Chad Morris, Staff Writer, interviewed Vice President of Digital Marketing, Samantha Morris, for her top social media tips in this 6-part series.

It can be challenging getting traction for your online content when you only have a small following on social media. Fortunately, there are ways to help build momentum and increase the size of your audience who can then give your content the lift it deserves. The size of your network reflects the number of relationships you have with others. If you’re looking to increase the number of followers on one of your channels, you can accomplish this by providing value and meaningfully engaging with more people. In short, you get by giving when it comes to building your audience.

An effective tactic for building early exposure on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, industry blogs, and Medium, is to contribute to ongoing discussions in a meaningful way. These exchanges are often found in the comment sections of posts from high profile people and organizations. Following industry leaders, public figures, and reputable influencers, such as featured speakers from EXIT’s Annual Convention, can provide you with conversational spaces to engage on. When you contribute to online conversations, you’re establishing credibility, developing relationships with those with whom you’re directly in contact, and providing value to other readers who resonated with your ideas. These people on whom you’ve made an impact may then visit your profile and potentially follow you. You’ll want to avoid being overly self-promotional here, as your intention is to provide value to others.

The world around you offers one of the greatest opportunities for interacting with new people and developing relationships. After a favorable, extended interaction with someone, ask if they would like to connect with you online. There are many personal and professional benefits to becoming well-known in your community. It not only builds exposure and makes it easier to create a social media following, but it also keeps you top-of-mind for referral business. Attend local events in your area, be an active part of your community, and make your presence known. Volunteering at a non-profit organization is a great start. It allows you to give back to your community while building rapport with other volunteers. These can be invaluable additions to your network due to the wide demographic that volunteer work attracts. You can also make connections with other business professionals in related fields such as bankers, lawyers, or even the owners of the café down the street where you  regularly bring clients. Speaking of clients, they are another great connection to make on social media. So that you’re not overstepping your bounds, make sure you request permission to connect with them on social media.

In some cases, you may be losing potential followers because your connections don’t know where to find you online. The final tip for building a social media audience is to take the burden of search off your network by adding outbound links to your professional channels in places such as your website, blog, and email signature. The trick is to do this as succinctly as possible, especially within your email signature. Rather than including the full hyperlink, to save space you can use social media icons with embedded links to create a cleaner, more professional look.

It’s more enjoyable when you approach building your audience on social media as the by-product of engaging in meaningful relationships. When you do it this way, your network will be comprised of people who are invested in you, which is a valuable, rewarding asset.



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