“Social media is used to build brand ambassadors, drive traffic, and convert sales. While building a social media following can be very difficult, one way to speed up the process is to tap into a fan base that is already established – that of your competitors. Yes, you can steal your competition’s followers right out from under their noses.” (Source: KISSmetrics)
For many small businesses, having a lot of followers on social media platforms, like Twitter, is like a status symbol. The Twitter followers to following ratio says a lot about your social impact; the closer your number of followers is to infinity and the closer the people that you follow is to zero the more impressive your social profile becomes.
The “transition from following many people to being followed by many people helps build your account’s credibility and authority. People tend to follow accounts that have a higher Twitter follower to following ratio than the other way round. Even if you have 100 followers and following 10 people, it speaks a lot about the popularity of your account,” according to DigiWriteIt contributor Daniel Macharia. More importantly, social media marketing needs an audience to work.
There is also another underlying rule to building a following on Twitter: if someone follows you, you should follow them back. Okay! It’s not an actual rule, but everyone does it hoping to get more followers (and it’s stupid). Why? Often, after gaining a new follower (most of the time) people end up unfollowing them at some point, anyhow.
Boost Social Media Engagement
The goal is to create a more targeted and engaged following. So, what if you could steal your competitor’s (or industry-related) followers?
Well you can, and you do it by doing something as simple as building relationships. It takes time but it’s worth it.
Because relationships are based on commonalities, involving competition is a natural, yet uncommon way to build them. So, instead of following someone that follows my competitor – hoping they follow me back – I go to a competitor’s account, find a recent tweet with high interaction (e.g., favorites, retweets, etc.) and leverage it.
Now, I don’t go into the comments of a post and try to interact with the people there. Rather I take a look at who engaged with the post. Then I click on their respective profiles and find at least two things that we have in common. If we don’t have anything in common I move on because I want to spend my time building relationships with people I know have mutual interests (which increases their likelihood of following me). I repeat this process with those that engage in competitive posts.
Once I find at least two commonalities I either favorite the post or comment on it. Often I try to do both as both those factors together build the best relationship with the person. I then find someone else and repeat the process.
I also take a look at my competitor’s followers and check out their profiles. This doesn’t work as well as the previous example because some of the profiles are often bots or inactive. This process also works well on other social media platforms, like Instagram.
Ultimately, social media is about building interpersonal relationships. When you take the time to engage in a targeted way your brand comes to life and brand personalities become personal. You just have to use it properly. And by fine-tuning your social community you’ll find that social media marketing efforts can work smarter.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Love my family, but business is my game. Always hustling and I love exotic cars. Oh! And you should follow me on Instagram too @MikeTandy.