If you’ve ever managed a social media marketing campaign, you know just how time-intensive it can be. You’ll need to dedicate hours every week to researching, posting, scheduling, and interacting with your audience, and only after a span of months will you start to see momentum in your brand reputation’s growth.
There aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to maximizing the long-term payouts of your campaign; you’ll need to invest in consistent quality over an extended period of time if you want to earn the best results. However, not all strategies take weeks, or even hours, to take effect. In fact, there are a handful of strategies that can earn you new followers in three minutes or less:
1. Reach out to someone. One of the easiest ways to get a new follower is to reach out to a stranger. In many cases, simply reaching out to someone — by following them and/or commenting on one of their posts — is enough to get them to notice you, and follow you back. The main caveat here is to ensure you aren’t spamming people; you’ll want to find people who might genuinely be interested in your niche. Try looking at competitors’ followers, and avoid leading with a canned response.
2. Jump into an existing conversation. You could also try jumping into an existing conversation. For example, if you find that a small cluster of people are talking about a topic of relative interest to your brand (such as using a relevant hashtag), try joining the conversation by using the same hashtag. You could draw on your expertise to answer a user’s question, or chime in with your own perspective on the topic. Either way, you’ll have some individual interactions, and you’ll increase your brand’s exposure.
3. Respond to an influencer’s question. You could get more exposure by responding to an influencer’s question; look for a high-profile user with thousands of followers, and watch for questions they submit to the audience. Give an answer, and you could instantly get seen by some of those followers; if it’s a good answer, you’ll make a strong impression with them, and a few will inevitably follow you as well.
4. Ask an influencer a question. Conversely, you could get an influencer’s attention by asking them a question. See if you can start a friendly debate; get their opinion on a topic and present them with a few counterpoints. Debates tend to attract lots of attention, and on an influencer’s scale, that could mean lots of followers. Influencer-based content tends to return 11 times the value of other forms of content marketing.
5. Jump on a trending hashtag. Take a look at some of the global trending hashtags, and see if you can incorporate one of them into your post. The caveat here is to avoid hashtag stuffing, the practice of including hashtags for the sake of including hashtags. Make sure you understand the significance and intent of each hashtag, and only include it in one of your posts if it’s appropriate to do so.
6. Ask your followers a question. Turn the attention to your followers and ask them a question about their thoughts, opinions, or preferences. Doing so is one of the best ways to generate lots of interaction, which will make your brand more visible to each of their followers in turn.
7. Take a shareable picture. Images always perform well on social media, and it shouldn’t take you long to snap a picture of your environment. Try to make the picture shareable in some way, either by making it entertaining or informative, or by incentivizing your audience to share it (such as with a contest, or an imaginative prompt).
8. Introduce yourself to a new community. You can’t get new followers unless you go new places — even online. Take two minutes to find a new community, whether it’s a social media group or a new website, and then take another minute to join in the conversation. You’ll be surprised how quickly this move can get you new followers.
9. Meet someone in person. Don’t underestimate the social media following you can build by getting to know people in real life. If you have business cards or some other way to quickly and easily introduce people to your social media accounts, you could easily gain a few dozen new followers in the span of a single networking event.
10. Reference your social profiles in a guest post. Finally, you can reference your social media profiles in a guest post you’re writing. If you’re already established as a guest contributor, you can cite one of your own tweets or social posts in the body, and hopefully introduce some new readers to your social presence. If you don’t have a guest author account, you’ll need to spend more than three minutes acquiring one; try to find a niche publisher that matches your brand’s industry or audience, and make a pitch for some new site content you could contribute.
These three-minute strategies aren’t designed to take you from 1,000 to 100,000 followers overnight, and they can’t resuscitate a failing campaign all by themselves, but they can give you a short-term, immediate boost with relatively little effort or time.
If you’re looking to hit a certain threshold by an upcoming deadline, or if you just have a few minutes to spare and you want to make the most of them, try using one or more of these piecemeal strategies to accomplish those goals.
For more content like this, be sure to check out my podcast, The Entrepreneur Cast!