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Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Do I Increase My Followers?

Wordle: How Do I? by cbwhittemore
A question that comes up frequently is "How do I increase my followers or fans or subscribers?"

Several people asked that question during my MarketingProfs online seminar on How to Manage Your Reputation in a Social World as well as during my Coverings 2011 presentations.

The easy answer is that you can increase the number of followers, fans and subscribers by engaging with them. Say thank you; get to know them; acknowledge them; be respectful; offer them content that addresses questions they have about your product or service. Imagine if your fans, followers and subscribers came by your office, store or home. Wouldn't you greet them and invite them in for conversation? It's the same online.

At the same time, I caution against 'get rich quick' schemes that guarantee you 1000s of followers and fans overnight. The result of such a strategy may be good for your ego, but it will not deliver quality of interaction, the possibility of building credibility online and the opportunity to establish long term business relationships over the long haul.  It will, however, offer you considerable spam and irrelevant messages. Much better to build your base of fans, followers and subscribers consistently over time as a result of exchanging value and meaning.

Given the relevance of the topic, I thought it would be valuable to share with you other perspectives on how to increase your followers, fans and subscribers.

Social Media Examiner has just published 17 Ways to Grow Your Blog From Top Bloggers which includes perspectives from some of the best bloggers around on How To Grow Your Blog:

Mitch Joel recommends being active in other communities first.
Michael Brandvold says to write about what you love,
Mark Schaefer suggests writing insanely great content.
Mark Robertson recommends that you answer questions for your audience.
Danny Brown says to offer real value.
Mike McGrail recommends that you be there for your readers.
Deb Ng says to say something new.
Gini Dietrich states make your readers feel good.
Fransisco Rosales suggests respecting your audience.
Stanford Smith says to focus on evergreen content.
Tom Webster recommends that you know your goals and stick to them.
Lee Odden urges that you deliver as promised.
Jay Dolan states that you should give each reader opportunities to interact with you.
Jason Keath says to ask for subscriptions at the end of  your article.
Mack Collier recommends placing your subscriber box at the top.
Ricardo Bueno urges that you offer a benefit.
Kristi Hines recommends letting people follow you in the way they prefer.

Do you detect a theme?

As it relates to Twitter, you may enjoy The Drew Blog and 7 Crazy Ways to Increase Your Followers on Twitter. My favorite? "Bribe them with prizes." That is sure to deliver deep loyalty! And, assuming that a Charlie Sheen type follower base is the ideal target market for your business, you might learn something from How Charlie Sheen Got 1 Million Twitter Followers in 24 Hours (and what we can learn from it)...  The most critical lesson in my mind is that you produce engaging content which means that you need to be paying attention to what matters to your followers...

As it relates to Facebook, this article titled Promote Your Business With Facebook - Effective Strategies will offer you good ideas.

What have you found most effective for increasing your fans, followers and subscribers?

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Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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