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When looking to amplify your social media strategy, a metric many focus on is following. After all, numbers are easily identifiable, easy to analyse and demonstrate growth to suggest whether or not your strategy is working or not.

However, there are more benefits to growing your following than just some impressive numbers to show. These benefits include:

• The more followers you have, the more likely it will be that someone will share your posts, meaning your posts will reach an even larger audience
• More followers can lead to more website visits, more leads and new business
• People generally like to follow a crowd – if people see you have a lot of followers already, they’re likely to join suit and hit that follow button

So, what are the best ways to gain followers?

We’ve listed some of the top ways to increase your social following across your channels to get you started.

• Make sure you have clear, easy-to-find links to your social media channels on your website and blog, and cross promote your channels across the platforms
• Link to your social media channels in your company email signature
• Make sure all of your employees link your social channels to their bios in their own social pages
• Update your bios on each platform, so they fully communicate who you are and what you do
• Be active; update your pages regularly, and engage with your existing following, and other relevant accounts that you’re interested in
• Use popular hashtags to gain visibility and popularity, and to appear in people’s news feeds
• Host contests and competitions – reward people for following you, and give them a unique, appealing incentive to do so
• Don’t regurgitate the same content across all your channels. If you do this, your followers will only need to follow you on one channel. Mix it up a bit, optimising each channel and posting fresh, original content across each one
• Add your social media handles to your corporate branding and marketing materials, such as presentations, newsletters, business cards and even things like out-of-office email replies
• Use carefully planned advertising across your main channels to target relevant audiences who you think could benefit from your products or services, and who you think would benefit from following you on social
• Respond to all mentions of your brand across social, whether they’re positive or negative
• Get following people, and you may be rewarded by a follow back
• Inject your brand personality into your social media, so that followers can gain a unique insight into life at your company from following you