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If you’re a social media manager, you’ve probably heard this before. “I want to grow my social media accounts, but I don’t like using social media.” You probably gave a slight eye roll at this statement because you know that growing social media accounts doesn’t come with posting once per week and captioning it #socialmedia. 

I get asked all of the time what my strategy for growing social media accounts is. How quickly growth happens depends on a few things, including:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Quality

All three are equally important, but if you’re trying to cut corners in one area, it will show how quickly your account grows. 

In this two-part series, I will walk you through the two-pronged approach to how to grow your social media organically. Part 1 will cover content production, and Part 2 will cover social media engagement which you can read here.

Before you actually see growth, you need to make sure some foundational items are in place:

1. Post on a consistent schedule

Developing a consistent content schedule is essential. Think of it this way – back in the day when we used to watch cable TV and not Netflix, we had a specific time of day we could count on our favorite shows being on and would tune in at that time every week to watch! The same thing happens with social media. After some time, you will gain some data on the best times to post for your audience, and your content should be scheduled during those time frames consistently. 

Pro tip: I have a client who gets 3x more engagement on Mondays at 3pm. We make a point to always post Mondays at 3pm. 

2. Post content your audience wants to see

Before I begin working with a new client, I map out “content themes.” These are buckets that different types of content would fit into. Some examples of content themes include:

  • Quotes
  • Did you know?
  • Testimonials
  • Promotions
  • Tagged photos
  • Blog content

There are so many different types of content you can post, but the idea is to have categories to analyze what content performs the best. For example, after 2-3 months, I might notice “quotes” don’t perform and will ditch that kind of content from the calendar.

Pro-tip: Splitting content into buckets is helpful when analyzing what performs well. For example, I have had a client that had generally speaking a type of category not perform well but when we tweaked the imagery to include people, the engagement increased.

3. Tailor your content to the platform you’re using

So often, I see the following mistakes:

  1. Content that was published on Instagram automatically posted to Facebook with Hashtags
  2. Graphics not resized for the appropriate platform
  3. Using links on Instagram instead of the swipe up feature or link in bio

Simply put, mistakes like this look lazy. 

Pro Tip: It requires more time to tailor the content to each individual platform, so it should be baked into your retainer. Using a tool like Loomly has helped me cut down on this time significantly.

4. Trends

Are you keeping up with the latest social media trends that are popular on the platforms you’re using? For example, when looking at Instagram, their algorithm is pushing reels lately where reels didn’t even exist a year ago. If you had looked at their platform five years ago, creators would put in blocks of 30 hashtags and gain hundreds of followers from a single post because of those hashtags. Now it’s arguable that hashtags play little to no part in the growth of an Instagram account because it’s too competitive. Some people still see this as the “way to growth.” But when you actually look at the numbers most likely, you won’t be seeing any followers from using hashtags. 

Pro tip: I recommend subscribing to the technical blogs for the platforms you specialize in so you receive an email every time a new feature is launched. You can guarantee that it will be weighted in the algorithm to use the feature if it’s a prominent feature.

Now, are you ready for my secret to social media growth and success?

You have to actually use social media

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear. Whether you’re a social media manager or you’re reading this as a business owner trying to grow your own platform, the secret to increasing your social media following is to use social media. In part two, we will talk about the engagement side of organic social media growth and your options for making this happen with the least effort.

I hope some of these tips help you provide more value when working with your clients. In summary, I treat my clients with the custom care they deserve. Are you looking for more ways to provide value to your social media clients? Download my Free Social Media Audit Template.