By Marisa DiPaolo
Want to grow your audience on social media but not sure where to start? Believe it or not, the best way to get more followers isn’t to buy them, spam them, or use some secret tactic for overnight success. It may sound difficult — if not impossible — but the best way to grow on any social media platform is to understand and work with its algorithm.
Social media algorithms aren’t as complicated as they seem! The best way to show them that you deserve the spotlight is by creating quality, engaging content for people to interact with. It sounds simple enough, but how exactly do you go about creating and posting this content? We’ve rounded up the very best ways to grow your audience on the most popular social media platforms to help you get started!
If you haven’t gotten aboard the short-form social video train, now’s the time. Video is such an excellent way to impress and relate to your audience, and TikTok has transformed social video so that it’s quick and easy to produce and post.
Plus, now that Instagram has invested in Reels in a major way, you should be too. Instagram posted the following Reels best practices to help you get started, and these tips apply to TikTok too!
Pro tip: If you’re creating video content on TikTok but plan to repurpose it on Reels, make sure you remove the TikTok watermark first! Instagram has admitted that its algorithm will not promote posts that contain this watermark. But don’t worry, removing it is simple! Just use a tool like TikMate to download TikTok videos watermark-free.
When you upload a new post to your Instagram feed, don’t stop there: share it to your Stories, then share it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and embed it in an email to your subscribers. The more ways you can think to share each piece of content online, the more eyes that will land on it. Those eyes are referred to as “reach,” which every social media algorithm takes into account when evaluating the success of a post.
Engagement is so important when it comes to social media. The more engagement a post receives, the more it will continue to be promoted by its platform’s algorithm. But how do you encourage engagement from your followers? The best way is by asking for it! Include a call to action at the end of every post to like, comment, or save the post, or ask a question to prompt followers to answer in the comments. If you’re posting a Story on Instagram or Facebook, include a sticker for viewers to interact with.
Pro tip: Facebook’s algorithm does not promote posts that include “engagement-baiting” words like “like,” “comment,” “share,” and “save,” so be sure to remove them from your posts on that platform only.
Sometimes the best way to determine what your audience wants is by asking them directly. Use your social media followers as a focus group — they know you, your content, and themselves best, after all. Create a poll on Facebook asking what platform they enjoy following you on most. Post a question sticker to your Instagram Story asking what they want to see more of from you.
You may be using social media as a marketing tool, but mentioning your app in every single post will hurt you in the long run. Instead, make sure you’re mixing in content that provides value for your audience and that gets personal. Valuable content will encourage new followers, and personal content will help them get to know you and increase engagement. When these posts are successful, the algorithm will begin to promote all of your posts — including those that sell, too.
As the biggest social media platforms continue to grow and change, it’s important to keep up. Oftentimes, the algorithms will reward you for participating in everything a platform has to offer. For example, if you want to grow on Instagram, you should post to the feed, Stories, Reels, and IGTV, and go live. If you want to grow on Twitter, you should Tweet text, media, and polls, and create Moments.
The most important thing is that you’re posting regularly! If you only post once a week, even your most engaged followers will likely have more interactions with accounts that post more often, pushing those accounts ahead of you on their feeds.
Of course, social media isn’t your only responsibility, so create and adjust your schedule based on your bandwidth. When it comes to growing your audience on social media, consistency is key.