If you use social media and click around on the profiles of random individuals, you'll notice that the vast majority of users do not have thousands of people following their activities. But for anyone serious about using social media to build a personal brand, a strong following can be a springboard to untapped opportunities and a robust network of people in your corner who can open doors and help promote your agenda.
But unless you're famous, attracting thousands of fans to your feed may be a challenge. Not sure how to proceed? Take some tips from Peter Aceto, former long-time CEO of the branchless internet bank Tangerine and author of Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me. With more than 20,000 followers on Twitter, here are his words on the tactics anyone can use to grow a following on social media.
1. Have a point of view to share.
If you are in a leadership position, people want to learn from your insight. This is what social media is all about for me, learning from one another, so if you are willing to learn, be willing to share.
2. Share other people's content.
When you do, make sure to credit them where possible. This is an easy way build "social" relationships by acknowledging the writer, and their thoughts. You may also disagree with them, and that could make for a great conversation.
3. Engage authentically in conversations.
Don't just talk at people. Clients especially get a kick from the CEO of their bank helping them solve an issue. No one wants to hear corporate talk, the point of social media is to get direct, quick access. So be direct in your language.
People talk about you without tweeting you directly. Take the time to build the search capabilities that allow you to listen in on conversations about you. You may solve an issue you didn't know you had about your business. And if they're talking negatively about you or your business, you may have the opportunity to change their minds, simply by listening.
5. Learn from those around you.
Millennials, for example, may be good at keeping you updated on the latest trends in social media. This platform changes rapidly, so you should know how the changes affect your type of communication, you may be able to enhance your platform, or do nothing. But stay informed.
6. Use software to help you organize, search and schedule your content.
I use Hootsuite because I don't have time as a CEO to always be social. And so the software helps me to organize my thoughts and manage the content that's of interest to me.
7. Have fun.
Because this is a medium to connect with folks you'd never know otherwise, so step out of your comfort zone and see what people are talking about. You might learn a thing or two.