“For example, if someone tweets, ‘I love the Dallas Cowboys!’ and you sell Cowboys fan gear in your shop, reply that he can shop with you,” and offer a discount or coupon code, says Perrine.
“Keep your finger on the pulse of industry-specific conversations and engage with thoughtful questions and helpful answers,” says Mostafa Razzak, principal, JMRConnect, a public relations & influencer communications company. “Do not patronize or waste people’s time by stating the obvious or making comments that show you haven’t paid attention to what they’ve written or the message they’re trying to convey.”
5. Follow other users, especially those following you. “Many times, following someone will get a follow back very quickly,” says Gillooly. “So make sure you're going out and follow[ing] those [people] who are or could be customers — or are thought leaders in your industry.”
6. Interact with influencers in your industry. “Interaction with influencers that is not promotional or furthering your own agenda will earn you respect and, by extension, convince [them and their followers] that it’s worth their time to follow your company,” says Razzak.
7. Join groups – and group conversations. “Join groups that are in [your] industry and [post] and comment on posts,” says Mary Cochran, director of marketing, Sleep Easily. “Post articles your company is featured in,” and share articles written by or of interest to others in the group.
8. Give people an incentive to follow you, such as a discount code or free giveaway. “Provide compelling incentives that are available only via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn,” says Tim Lavelle, director of SEO & social media, U.S. Interactive Media. “Exclusive offers could include coupons, discounts, freebies, limited editions or other things of interest to your targeted audience. When your audience can only acquire a desired discount, deal or exclusive product/service via social media, they’re far more motivated to connect.”
“A great way to generate buzz about your business, as well as increase your social following, is to run a contest,” says Tracy Willis, content strategist, N2Q Consulting, a creative marketing agency. “Think of a quick and simple contest that encourages fans to share information about your business, and reward the winner with a gift card or tickets to an event.”
9. Ask people to follow you. “Use calls to action (CTAs) to directly request that visitors friend, follow, like, etc. your social media profiles,” says Lavelle. “Numerous studies have shown that telling people to do something (or asking them) makes them far more likely to actually do it.”
10. Include easy-to-find links to your social media accounts on your website and/or blog. “You [may be] missing out on followers by not including a link to [your] Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages” on your website and/or blog, says Jennifer Matthews, a marketing specialist at Igniting Business, which provides web design, marketing and technical services to small businesses.
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