Social media plays a bigger role in businesses, commerce and marketing now than it ever has before. Utilizing social media should be a priority, due to the growing number of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and the plethora of other platforms. If used correctly, social media can enhance your brand and help your business grow. Here are some tips on how to increase your social media audience and thus your dominance in the market.

Organize a Contest

Contests are a great way to generate excitement around your brand and make people willing to share your content with other people. For example, the cell phone resale company GoodCellas organized a contest to win a free iPhone 6. To enter the contest, you had to follow or re-tweet their Twitter, visit their Facebook or Instagram, sign up for their newsletter, or refer a friend. The contest was successful because the prize was something that everyone wants, and the terms of entry were simple. With over 6,000 entries, this contest was a beneficial way for GoodCellas to strengthen their social media presence and increase audience members.

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Do a Promo for Promo

Reach out to a company that is related to you without being a direct competitor. For example, if you are in the business of selling piano lessons, organize a deal with a local piano store. Offer to promote them on your social media if they do the same for you. This benefits both of you and will (hopefully) cause you both to gain followers. There are more creative ways to do this by simply sharing each other’s social media links. You could promote the piano store by offering a free lesson to the first person to follow them on a certain day, or they could offer a discount on a piano to the first customer that signs up for a block of lessons with you. Think outside the box and start networking with relatable companies today.

Create Fun Hashtags

Due to their clickable nature, hashtags are a great way for people who are discussing the same topics to interact. Hashtags are also a perfect way for companies and their customers to communicate. Red Bull created a unique hashtag campaign entitled #PutACanOnIt that involved people taking pictures with Red Bull cans in cool places or from creative perspectives. This campaign was engaging, fun, and resulted in 10,000 original #PutACanOnIt posts across Instagram and Twitter. If you create a hashtag campaign that is creative, participatory, and fun, you are sure to increase your social media audience.


Use Instagram to Create Artsy Photos with Your Products

Companies that get creative with their Instagram photos are making art, something Instagram users have more of an interest in, rather than plain old ads. Starbucks, for example, often uploads photos of its drinks with flowers, beaches, and bright colors in the background. Sometimes the drinks are featured alongside food, or the cups are decorated. The goal seems to be for users to scroll through their page and immediately crave a frappucino. Every single photo on their profile is visually appealing, and inspire people to click the follow button.


Relate to Pop Culture

Making your posts relatable by tying them into pop culture and current events is a smart way to relate to your audience and get people to notice your content. You can make your references as simple or complex as you want. If you have a lot of time on your hands and you want to create comprehensive infographics on the production behind popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black, go for it! Funny memes involving political candidates and sports stars work too, along with creative twists on popular song lyrics like IHOP does.


Post Instructional Videos

It’s not uncommon to log into Facebook and see a 5-minute video showing how to create some kind of colorful dessert or cool meal. Videos like this always have tons of shares, because easy-to-make food interests lots of people. Creating instructional videos that relate to your product is a great way to get current followers to share your content with potential followers. Nordstrom posted a makeup tutorial on their Facebook page detailing how to apply their MAC eye shadow, and it was shared almost 2,000 times. Other videos that accumulate views and shares are behind-the-scenes videos. Examples of this would include interviews with designers backstage at a fashion show, or this cool video from trophy company Recognition Source that shows how their engraving machine works.

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Generate Quality, Shareable Content

This may seem more like common sense than advice, and it may take longer to implement than the other tips, but this is the best way to create and maintain a large social media following. Helpful infographics, funny articles, and overall meaningful content will not go unnoticed. While hashtags, memes, and contests are fun, they must be done thoughtfully and well if they are going to work for your brand.

Keep the values and image of your company in mind when generating your content and you can’t go wrong.

Lyndi Catania

Lyndi Catania


Lyndi Catania is on the Always Found marketing team, a marketing division of Huemor.