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Acquiring many followers is something every small business owner strives for on social media. Growing a social media audience is no simple task though. It takes time and continual work. Each social media platform truly caters to different demographics and has a unique reason for existence. It’s important to understand those when trying to grow a social media audience. For instance, it’s well-known that Pinterest caters much more to women than men. Facebook on the other hand has a more diverse audience, as well as more extensive uses.

Many small business owners are often unsure of how to grow their social media audiences. These three methods shed some insight into ways to do just that.
 

 
Make it easy

One of the easiest and often overlooked ways to gain more followers is to make it simple and straight forward to follow. People are already so busy and on constant information overload that unless something can be done in literally one or two clicks, they likely won’t do it. Have social media icons everywhere and make sure they are clickable. From websites to emails, be sure to not only display your business’s social media icons, but also link them directly to each social media platform. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a Facebook icon on a website that does not link to their Facebook page with that icon. People want to be able to easily click and go directly the mentioned page. If you make users search for your business page, you likely lost them as a follower.

 
Incentives and contests

People love free stuff and discounts, which can be offered as an incentive for liking your social media platform. It can be anything from a coupon to a free consult for those providing various services. There are many apps that can even create a landing page. On Facebook, you can set up your page to immediately generate a coupon once a user clicks the like button. One such program that offers that is Constant Contact with their Social Campaigns app.

Another great way to gain new followers is by running a social media contest. Typically when small businesses run these they require the contestants to not only comment or share a post, but to like their page. There are many apps that can help randomly select winners from comments or likes.

 
Engaging content

If you share content people want to share, you drastically increase your chance of not only getting shares, but also obtaining more likes and followers. Small businesses often make the mistake of just posting about their business and sales oriented topics. While it is good to share that from time to time, be sure to also share posts that entertain, educate and inform. These can be things related to your industry or just be simple motivational quotes, memes and humor.
 

 

 
This article was written by Suzy Fielders for CBS Small Business Pulse
 

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