Growing a Social Following is Tough AF
Time, effort, hustle, appreciation, and work. These are just some of the factors needed to enhance your social following, regardless of the platform. This sounds pretty generic, so let me be more specific.
When creating and starting a social media account, you have to put yourself out there. You can't just sit and put stuff out without speaking to others. It's scary but you have to keep trying to drop in your opinion in the circles you're trying to get foothold in. Be active in conversation and try to network amongst other who hold the same passion as you. A lot of the time you may not get a response but do not get disheartened, continue to be interactive and things will work out.
There are metrics for how to grow your following such as how many people follow back, how many comments or likes you get etc but my suggestion is from experience set your standards very low. It will take a lot of time until people begin to care about what you do, even from your own friends. Let me speak about a few of platforms in particular and our obstacles with each below:
The easiest place to grow a following, because there is no ad barrier in place to stop exposure of your stuff unlike Facebook. (see what I did there with that pun?) People will follow you back, and a lot of them may well be bots or completely irrelevant, however it's imperative to thank each person and socialise with them on their account by dropping meaningful comments that will provoke thought and further conversation. It's not easy, and it takes a lot of time and attention each day but if you keep the momentum up on this you will see a snowball effect begin to form.
Keep in mind Instagram is an inherently vain platform; it's all about the perfect picture, angle, shot, or photoshop effect for us. Ever noticed that people look inch perfect on here but in person they do have some physical flaws you haven't seen before? A filter or airbrush makes such a huge difference, and that I'm afraid is what garners likes at the beginning. But the more you see through this and put out the ideas or images that you want to continue promoting, you'll be happier with your body of work. A lot of this can be hard to do long term when you try to put out a piece of content a day, and that's why it's important to enjoy/believe what you're putting out and trying to build an audience around.
Cash rules everything on here. If you want your content to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, you have to pay. It sucks but Facebook has so many businesses operating on here trying to get attention, that you have to now pay for space. However don't let this deter you from putting stuff on here. When you have paid Facebook once, it allows for the next 3 or 4 pieces of content to obtain reach numbers at about 80% of your sponsored post, but these will dwindle with each post that follows afterwards.
We at Impulse still try to post frequently on Facebook even though we haven't done a sponsored post for a long time. Reason being? We still want to be active on Facebook as we know people still search your page when learning more about what you do. Nowadays we search for the top 3 social platforms to see what kind of message you're giving when learning about new people in our lives. The same applies for businesses. The main platforms are still Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sorry Snapchat, you seem to becoming slowly obsolete to anyone over the age of 24. Keep publishing information on Facebook, share posts from others and keep going!
This is the only platform that has no real limitations on how much you can put out. Each tweet hold the same weight, especially in time order on Twitter's hard to understand timeline algorithm. I have noticed it's very, very hard to compete against larger corporations such as Mashable, Inc, Tech Crunch, or even news outlets e.g The Guardian, The Independent or The Times. They have so many pieces of content going up every hour it turns into an abyss of information. I put this down to their wealth of social media teams they have at their disposal, and frequent writers to publish articles on a daily basis. The same is said for video content on here; we have limited resources on how many video based items we can put out a week but these big players seem to breath a new video every second in the day.
We have obtained a small social following on Twitter, but there's a different way to use it. Twitter is really great at conversation and people reporting bug problems to us, or celebrating a new store joining us on our venture at Impulse. This makes Twitter worthwhile of the time, and we will continue to promote and publish relevant and cool content on Twitter until it becomes completely useless to the masses. If users are still going on Twitter, we still have an equal chance of getting exposure to people on a daily basis. It only takes on piece of unique content to blow us into a new stratosphere of interaction.