Forget Hacks -- Here Are the 2 Things You Need to Do to Grow Your Following on Social Media

Many social media tricks exist, but these are two valuable tactics that will help you grow on any platform.

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By Spectacular Smith

Hiroshi Watanabe | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Social media platforms offer such a significant advantage to entrepreneurs -- with 2.3 billion active users on Facebook to target it is foolish to ignore. As the platforms grow, so does the competition and clutter, making it almost impossible to be seen. There are 65 million business pages on Facebook and a 2014 study by LinkedIn found that 81 percent of small to medium-sized business use social media for marketing.

Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

I have rapidly grown multiple social media accounts and am beginning to get recognized for my success. One common question I get asked a lot is, how do I grow the accounts at such a fast pace? This question is hard to answer because there are many growth methods to use, and I do encourage you to test and use them all. However, there are two key methods that will help you grow fast. If you've read growth articles you are probably familiar with the established advice like share valuable content, have a plan, follow for follow and many others. Although these concepts are important, I have two valuable tactics that work every time.

  • Create trendy and valuable content you know will go viral instantly.
  • Share your content with other content creators and then reach out to the influencers in your niche and ask them to share your post.

1. Create and share trending content

First, you need to create valuable and viral content that is entertaining to your audience. It's also very important that you connect the content with up-to-date, hot topics. You can achieve this by looking at what's trending on social media and Google trends. Then, you can create content around holidays and special events like National Cheeseburger Day or National Donut Day. After you have created your masterpiece, you want the maximum amount of exposure and this will help.

Writing about current and relevant topics is a great way to boost traffic to your website. This is how to find out if you are choosing the right topic:

  • Is this topic relevant to my business?
  • Is this topic relevant to my audience and potential customers?
  • Do I have expertise and knowledge about this topic?
  • Can I write something about it?

If you answered "yes" to all four questions you have the green light and should create content surrounding this trending topic.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Twitter Trending

Here's an example using the "#TuesdayThoughts" hashtag. I started off by writing a small, engaging tweet and including the trending hashtag "#TuesdayThoughts." By using this hashtag it helped increase my post visibility instantly, which allowed the tweet to appear in the trending hashtag section along with the other posts that utilized this hashtag. My visibility increased my number of impressions to 38,719, compared to my average of 2,441.

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 5.32.06 PM.pngTrending content on Instagram

To create trending content for Instagram, head over to Google Trends, pick a topic and use the four steps above to find content that fits.

As an example, Martha Stewart recently appeared as a popular topic on Google Trends. The hashtag #marthastewart would be perfect on Instagram for interior designing, baking, cooking or other related topics. Let's take a look at the No. 1 post on that day that used #marthastewart:

This is such a great post. It has a call to action -- "Tag your Snoop Dogg" -- which encourages uers to tag their friends and family. This makes the post engaging and more visible. The post also stays true to the brand while using a trending hashtag.

Related: 12 Social Media Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

The engagement on this post was very high. Looking at how this post performed compared to others in the same week, it did phenomenal. The post had over 6,300 likes vs. an average of 2,100 likes.

Another way to find trending topics to use on Instagram is to go to the explore tab. However, keep in mind your explore tag is not what is trending worldwide but what is trending based on what you like and whom you follow. You can see what topics people in your circle like and get an idea of what to post.

Facebook Trending Topics

Facebook really wants to be the best way for users to get news fast and first. Including information about a trending topic can be one way to improve a post's visibility.

Not everyone sees the same trending topics. There are five categories: All News, Politics, Science and Technology, Sports and Entertainment. If you are tech-savvy, you will probably click on technology stories. If you run a gossip blog, you might click on entertainment. The best topic is something interesting that appeals to a wide range of people while connecting with your niche.

Here's how you can use your Facebook Trending Topic for more visibility and growth: Start by clicking the entertainment tab all the way to the right. For example, I recently saw Selena Gomez was trending. Once I clicked on her name, Facebook showed me all of the public posts and posts within my network related to that topic.

Related: This Instagrammer With More Than 2 Million Followers Literally Cooks Her Content

To get into the conversation and join the trending topic, you can share a post like this one:

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 2.42.36 PM.png

2. Get your content shared by influencers.

It used to be that marketers would try to grow reach by using the "follow for follow" method, which was to follow people so that they would follow you back, but this tactic isn't as effective anymore. The new and improved method is "share for share." What this means is reaching out to the top influencers in your niche and having them share your content. This give your content more ROI, because you get traffic from a well-established source.

Related: 10 Proven Ways to Make Millions on Social Media

When influencers share your content, you might get their audience to be your audience as well. If the influencer's followers like your content, they might follow you, too. This increases visibility, engagement and credibility. When more influencers started sharing my content, more people were encouraged to share my tweet. My tweet below originally got about 3,000 impressions but this increased to 30,000 impressions once it was shared.

You can also share your content in other groups and communities. Discover your current niche and find the groups that are interested in these areas as well and then begin to post your useful content. You will find these groups in Reddit and Facebook.

I hope these tips were useful and you begin implementing them right away. There are many growth techniques available and you should test each one of them. Remember not every technique will work for your company, so always continue to test until you find what does.

Related Video: How to Promote Yourself and Your Content on Social Media

Spectacular Smith

Founder and CEO of Adwizar

Spectacular Smith is an American multi-platinum recording artist, entrepreneur, bestselling author, social media guru and entertainer. Smith is the founder and CEO of Adwizar, a social media marketing agency.

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