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Social Media in 2018: How to Build Following and Engagement

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Keys to Success: Good Hashtags, Following, and Contests

Even with widespread backlash against Facebook for its handling of personal data—and vows by many users to close their accounts—social media in 2018 will remain key for marketers who want to introduce their products and services and build sales through increased following and engagement. But all of these strategies hinge on one thing: building a following and driving engagement

Social media engagement and bigger followings go hand in hand, say social media pros, and both are centered around great content.

#Hashtags Work If You Want to Increase Instagram Followers

Hashtags are key for social media marketing, particularly for Instagram and Facebook, notes

Instagram recently rolled out the ability to follow hashtags, which means that instead of having to search for an Instagram hashtag and scroll through an endless feed, your posts could now show up automatically in the feeds of potential new followers.

But what’s also key, notes, is that Instagram’s algorithms favor hashtags which are changed up for each post—don’t simply copy and paste the same row of keywords, as that can result in a shadowban.

And when it comes to the actual words?

“Get creative with your hashtag,” encourages online advertising consultant WordStream. “Be funny, ironic, or outrageous—but never boring!”

Increase Twitter Followers by Following and Spreading Great Content

When it comes to Twitter, while the details are different, the themes are the same.

There’s real value to being on Twitter, notes a report from Hubspot, which says that more than one-third of marketers report gaining customers using the social media platform.

Forbes found that marketers can get ahead on Twitter using a few basic fundamentals:

  • Tweet enticing, informative content
  • Follow potential customers so they’ll follow you back
  • Tweet content so it gets seen—i.e., schedule it
  • Promote your account effectively

Use a tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial to schedule your tweets, Forbes recommends.

“Posting regularly will increase your engagement and visibility, thereby increasing your follower count,” the site says.

Facebook: The Advantage of Numbers

Facebook got into trouble for its use of personal data, and while some users were unhappy that their data were sold, it’s hard to argue with the value of it for marketers. With more than two billion users worldwide, you can effectively increase your Facebook likes and followers and boost your business with both organic posts and promoted content. Organic content on Facebook has a conversion rate of up to 30 percent, while ads clock in close to 20 percent, notes social media marketer Jeff Bullas. When it comes to Facebook, Bullas suggests:

  • Rotating ads daily
  • Running competitions
  • Cross-posting content from a blog or website
  • Using good photos and great written content
  • Integrating Facebook content with content from your website, Instagram, and Twitter pages

“Even though growing your Facebook likes is important don’t forget to continue to grow both your email subscriber list and Twitter followers,” writes Bullas. “Different users have different social network channels of choice and you need to be everywhere. ‘Synergize’ multiple channels, don’t ‘Monopolize.’”

Snapchat and LinkedIn: Targeted Tools for Brand Promotion

While teens have been using Snapchat for years, its use by marketers is still fairly immature. Regardless, there’s lots of potential to be harnessed: the site has more than 100 million actively daily users, notes Hootsuite, and reaches more than 10 percent of the entire U.S. digital population. The combination of the strong use and marketing newness means there is a lot of opportunity.

“Every brand that’s ever existed seems to have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (and, increasingly, Pinterest,” Hootsuite notes. “Though Snapchat as increasing amongst brands quickly, there’s still less competition here for businesses than on other platforms (and) if millennials are included at all in your target audience, you should definitely be on Snapchat.”

Finally, don’t forget LinkedIn. This site has powerful reach among influencers and is a prime way to show your company’s professional side. Check out some of the best LinkedIn company pages to see how pros use LinkedIn to build their brand as well as communicate corporate values and nab talent.

“LinkedIn is a powerful social platform not only for professionals but also for companies that they work for,” noted Digital Doughnut. “So if you are a small business and do not have a company page on LinkedIn now is the time to get started. You should also encourage your employees to have profiles on LinkedIn and connect them to your company page for more exposure.”

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