hustlers and doers for their follower growth tips.
And before we share them, just remember that it isn’t really the size of the audience that matters most – instead your goal should be to have a highly engaged audience that is a meaningful community for your own niche.
Even brands are keener than ever to work with micro influencers, knowing that the true power is in the relevancy of authentic connections. So don’t pursue growth at any price – make sure you’re growing in a meaningful way and not selling out to the follower figures!
With that said, here are some excellent ways to grow your network smartly!
1. Be authentic
Regardless of whether you’re growing a business brand or a personal brand, these days online audiences are too sophisticated to give them anything but the real deal. The closer that your ‘online voice’ is to your real voice, the more compelling it will be.
This doesn’t have to mean total transparency – but do talk about the things you’re passionate about, respond to people in the same way you would offline. As Sienna from @bookishdancer787 says, “be genuine with people – don’t try to put on a fake identity online!”.
2. Be active within your community
Working with other individuals, organizations and brands in your space is a great way to grow your audience in a meaningful way. As @MBAchicblog recommends, “share each other’s content and help each other grow”. That can mean anything from following them, liking their posts and writing encouraging comments, to sharing their content in your Stories and directing your followers to their Linktree.
You might even work out a way to collaborate. Do they make a complimentary product? Why not combine resources for a joint photoshoot? What about co-author an article, launch a collaborative competition or host a meet-up together? Get creative!
3. Create original content, that’s useful
The best way to get people to want to keep returning to you is to create something that helps them. Think about ways your content can be useful to those who see it. Can you create informative videos? Have you got advice, tips or stories on a specific topic? Does your expertise mean you could create a downloadable resources to help others in your field?
Nigerian-based @Volunteersmixer says “you have to be creating content that is helpful to your audience – especially videos”. And Thomas McRocklin is fully into the organic approach. He advises you “make content that people want to see, and don’t worry about the rest!” – it’s paying off for this guitar expert, with over 165k followers.
"Make content that people want to see, and don't worry about the rest!" -McRocklin
4. Try user generated content
Once you’re following others in your community, you might notice them posting content that is directly relevant to your cause. Don’t be afraid to re-share it! Sharing their content (UGC) will help create more of a community feel – and it’s this ‘club’ vibe which makes others want in.
Perhaps its people wearing the t-shirt you sell, or taking selfies in your store mirror. But you don’t have to sell a product to make this approach work. Does your niche centre around an activity? A viewpoint or belief? Perhaps a specific location or geography. You can always find like-minded people, whether you’re a fruit and veg stall or a lover of long distance hikes.
Just remember to be respectful – check you can share their content and, as Joana Rita Sousa told us “always mention and tag the author”. You can even link to them in your Linktree.
5. Engage with your audience
Talk to your followers! As Felicia Maisonn says, “responding to the community’s questions is a great way to be out there and helpful to others.” Go get social by replying to your followers’ comments, ask for their opinions, try polls in Stories to get to know them better and encourage them to follow you across your other platforms. You can link to all of your social platforms in Linktree so that you only have to point them to one link.
6. Use tags
Get tagging! This is such a great way to tap into potential followers who care about the same topics, places and brands as you. There are three tag types you need:
Hashtags – do your research here for the most relevant hashtag in your community, with the highest amount of followers. The more specific you go, the more targeted those viewers will be. And create your own hashtag, to help with your UGC and grow a sense of ‘tribe’. Ours is #domore because our audience is a bunch of doers.
Geotag – use location tags on your posts and in your Stories. It will make you discoverable to people searching for those places and to others in your neighbourhood.
Tag other accounts – tag other people to credit their work, to draw their attention to things they’ll like and to make the products in your imagery discoverable. If you do this with the ‘useful content’ mantra in mind, it shouldn’t ever get spammy.
7. Be consistent
Felicia Maisonn recommends your get yourself into a content rhythm that your audience gets to know – “being consistent on publishing interesting content is the best way to grow your audience”. If Thursday is the day you publish your newsletter, stick to it. If you take a lighthearted approach to Stories on Mondays, make it regular. It helps your audience know what they’re getting and where to find it.
If you’re looking to get profesh, you could even plan out a content calendar, with themes and content types through the month!
Being consistent on publishing interesting content is the best way to grow your audience.
8. Experiment with formats
If your posts in the feed aren’t getting much traction, why not experiment with a range of content types? Within Instagram why not give IGTV a go, or experiment with different Stories formats?
And you don’t need to feel like Instagram is the only place your audience count matters. Our community uses Linktree for all kinds of ways to reach their audience, whether that’s growing their email newsletter lists, creating YouTube content, Facebook groups, launching podcasts, curating playlists on Spotify or Whatsapp groups.
9. Analyze what’s working
With all this effort going into growing your audience, you need to monitor which ‘convert’ best. Which of your energies effectively grows your audience? Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for Businesses have some neat follower analytics which you can use to make a note of growth week-to-week. An Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet is a good way of tracking this. Highlight any point you saw surges in growth and work out which content you shared, or efforts you made, that resulted in it.
And don’t forget, the raw follower count is only one measure of how your audience has grown. You also want to know how ‘sticky’ or covetable your content is. With Linktree Clicks and Views you get insight on just how many times your Linktree is viewed, as well as how many times that view converts into a clicked link.