So, you want to get famous on social media, huh?
Even if you personally don’t want to get famous, I’m sure you’d love for your business to extend it’s reach and influence. You’ve likely heard of the value that a great social media following can bring to your business and you’d like to get there as quickly as possible.
What I’m going to provide you today are a few unique strategies that can help you gain a presence quickly, rather than just the tried and true slow and steady approach of “being active” on social media.
To be completely up front, a few of these strategies I’ve implemented and seen great success with. And a couple of these I have not tried yet, but will be over the coming weeks and months.
Stick around, because I’ll be sharing what I learn through this social media experiment in future blog posts.
To give you an idea of what I’ve done recently, I want to share a quick success story. On Oct. 14th, 2017 I started a brand new Facebook business page. I started with zero followers like everyone else. However, in just 17 days, I grew it to 10,800 fans! Plus, I have an additional private Facebook group in the same niche of nearly 500 highly engaged followers.
I’ll share exactly what I did below.
How To Build A Social Media Following & Increase Social Media Presence
How to Build a Social Media Following for Free
So, the way that I built a following quickly wasn’t free, but it’s a very valid strategy if you have a little bit of money to spend.
However, if you are more interested in building a following for free, there are plenty of options. I will try to share a few general strategies briefly because I know you are smart of can fill in the gaps, but also because each social media platform is different. (So, I’ll share more in-depth posts that are platform specific in the future).
If you are starting from scratch, here are a few ways that you can build your following (this can apply to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more).
Invite Your Existing Friends
Perhaps the easiest way to get started is to invite your friends and family to follow you on social media. If you have a personal Facebook account, you can ask your friends and family to like your business Facebook page or Instagram account.
This might not move the needle a ton, but it will get the ball rolling.
Be Active and Engaged
You need to post multiple times per day with content that your audience will enjoy. Not only post content, but also respond to comments and engage with your audience.
See what strategies are working well for successful influencers in your niche and see how you can implement something similar. Comments on influencer pages and share your links or content when it’s appropriate on those pages.
Following others can work quite well on Twitter in particular, since many people will follow you back once you follow them. However, I wouldn’t recommend going overboard here.
Cross Promote on Other Social Media Platforms
If you have any kind of presence on Twitter or Instagram (for example), try to drive some of that audience to your Facebook on Youtube pages.
Blog and Email List
Be sure to add your social media links on your blog to make it easy to share content and for people to become your followers. In addition, you can start adding your social profiles links in your emails as a way to generate new fans.
Hold a Contest
You can use software like Contest Domination to do a giveaway. You give something away and people have a shot at winning by sharing the contest on social media. This can build engagement and a following.
Make Something go Viral
I wish I could say I’ve had success with this, but I haven’t. However, there are plenty of examples out there of companies that were basically non-existent that built up significant followings on social media with one video or other piece of content.
Creative content can generate attention and interest. So, even though this isn’t easy to achieve, creating great content on a regular basis is still a smart business move.
How I Built a Facebook Fan Base of 10,800 in 17 Days
Now that you can see how valuable building up a social media following can be, how do you do it?
Well, there are 3 primary ways to build your following. I’ll share all 3 with you.
First is good old fashion hustle. I’ll share more details on this traditional option of starting from scratch.
However, the way that I quickly built up a Facebook page to nearly 11,000 “likes” in about 17 days was less traditional, I suppose. I decided to run “like” campaigns to build up my social presence.
That’s right, this isn’t a free option. But it’s an option that works very well if you have a little money to spend. In total, I spent $997.31 running ads on Facebook from Oct. 14th to Oct. 31st (17 days).
On Oct. 13th, I had no “likes” on this brand new Facebook page (in a niche completely unrelated to Niche Pursuits). Then I started running “like” campaigns on Facebook for the sole purpose of getting people to like my new Facebook page.
As you can see from the image below, it worked very well:
That equates to a cost of roughly 10.8 cents per like on average. I should point out that our ad costs were closer to 15 to 17 cents per like, but we also got some organic likes along the way that brought the overall average down.
As soon as I created the page, I also made sure to post multiple times a day (anywhere from 2 to 7 times per day) to keep it active and the audience engaged. Most of the posts were just motivational thoughts and images that were relevant to my audience. However, I also mixed in links to my own website to start driving a little bit of traffic.
( I created this Facebook page in a niche where I already have a website, so I had plenty of existing articles that I could link to on my existing niche website) .
The social media traffic coming to my website increased about 20 fold from Oct. 14th to Oct. 31st!
You can see from the image below what my typical social media traffic is to my site and then what it grew to:
This screenshot from Google Analytics shows traffic coming from social sources only. The traffic grew from roughly 10 or 20 visitors per day from social media to 200 to 500 visitors per day.
So, social media can absolutely drive traffic to your website.
What is a Like Campaign on Facebook?
This is not meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on how to run like campaigns on Facebook; however, I’d like to at least give you enough details to be dangerous.
I would also like to clarify I am not talking about “buying likes”. There is a big difference between running like campaigns and buying likes. Running ad campaigns to generate likes is a totally legitimate way to build a following. Buying likes through services is not a legitimate way to build a following. You can read more about why buying followers is a bad idea here. But in a nutshell it’s because fake audiences don’t have real engagement and won’t drive real revenue for your business.
On the other hand, Facebook (and other platforms have similar tools) has ad campaigns you can create called “like” campaigns. Essentially you can create a Facebook like campaign, which will put ads in the newsfeed of the audience you specify. When they click the “like” button, they become your fans or followers.
Adespresso has a great guide on how to create your first like campaign.
There are 3 critical components to running a successful like campaign to build a following quickly. First, make sure you target the right audience. You can select from millions of options on Facebook, so be sure to think through the demographic and interests that you want to target.
Second, is the headline of the ad. You can obviously test several variations of the headline, but again, think about the one phrase that your perfect audience would resonate with. Use that as your headline.
Finally, is your ad image. Try to find an image that both resonates with your audience, but also stands out a bit on Facebook. Depending on your audience a lower quality image might do better than a higher quality image. Or one with bright colors might do better than one with darker colors.
With these 3 variables, you can then test different ads to see what gets you the lowest cost per like.
Setting up a like campaign on Facebook is very simple and you could be up and running in just a few minutes.
Method 3: Buy a Social Media Account
In preparation for this blog post, I had the opportunity to connect via email with a social media influencer that had some interesting insights to share.
He really caught my attention when he said, “I currently manage over 10 million followers on social media and do over 10 billion impressions a month a times all organically through the various accounts I have.”
Wow, 10 million followers! This must be someone famous that we have all heard of right?
Turns out that Kyle Van Dyn Hoven, really is a behind the scenes guy. He doesn’t put his own name out there, but has several different accounts in various niches that all add up to millions of followers.
I had to get him on a phone call.
So, last week I picked his brain for an hour about what he does and how he does it.
My first question for him was, “Okay, so what’s the secret? How can I build a social media following quickly?”. His answer wasn’t what I was expecting. He said, “Don’t build it from scratch, go buy a popular account”.
This wasn’t at all what I thought his strategy would be. He then went into a long explanation of how he and many others buy and sell entire Facebook pages, Instagram, Twitter, and accounts on other platforms. Rather than working for years to build up something with 100,000 followers, he just goes and buys an account that already has this many followers.
This got my wheels turning, as perhaps it is for you as well.
Is this legal? Absolutely. The owner of the social media account is completely turning over his or her account to you to own and run as you please. In exchange, they get money.
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Do Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram care? Not really. In fact, they all make it fairly easy to transfer ownership.
How much does something like this cost? Well, obviously the price varies based on size of following, niche, but even more importantly, the engagement of the audience. If you buy an account with 100,000 followers, but there is next to no engagement, then it’s like throwing your money in the garbage.
But if you buy an account with just 10,000 followers that is super engaged, then perhaps your investment will pay off quickly.
Kyle shared with me where he buys his accounts, but it’s an invitation only platform, so I won’t share it here. However, if you do a quick search, you will see that there are plenty of marketplaces where you can buy or sell social media accounts.
To be clear, I have not yet purchased any social media accounts before, so I can’t vouch for how valid any of these marketplaces are. However, a couple of websites that regularly sell social media accounts (just as examples) are ViralAccounts.com, FameSwap.com, and SocialTradia.com.
Like anything, I’m sure there are plenty of other places that you can buy accounts. Or you can always contact account owners directly to see if you can buy their account. While contacting people is more work, you are also likely to find better deals if you find the right seller.
For example, you could buy an Instagram account with 49,860 followers on FameSwap.com right now for $2,500.
According to the listing, the current owner makes $500 to $1000 a month from this account. (Who knows if that’s really true, but it very well could be). And if you had your own products in the body building niche, you could probably leverage this audience for much more than $1,000 a month.
Or you could buy this Pets Life Instagram account on SocialTradia.com with 104,000 followers for $2,000.
The more I spoke with Kyle, the more I began to understand how well a buying strategy could work. Obviously some accounts are much more valuable than others, and you have to do your due diligence; however, you definitely can drive traffic and sales with social media accounts.
Now it’s up to you to decide which route you want to take.
What Should You Do With the Social Media Traffic?
Now that I have a Facebook fan page of over 10,000, what should I do with it?
If you are in the same situation, you COULD do a number of things:
- Launch your own products (physical, digital, software, etc)
- Drive traffic to an affiliate website and make money from Amazon Associates or display ads
- Get paid to do sponsorship posts – see Famebit.
My personal plan is to create a membership site (digital product) that is a perfect fit for my audience. A key part of this membership site will be a private Facebook group.
In fact, I’ve been mentioning the private Facebook group on my Facebook page (that I just built) and now have nearly 500 really active members in this group! My plan is to then turn this group into a paid Facebook group for about $10 a month (it would remain free for any existing members).
I expect to launch this new membership site in the first week of December.
So, for now, I’m making very little money from my Facebook following; however, I have a new product I’m creating that will be launched in just a few weeks that I hope does very well.
I will share progress updates over the coming weeks and months, so be sure to follow along.
Why Be Good At Social Media & Build A Following? A Few Examples…
Is building a social media following just a vanity metric, or is there actually value in having lots of followers on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?
Certainly in some regards, building large social metrics can be useless if the people behind those numbers aren’t actually interested in you or your brand.
However, if you have an engaged audience that is willing to click your links, share your products, and actually pull out their wallets and pay…then having a large social media following can be an immensely powerful asset.
Rather than just take my word for it, I wanted to share a few success stories of people building very real businesses off the back of social media.
Although it’s difficult to know exactly how much money BeardBrand is making each month, it’s safe to say that it’s alot. A few years ago they went from non-existant to $120,000 a month in sales in about a year.
According to the founder, Eric Bandholz, the company generates roughly 50% of all it’s sales from social media traffic!
Eric started out being very active on Youtube and Reddit to start his brand. However, you can see that the company does very well on a variety of social media channels.
They’ve clearly found a model that works by building a fanbase on social medial and driving that traffic to their online store.
Overall, BeardBrand has proven that social media can have a HUGE impact on a business. Building the right following of raving fans can lead to massive sales.
Shawn Johnson East
However, Shawn is a perfect example of someone that proves how valuable social media can be. As explained in a recent interview, she makes much more now (as does here former NFL husband) with their social media following than they ever did before.
To reiterate, this couple makes more being active on social media than they ever did being an Olympian or professional football player.
Shawn regularly helps brands launch their products to great success, as she often explains on the TV show, Adventure Capitalists. So, Shawn makes money with her social media following through advertising, direct sponsorships, and ownership in brands that she promotes.
Not a bad way to make money at all.
Bottom line, social media works.
What if you just have an affiliate website, and aren’t a celebrity (like Shawn Johnson)? Well SneakerNews.com is a good example of company driving a ton of traffic through social media.
The best part is that they are actually an affiliate website! They simply make a commission when they refer someone to Nike, eBay, or other shopping website that sells the shoes.
Now obviously this company is smart and does more than just social media. They are actively producing content that ranks in Google as well. However, the raving fan base they’ve built on social media is quite impressive.
Oh, and they don’t follow a single person on Instagram.
My Social Media On Niche Site Project 4
Social media was a strong driver of traffic and links during my niche site project 4. But I took a bit of a different turn with my social media channels.
In the past, I think that Facebook was the no brainer social media channel for niche site builders.
I don’t think that’s the case today.
Facebook has become very much play-to-win. Ad costs are skyrocketing right now and it’s becoming more and more difficult to succeed on Facebook. Even if you have people liking a page, Facebook restricts how many of them can see your posts.
Unless, of course, you decide to pay.
For my site, I used Pinterest.
For each new post I published, I pinned two images to Pinterest. This ended up being a significant source of traffic before Google kicked in and helped me draw in some natural links. This tactic may not work for all sites, but my site was in a backyard/outdoors niche.
Lots of my articles are about tools like lawnmowers or hedge trimmers. I wouldn’t have guessed that Pinterest would work as well for my niche as it did.
A Quick Recap and My Plans…
Overall, if you want to build a social media following, you have 3 options.
- You can use ads to get likes and followers. Yes, this costs money. But you get to target the exact audience you want and you can quickly build a following if done correctly. I was able to grow a Facebook fanpage in my desired niche to 10,800 fans in just 17 days.
- You can go the standard route of building everything organically through content and social interaction. While this method is free, it is usually the slowest option of the three.
- Finally, you can buy social media accounts and instantaneously have access to a large audience. The downsides are that it might be hard to find an account that matches your audience perfectly.
Over the next couple of months, I plan to implement all 3 strategies as I use social media to grow one of my businesses. I plan to blog about my progress here, so I hope you’ll stick around and follow along. I’ll be sharing specific strategies for growing audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and possibly others.
In addition, I plan to share exactly what works and what doesn’t for me as I implement these strategies.
Finally, as you follow along and implement some of these ideas in your business, I hope you find success! I will be looking for success stories in the next 2 or 3 months of people that have implemented some of the things I talk about.
So, as you see success, please let me know and we’ll figure out a way you can share that on NichePursuits.
If you’d like to read more about what I’m doing now, check out Niche Site Project 4. I give some social media tips there.