How to build up your social media following from 0

Scarier than Freddie Kruger on a date with Jigsaw, starting a fresh new social media account in a world of favourites and followers is pretty daunting.

But we ALL started somewhere, and there are new social media accounts popping up every day that do just fine despite starting completely from scratch.

Individual channels will have their individual preference on how exactly you use them day-to-day. But these basics apply to pretty much anything and will stand you in good stead for your new social media adventure.

1. Write yourself a really great bio

Approach your social media bio like a 30-second job interview: Be friendly, briefly say what you do, explain how that benefits them, and throw in an extra dash of sparkling personality.

It doesn’t matter if your channel is a person (i.e. you are the face of the brand) or a brand voice, these are the basic things everyone uses to determine if you’ll get more of their time.

Make that space count… and make it unforgettably punchy.

2. Begin the big follow spree

Unless you’re Lady Gaga or KFC, you cannot expect to be discovered online and followed en mass by magic.

Extend an olive branch and follow a bunch of people first, and spend a good chunk of time researching and following relevant people who are going to turn your timeline into a joyous place to be.

Spend a bit of time doing this every day for the first few weeks of your channel’s life and you’ll soon be on a roll.

3. Don’t use bots

We cannot make ourselves any clearer on this: DO NOT use bots! The follow/unfollow strategy employed by social media bots (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. You’ll soon get direct message on your shiny new account and offered a “deal” on one) has long been foiled by social media brands, and all you’ll get for your money is a useless account and a handful of legit followers eventually lopped off. Not. Worth. It.

4. Engage

We’re bored of hearing this one too, but honestly, the best way to start out is to sit and chat to people. And although you’re definitely going to need consistent content posted on your channel, we’ll happily argue that the conversations you’re having with others on social media are more important than crafting the perfect post (for now).

Honestly, this is the bit to focus your time on when you start out. Connect with people. Make them want to see what you’re all about.

5. Use intriguing, human imagery

Imagery and video have a lot riding on it, and there’s a line to tread. Unless this really is the pinnacle of you/your brand and you’re creating a high-end channel, picture-perfect flatlays and clinical glamour *probably* aren’t going to be the way to go.

Increasingly, social media users want more, genuine, imperfect pictures to escape the perils of social media comparison and loneliness. They want to be able to connect with a person. So make your content striking and relatable for more human connection and meaningful conversation.

Plus, most of us can spot a stock photo a mile away, and whilst we’re not against mixing them into your channel, use your own photography when you can.

There’s an extensive list of strategies, tactics and possibilities that will no doubt help you reach astronomical follower numbers on your chosen social media channels. But follow these tips to build your following on firm foundations and you’ll always be leading with your best foot first.

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