In 2017, social media has become a key part of every business. Executed well, it delivers measurable results in sales and brand awareness, and is an excellent way of reaching large numbers of people at a low cost. Facebook currently has 2 billion monthly users, with adults aged 18-34 most likely to follow and engage with a brand via social networking (Source Marketingsherpa). 

All brands begin with zero followers, so what’s the best way to drive those numbers up, retain your following and keep them engaged with your content?
Ross Cutting, Managing Director of jewellery brand www.janareinhardt.com shares his secrets to building and maintaining a loyal following:

1. Persistence pays 

At first you’ll have a handful of followers, while your competitors may be in the thousands. Stick with it. Post every day if you can, use relevant hashtags, follow others and engage with their content. Initially, it may seem as though you’re following more people than you have followers, but gradually things will even out. 

2. Be wary of buying followers 

This might seem like a quick fix, but ultimately it damages your brand and discourages engagement from genuine followers or browsers.  It’s very easy to spot purchased followers and see they aren’t the real deal, many won’t ever post or leave comments (except spam). Bought followers make a brand look less authentic. It is far better to build your profile gradually, with real followers who will engage with the brand, and in turn bring their followers to you. Organic growth is slower, but infinitely superior.
growing your brand's social media following

Photo via Jack Moreh and Freerange

3. Photos, photos, photos!

Instagram is a visual platform and picture led posts on Facebook and Twitter perform much better than those without. Constantly photographing and posting shots of our unique jewellery has been key in increasing our following. Average work is much harder to get people interested in, but our pictures are out of the ordinary and really capture people’s imagination. Find the thing that makes your business unique and capitalise on it. 

4. Continuity is key 

Style all your photos in the same way, with the same filters. Use the identical borders round pictures and create a colour scheme. It might seem a hassle, but ultimately creates a recognisable feel for your posts that people identify with your brand, forming a unique relationship with your followers. 

5. Engage with followers

It might sound obvious, but genuine engagement increases the likelihood of followers returning to your brand page and recommending you. Respond to comments where it’s natural to do so, get conversations going and build relationships. Make your posts a mix of products and stories that reveal something about your brand behind the scenes, this will help followers to feel part of your journey and not as though they are constantly being spammed. 

6. Link to your website 

Link back to your business site to drive traffic, but don’t go overboard.  If you link with every post people may feel like it’s hard sell and be turned off. Ensure a link to your website is obviously displayed under your handle, so followers can browse if they want to. If you’re highlighting a specific product, always provide a link on site, followers are more likely to impulse buy something they can immediately access. 
Author Bio

growing your brand's social media followingJulia Ross is a blogger, animal lover, jewellery enthusiast and Social Media Marketing Coordinator for Jana Reinhardt Jewellery.