5 tips to increase Social Media traffic
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
✨ LUCY EATON
This year has been a real baptism of fire for me, Mel and Freddie. After steadily and organically (some might say "accidentally") growing our business for about 4 years, the decision to rebrand and officially launch this summer meant that overnight we had to learn a whole heap of business and marketing skills that up until this point we hadn't paid any attention to. Our incredible PR company, Munch, were a huge asset in that area, holding our hands through the launch and offering advice on the rudimentaries of branding, marketing and social media. As I'm the only one of the 3 founders who actually uses social media personally, I was pretty quickly labelled Social Media Manager and - to be honest - I love it! Learning new skills and immersing ourselves in totally different areas of work has been a thrill, and I've jumped into the social media pool head first.
Nowadays on my morning jogs, where I used to listen to Beyoncé I now listen to social media and marketing podcasts. No more motivational running playlists; it's all about Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast and the Social Media Marketing Talkshow, both of which are engaging, easy to understand and always giving me new ideas.
So here are my top 5 tips if you're starting out and want to smash it:
📱 1 - Frequency of posts
This is the oldest tip in the book, always the first on everybody’s tip list and I’m not being original at all in having it at the top of mine! But it really is that important.
If you want to build a network of followers and keep them engaged, you have to be posting frequently. Bear in mind that when you're a business or a brand, you're trying to gain followers who are not your personal friends. On my personal account it doesn't matter diddly-squat if I post once a day or once a month. My followers are people I know. They are following because they know me and they are interested in any update from my end, no matter when it appears. But if you're genuinely trying to engage people who have no loyalty to or personal interest in you, you've got to enable them to get to know you and give them a reason to stay interested. This means frequent, regular content.
There are all sorts of debates about how frequent is "frequent: some people say you should be posting every day, maybe even twice a day, but here's the real hum-dinger: Whilst there's no such thing as bad press, there really is such a thing as bad content. Instagram recently released a dossier on how their algorithms work and what the minutiae of the non-chronological timeline are. The information revealed that post importance (how high up the news feed certain posts will appear) is all dependent on your personal engagement with them. Basically, if you're liking posts by @quarterlifepoetry every time they appear, new posts from them will appear higher in your feed. Just as if you're liking posts by your mum, new posts from her will appear higher up in your feed. It has nothing to do with general popularity or what everyone else is liking, it's just to do with you. So what's the implication for us as businesses? Well, it means that we need to be putting out content that our audience are really engaging with, because if we put out a few crappy posts that a follower just breezes past without commenting or liking, our whole account will start slipping down their news feed. It also means that buying fake likes or fake followers isn't going to help at all (more on that later).
The same algorithms are not necessarily true of twitter and certainly not of facebook (people regularly appear on my facebook newsfeed who I am deeply uninterested in...) but it serves as a good lesson generally. Post as regularly as you can, whilst still keeping it high quality.
For @revelsinhand this means 3 times a week. We schedule 3 twitter, 3 instagram and 3 facebook posts per week, although we tend to engage with other things on twitter much more than that. There are loads of great scheduling programs out there, but we use Hootsuite (see below). It's all a bit of a whirlwind when you start out, but you get used to the website very quickly and scheduling posts in advance is a real weight off our shoulders. I love logging into my own twitter account to see a post from @revelsinhand that just went out 5 minutes ago whilst Mel, Freddie and I were all immersed in other jobs!
📱 2 - Instagram: Overall vision
On Instagram, it’s not enough nowadays that the individual posts are interesting and appealing, it’s important to have an overall vision for the account page. For example, I absolutely can’t get enough of accounts that manage to do an enlarged photo that's split across a number of rows, but this is definitely not a sustainable plan as it prevents you from ever being able to post individual photos without scuppering the entire look. What you can do is decide on a colour scheme or a general look to suit every picture you post.
We use an app called Whitegram to give an extended border size to every post. Being a luxury brand, it just gives the whole account a cleaner, more minimalist look. We also schedule very carefully so that every third picture is an actor headshot, in profile and in black and
white, whilst the next 2 photos are landscape and in colour. It creates a satisfying pattern when looking at the account as a whole (see below right). I was recently chatting to @theweddingwhispererpoet (a dear friend of ours who writes incredible bespoke poetry for people's special day) about the idea of a checkerboard effect on her account, alternating between images that contain writing and images that don't. There are a million different options but it really is worth taking a bit of time to suss out a way to make your whole account look cohesive, rather than a medley of random images.
📱 3 - Tagging
Tag tag tag to your heart's content. I promise it's not a clinical, spammy action (if you do it right); it's actually got a lot more heart than it may initially sound, because tagging is all really part of engaging. All these social media platforms were built to enable people to interact, and if you genuinely interact you win the algorithm-game! So tagging is all part of that.
On twitter, tag people you're talking about or inspired by - they may retweet or reply. On facebook do the same. On Instagram, tag other accounts in the caption to your photos and tag the photos themselves (but only if there is a specific brand or person in it - clickbait is nobody’s friend). Instagram recently installed a feature where accounts can repost instagram stories that they've been tagged in - if you tag somebody and they repost the story, then all their followers get introduced to you. Just remember to engage.
Which brings me on to other forms of engagement: Look at other people's accounts and participate. Join the conversation. Twitter is more about conversation than any other platform, so take 10/15 minutes every day to browse and participate. Look at your favourite people/businesses/brands and comment on their posts. Don’t just comment with a thumbs up or a generic useless emoji - actually say something. Agree, disagree, add to the debate. (But always be kind. No trolling please.)
📱 4 - Shortcuts to followers
All of the above are methods to gain more followers, but there are a number of shortcuts... I’m putting these shortcuts in here mainly to dissuade you, although there is one company that is worth your attention.
Generally speaking, buying followers or buying likes is a totally un-classy thing to do. Not only is it a bit naff, but it’s also really really obvious. I know somebody who claims to be an influencer, with almost 11k followers on instagram, but each of her photos gets no more than 100 likes. To highlight my point, by means of comparison take a look at Kendall Jenner: She has over 95m followers (Jesus Christ) and gets roughly 4m likes per photo, and Jenna Kutcher (who I mentioned in the introduction) has 617k followers and gets roughly 30k likes per photo. I’m a massive maths geek at heart, so let’s do the sums…
Slightly misguided “influencer” - 1 like for every 110 followers
Kendall Jenner - 1 like to every 24 followers
Jenna Kutcher - 1 like to every 20 followers
The numbers tell one story: real followers generate real interest and real engagement. Fake followers just make a number at the top of your profile look bigger. It’s not worth it.
But I did say there was one company worth your attention, so let’s get on to that. LikeGrowers was introduced to us by our fantastic PR team and it really is a clever idea if you want to push your brand in an organic way but just don't have the time. The premise of LikeGrowers is that you enter a list of hashtags that are appropriate to your account and your interests (for us that might be #theatrelover, #luxurylife, #weddingentertainment) and the website will go and like appropriate posts by other people on your behalf. So while I'm sending emails or in rehearsals, the @revelsinhand account is liking a bunch of posts that we really would be liking if we saw them. This in return just draws people's eyes to us. If our account liked their post, they might look to see who we are and find that we have much in common. LikeGrowers has undoubtedly played a huge part in growing our following on instagram and feels like a really fair and helpful way to add to the engagement we're doing anyway. As one reviewer wrote, it was "the spare finger that I was looking for."
📱 5 - Social Media Plan
At the end of the day, if you’ve got the means to, you can always just throw money at the problem! If you're feeling really stuck in a rut then hire a social media planner. We were lucky enough to kick off our rebrand this spring with a stellar social media plan from our team at Munch PR.
👍🏼They looked through the facts and figures to find out what were the best times for us to post in order to reach our following.
👍🏼They recommended what hashtags we should be using and when to use them (facebook is a no-no, twitter is a sometimes and instagram is a hell yes!)
👍🏼They helped start brainstorming a theme for each post. This isn't something super obvious that we expect our followers to pick up on but something to help guide us in the right direction if we're stuck on what to say one day.
There are plenty of really outstanding social media planners out there who make a living out of understanding these platforms, so if you're feeling a little lost at sea employ one of them to show you the ropes.
And then listen to Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast etc! There's an enormous amount to be learnt on spotify and iTunes.
If you've found any of this helpful then please comment below or tweet us @revelsinhand. Let me know if there are any big, basic tips you would add to this list. I'd love to know myself!