Before the Internet became as far reaching as it is today, it was measured how popular someone was by how much they went out on weekends or the size of their group around their lunch table. Nowadays, anyone can see how many people like your posts, pictures, and comments. With social networking booming, everyone seems excited to dive in. However, there are more than a few overly-excited Twitter-ites who are looking at their seventeen followers and thinking, “I’m a witty, fun person. Why don’t people want to hear from me??”
And it isn’t only close pals checking out your pages, either. As the tread gets deeper into the digital age, more companies and employers are watching the social media sites of their applicants. While some of you may be feeling A-OK about this, a lot of you may be remembering those snapshots from late night partying (“What? Don’t tag me in this!”) that made their way onto your profile.
So, whether you’re hoping to get your dream job or impress thousands of strangers, there are specific strategies College Magazine has discovered to increase your following. Here’s a compilation of some of those top tricks to get and keep your fanbase.
1. Follow People, and Lots of Them.
You want followers, don’t you? Well, it only makes sense to go out into the vast internet world and find some blogs or Tweeters that you actually enjoy and follow them. This is a top tip given by social media geniuses to cast your blog or your Twitter out into the mainstream.
As for job hunting, it’s critical to follow people in your field. If you plan on going into journalism or business, for instance, find some blogs or Twitter accounts that relate to your field and interests and follow them. Most likely, they’ll be posting relevant information about the career you hope to snag one day. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on the happenings of your industry as well as making some connections.
2. Find an Identity – Stand Out From the Cybercrowd.
Tanesha Awasthi, creator of the vastly successful Girl with Curves fashion blog with more than 100,000 Tumblr followers, says that having a concrete identity is a great way to increase your readership. “I think that success in gaining an audience stems from developing consistency in posting original content in addition to creating your own unique voice,” Awasthi says. Think about it: with a clear identity, say, as a fashion blogger, you reach out to fashion enthusiasts, giving them consistent material that interests them. With a clear-cut identity, you’re sure to find a devoted following.
Draw your own conclusions and write them up, or post a link on Twitter. For job-searchers out there, this is even more crucial. Keep abreast of what’s going on in the world and write about them. When employers are linked to your site, they’ll see that you actually know what you’re talking about. In today’s highly competitive hiring atmosphere, small things like an active and up-to-date current events blog can do wonders to set you apart from other applicants.
3. Interact With Your Audience.
This is another important tip given by social media experts. Having others realize your existence (besides your Farmville-guru uncle) is a big step in social-networking. Comment on your favorite blogs and retweet your favorite Twitter-ites. Some sites like Tumblr and other blogs often have sites that take submissions of photos, articles or quotes for themed sites. Send them in and see if you can get them posted by the user. Of course, this applies both to the strictly social aspect as well as the business side. If you are browsing a Breaking Bad forum or a researcher’s blog, create discussions that show you are engaged in the material. For the former, you’ll probably get an increased amount of clicks back to your main page to see more of your material, which naturally results in more followers. For the latter, those connections could be crucial later on.
On the flip-side, as an admin on your own blog, encourage whatever followers you have to leave comments or send messages on how you’re doing and how you can improve. Encourage submissions. and if someone does send you a comment, respond personally. Awasthi highly recommends this tactic by reminding “a personal response that creates a lasting impression and sense of connection goes a long way!”
4. Internet Fame Doesn’t Happen Overnight.
This is possibly the most important tip to remember: you won’t reach internet stardom in a week or even a month. It takes time for your content to make its way around cyberspace, and it may take awhile to reach a large audience. Likewise, even a most impressive online resume or business blog may not get you the job you want. If it doesn’t, you have to keep on updating, keep on writing because one day, it will pay off.