How to get more followers

Paul Boag

Companies have become obsessed with social media and how to get more followers. However, despite this obsession they are failing at the most basic level.

Social media can feel like a very alien concept to a traditional marketeer. Where traditional marketing is about broadcasting your message to the target audience, social media is a two-way conversation.

To make matters worse users have to actively choose to follow you on social media, where marketeers were previously used to effectively forcing their message on people.

Marketeers recognise the value of persuading users to follow them because it provides an opportunity to keep their message and brand constantly in the forefront of their target audiences minds. Unfortunately many marketeers seem unimaginative when it comes to persuading people to follow them.

All too often the call to action to follow on social networks consists of nothing more than a Facebook or Twitter icon.

Social Media Sharing Icons on Engadget
Is this really the best we can do to encourage users to follow us?

Give users a reason to follow you

Recently I was reviewing a site that Headscape has launched for the Butterfly conservation charity. This is a great site for a number of reasons, but what really jumped out at me was their social media calls to action.

Instead of merely slapping on a couple of social media icons they give users tangible reasons why they should follow Butterfly conservation on either Facebook or Twitter. They also clearly differentiate between what they offered on the two different networks.

Butterfly conservation shows you how to get more followers
Butterfly conservation understand that you need to give users reasons to follow you.

It is no longer enough simply to have a social media presence. We need to be seeking ways to actively integrate these into our broader digital strategy and consider how they fit in to the user journey.

As I said in my talk “does your website play nicely with social media?” the user journey is not constrained to a single channel but will include interactions across both social media and your website. It is therefore essential that we help users move seamlessly between these channels.

“Thumb up like button or pointer isolated on grey background.” image courtesy of