The struggle is almost certainly real in the world of social media marketing – at least in it’s infancy. Social media marketing and management is a long term plan you should have built in to your already over arching digital marketing plan, and you include the following if you wish to grow your following.

These 20 different ways and pointers will help you exponentially within your social media channels and start to see the number pickup in no time.

1 – Be Consistent

The on thing all of the social media channels have in common is that you must stay consistent with postings and action. If you attempt one strategy for one/two weeks and see no difference and move on to a different strategy, they won’t work either. Test out strategies for longer periods and stick at them.

2 – Understand your Audience

If you don’t understand your audience and what they want, you may be fighting a losing battle. Look at popular articles via analytics to see what they enjoy seeing on your feed and weed out what they don’t.

3 – Reach out to Industry Influencers

Find popular people and those who have the most influence in your industry and reach out to them.

4 – Make social sharing buttons visible

If you want people to share your content for you and to help with engagement, you should have social sharing buttons visible on pages and blog posts so that people can share what they like without having to go into your social profiles to find it, then share.

5 – Post original content

You should have a content strategy, if not, build one that reflects your blog, social networks and any other channels you have. This can be great for consistency and not leaving you scrambling on those quieter days.

6 – Identify popular content

Getting new visitors to your website will often come down to how often your content gets shared and noticed. Analyse the most popular content to your audience and make more of it.

7 – Be proactive

Posting content on social media is simple, the next stage is engaging. Respond to comments, questions and complaints on your social channels quickly and within your brand.

8 – Hold a contest

To get more followers, this is often a popular tactic. You can host a contest or giveaway where you state you want your followers to share to their followers for example for the chance to win something.

9 – Actively find and follow

There is no harm in going out and searching for people you want to follow you and follow them or like their work in attempt to get a follow back.

10 – Use relevant hashtags

When posting an update, use relevant hashtags to attach to posts to attract new followers who are searching or following specific hashtags.

11 – Focus on quality over quantity

While posting more often is important, social media growth is more likely to happen when you’re focusing on sharing good quality content that your audience likes.

12 – Cross promote where possible

Aim to cross promote or share content from your other social channels in attempt to bring followers from one channel to another.

13 – Guest blog in your industry

By contributing to other sites in the form of guest posting, you have the chance to be shared within the other website’s social channels.

14 – Add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site

This is a step above just having social media icons visible. Embed a Facebook news feed or Twitter timeline in your sidebar will allow readers to get a taste of what to expect on your social streams.

15 – Try paid efforts

If you have some sort of a budget to use on Twitter or Facebook for example, you could extend your reach by promoting posts that have a history of engagement.

16 – Build network specific landing pages

Create landing pages on your site that visitors will visit after clicking on a link within your social channel before seeing the rest of your content. This tactic could increase followers slightly, but it will result in better conversions on site.

17 – Use humour

Touching on peoples emotions is a great way of engaging. Through your updates on social channels, humour can result in increased sharing – just beware, that you need to keep your humour relevant to what your audience expects.

18 – Reshape other industry popular content

Aim to share, comment and like other posts from industry leaders – hoping in turn from them to do the same to your content.

19 – Become an admin in a LinkedIn group

As you provide valuable insights and help others out, group members will be inclined to visit your website, blog or social channels and want to follow you.

20 – Set goals

Set yourself short term, specific goals for number of fans, followers or posts you want to share each week & month. This will give you some sort of measurement of success and failure from week to week.