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For a lot of companies, growing an organic following sounds like a mammoth of a task. After all, when we see brands in our field with 10,000 all the way up to 100,000 followers, it can seem impossible to reach those numbers without a little boost. However, with the right strategy, not only is it possible to grow a wide-reaching organic following but in a way that’s relatively intuitive to follow as well. Here’s how:
Start With Your Principles
Before we dive too deep into the nuts and bolts of developing an organic following, we first should take a step back and look at what exactly makes an organic following organic. As the core of that word coincides with “natural” and “authentic,” this is the primary base as to why people will follow you in the first place. In fact, according to Zimmer Communications, 64 percent of consumers say that shared values are the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand; which, if you’re trying to develop an organic following, then your messaging and content needs to stem from what your brand stands for.
In looking at your brand principles, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is why is your brand in existence in the first place. While we don’t ask that to demean or belittle it, it’s more about figuring out the basic mission as to what your company is trying to do in impacting our lives. For example, a company like Aldi is there to make quality food more accessible and affordable, or Best Buy is there to be at the forefront of technology at the lowest price. Brainstorm what exactly the change your brand is trying to make, as well as how you can represent that on social, as that will be the guiding voice for the majority of your posts.
Establish A Foundation
With a brand voice established, it’s time to take a look at your foundation, as well as how you can build upon it rather quickly. One of the biggest challenges with growing an organic foundation is having an audience that’s willing to follow your brand at its current numbers, which is somewhat hard if you’re account is only filled with friends and family. However, with nearly 32 percent of internet users currently on Instagram (as noted by Brandwatch), even capturing a small percentage of that isn’t only possible, but well within reach.
In looking at your current follower count, ask yourself how it compares to the rest of your industry. For consumer goods or certain products, it can be difficult to match an account that has over 1 million followers; however, for startup/small business accounts, it’s important to see how you match up. It might not be a bad idea to buy real Instagram followers, especially with how much Instagram is combatting fake followers and bot accounts. These are real people who will engage with your page. The goal here is to give yourself enough of a foundation that when you start using outreach and inbound strategies, other people can tell your account is legit, as well as worth the follow.
Know How Your Audience Discovers You
With a foundation in place, the next step in bringing an organic following is utilizing inbound data on how people are discovering you. Depending on your business, this can come in a multitude of ways; for example, as noted by AdsEspresso, 70 percent of users now look up a brand on Instagram, which if you’re a local restaurant means your regular menu and specials need to be on your page and story every day. As discovery is the core of organic traffic, it’s imperative you’ve got all the relevant information necessary on your page, as well as content planning in place to thrive.
First, go to your Instagram page and ensure that it’s not only been converted to a business page but that all the information someone might need to discover you is there; including your address, phone number, website, etc. Next, start drafting out a content plan for what type of posts will be most relevant to your current following base as well as to newcomers, including any new items or services/updates or what’s coming up soon. For planning, it’s smart to possibly invest in a social media management tool or calendar, providing you with the foundation for you and your team to collaborate on campaigning. As discovery is all about relevant content, remember to give yourself the opportunity to create and plan accordingly, giving you the best chance to keep it consistent.
Keep Your Delivery Consistent
Finally, with all the primary elements in place for you to thrive, the final step is to remain consistent with your efforts. This not only includes the type of content that you’re producing but also how it looks because 60 percent of the top brands use the same filter for every post, which goes to show just how important visual consistency is. Furthermore, it’s also crucial for you keep up with engagement on a daily basis as well, especially with any concerns or questions your audience might have. Remember, your social media channels are your publically facing entities for engaging both in socializing with your base as much as they are mediums for customer service, so utilize this as an opportunity to build your following by being the brand you’d want to see others be as well.
What are some strategies you’ve utilized to grow an organic social following? Comment with your insights below!
Lindsay Shearer is a Global SEO Expert, Author & Speaker. She travels all over the world coaching brands and businesses on SEO, Online Marketing, Venture Capital & Angel Investing and helping brands grow tremendously. You can check out more about her at https://lindsayshearer.com, and https://marketingfunnelbreakdown.com. Lindsay & Will Robins Co-host a Podcast called Marketing Funnel Breakdown that talks about everything SEO & Online Marketing.