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3 Ways to Increase Your Brand Following

This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

Frequently brands will focus on how to turn into consumers but overlook the importance of enticing their current shoppers to follow them on social media. However, companies can enhance their reputation as a legitimate source of valuable information and increase revenue when buyers become fans.

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When a 's social media sites are up-to-date with frequent activity, site visitors are more likely to view the business as a trusted source. In fact, according to Ballihoo, 63 percent of consumers who search for local companies online are more likely to purchase from one with information on social media sites. And by having a significant number of fans as well as positive and interaction from current consumers, prospective buyers viewing social media sites can be reassured that the product or service the business provides is trustworthy.

It's also an efficient means to receive feedback from your buyers and cater to what they want. , a luxury company, is a prime example. Using multiple social media platforms, they encourage shoppers to leave suggestions for what their next accessory or clothing item should be and ask fans to provide feedback on their latest runway items. This way, Burberry can co-develop the brand with their buyers and continue to increase revenue.

There are three fundamental ways to increase the number of shoppers who follow your brand:

  • Advertise
  • Offer incentives
  • Provide useful information

1. Advertise

Consumers may not know to follow your company until directed to your social media pages. Include your social media information at the bottom of customer receipts, on businesses cards or as part of employee email signatures. Signs inside your business encouraging shoppers to follow your brand and information on the business website are also helpful.

2. Offer Incentives

Give consumers a reason why they should follow your brand – perhaps free products and services, discounts or insider information. For example, site visitors could be given a coupon once they "like" your company page. Another option is to create contests, such as coming up with the best slogan for the company or the best picture-of-the-day relevant to the brand, and the winner receives a free item from your business. Promotions and deals that are exclusively offered on your social media pages or the opportunity to buy a product before it is available to the public also boost fan numbers.

3. Provide Useful Information

Pique the interest of your consumers by offering compelling and useful information. According to Adroit Digital, 75 percent of Americans who use the Internet said product information found on social media influences their shopping behavior and strengthens loyalty to the brand. So produce helpful content about your brand as well as interesting material relevant to your target audience.

According to the ODM Group, 74 percent of consumers rely on social media to gain information about products, which will influence their purchasing decisions, and Nielson found that 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. Therefore, it's critical for your brand to have a strong social media presence with engaged followers who attest to the legitimacy of your brand. Additionally, consumers can provide feedback that will help your business evolve its products and services to meet the needs of its target audience.

Written by Phillip Thune, CEO of Textbroker.

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