Being heavily involved in marketing and social media, there is one sentence I hear more than any other – “how do I build my following?”

Now, while I encourage people NOT to focus on the numbers, we do need to acknowledge the truth. The higher your following, the more attention you’ll receive.

There are many ways you can build your following (or as I prefer to call it – community) and ultimately gain traction, leading to an enhanced database and possible client generation. And the best part? You do not have to give out free cars like Oprah, or lure people with your magic pipe, as per the Pied Piper. It is actually incredibly simple when you break it down into 3 easy steps.

1: Know your platforms. There is nothing worse than seeing someone post the identical image and content across all forms of social media. It not only is visually displeasing; it shows your lack of knowledge. Know your audience on each platform, cater your content and imagery to that audience, and post at the relevant times. Yes, it may mean more work for you in the long run, but if an additional 15 minutes gains you an additional 15 followers (and potentially clients), then isn’t it worth it?

2: Have a strategy. Once you feel you are comfortable with your ‘social media knowledge’ you need to put that knowledge into place and form a strategy. Plan your content, source your imagery and have it all pre-scheduled and ready to go. This allows you to not only create an appealing aesthetic (particularly important on Instagram), but to ensure you are not posting in a hurry – which can leave posts seeming rushed and unprofessional.

3: Be active. This is probably the most important. Just like you need to exercise to increase fitness, you need to be an active member of your own community in order for it to grow. If you schedule 3 posts to Instagram for a week, but don’t actively comment, like and ENGAGE on the platform, then don’t expect your numbers to grow. The same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn.

Like posts from other businesses you admire.
Share blogs that you have found interesting.
Comment on a post if it has resonated with you.

They are all small, easy steps to take and I can guarantee you that if you come across as engaged with your online community, they will engage with you right back.