Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer.
I just started handling social media for a new client who’s only following 9 other accounts. Since she doesn’t go on social media (that’s why she hired me) I asked her if she felt comfortable with me following people on her behalf. Here’s why I did that.
Only Following A Few People Looks Like Spam
There are a number of ways people can spot a phony account and one of the red flags is someone who isn’t following a lot of other accounts. By the same token, following hundreds, or even thousands, of other accounts also looks a lot like spam. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re following fewer people than are following you.
Obviously that won’t be possible when you’re just getting started on social media and still building your following. You’ll have to follow more people than are following you until you’ve had a chance to build your following, which is why the other accounts you choose to follow matter – it’s another way to gain visibility.
People will see your account when you start following them, and if they like what they see, they might decide to follow you back. Some people automatically follow back everyone who follows them. Personally I’m not a fan of this method (I think it’s cheap and insincere), but it is an effective way to boost your followers, at least in the short run.
Search Your Industry
Thanks to hashtags, I can use the search bar on various social media sites to see what accounts are talking about content marketing. I can then choose to follow some or all the accounts that pop up, but always keep an eye out for spam accounts. You don’t want to follow them and you don’t want them following you, which brings me to my next point:
Watch Out For Spam Accounts
Spammers are pretty easy to spot. As previously noted, accounts that are following too many or too few people are probably spam. If their bio is full of links, misspelled words, and/or poor grammar, those are all red flags. International accounts are also usually pretty suspect, unless you operate in that particular country.
No profile photo (or a generic photo) is also a red flag. You don’t necessarily have to post a photo of your own face (though that is always preferable), but it should be something unique that is directly related to what you do. Accounts that still have the default image as their profile picture are automatically suspect and should be avoided.
If You See Anything Suspicious…
Most social media accounts have channels by which you can report suspicious activity and you should always take advantage of this. Unfortunately, most social media sites don’t do nearly enough to try to eliminate cyberbullying, but you can do your part by alerting them to accounts that are most likely spam. They’ll look into it (which doesn’t take them long at all) and if they confirm the account is spam, they’ll delete it. Some of them might even send you a notice confirming the account was spam and that they deleted it, which is always nice to receive.
Play Around With It
The best way to know whom to follow is by playing around on social media. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this, but you should at least spend a few minutes every day or two experimenting. See what people are saying, take a little time to scroll through accounts that come to your attention to see what they’ve been posting over the past few days/weeks/months.
All the while, take note of what grabs your attention and why. Once you realize how you find people to follow, you’ll have a better idea of how to attract new followers.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the accounts you can follow on social media? Let’s chat.