A loyal social media following is the dream for all businesses and influencers. But building a dedicated audience that engages with your content can be impossible in today’s noisy online world. What’s the secret sauce? How do you stand out and authentically connect with your ideal followers? After managing social media for brands for over three years, I’ve discovered some proven tactics that have helped build loyal communities. In this post, I will share 8 ways to make a dedicated social media following, with plenty of examples and tips you can implement immediately. Let’s dive in!


1. Focus on Value, Not Promotion, while Building Social Media Following

The biggest mistake many make on social media is using their channels solely to promote themselves. They post about new products, sales, or events – but provide little value to their audience. Followers are smart. They can tell when you only post to get sales versus when you care about enriching their lives. One of the simplest ways to provide value is by sharing helpful, relevant information. For example, an athletic apparel brand could share workout tips, recipes, and inspirational quotes – not just photos of their latest clothing line. Lens Crafters does this brilliantly on Instagram. Rather than just posting glasses pictures, they share eye health content. It provides genuine value to its audience. As a result, Lens Crafters has over 568,000 loyal Instagram followers. The takeaway? Build trust and connections through valuable content that helps your followers, not just promotional messages about your company.

2. Get Personal and Transparent

Another way to build a loyal following is by being personal and transparent. Show your brand’s humanity by giving followers a behind-the-scenes look. Patagonia does this exceptionally well on their Instagram. They highlight critical company values like environmental activism, social responsibility, and work culture:

Social Media Following


By doing so, followers gain a deeper understanding of Patagonia’s beliefs beyond its apparel offerings. The result? Patagonia has over 3.5 million Instagram followers deeply aligned with its mission.

Some easy ways to add humanity include:

  • Introducing the people behind your brand
  • Sharing your company values/mission
  • Posting employee-generated content
  • Showing behind-the-scenes of product development

Followers want to get to know the real you. Lifting the veil builds familiarity and loyalty.

3. Partner With Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing is a hugely influential way to reach new audiences. But big celebrities with millions of followers often need more connection and niche expertise.

That’s why partnering with “micro-influencers” is so effective. 

Micro-influencers are regular people with 1,000 – 100,000 engaged followers in your niche. They’re experts on specific topics and have the trust of their audience. Here are some ways to partner with micro-influencers:

  • Send them free products to feature on their social channels
  • Pay for sponsored posts promoting your product/service
  • Collaborate on giveaways for both your audiences
  • Ask them to create unique content highlighting your brand

Benefits include:

Targeted reach – their followers are potential customers for you

 Increased credibility – Audiences trust recommendations from micro-influencers

More conversions – 60% of micro-influencer followers have made purchases based on recommendations 

An example is Territory Foods partnering with fitness micro-influencers on sponsored Instagram posts:

Social Media Following


By doing this, Territory gained the attention of fitness fanatics, resulting in new sales.

Leveraging micro-influencers is cheaper than celebrity sponsors and drives accurate results. It’s a fantastic way to grow your loyal following.

4. Interact and Engage With Followers 

The key to loyalty? Treating your followers like real people, not just metrics. 

Set up your social channels to allow engagement between you and your audience. Respond to comments, answer questions, and ask for feedback. 

Software like Mention can even alert you when followers talk about your brand online so you can jump into the conversation.

Here are some easy ways to engage fans:

  • Respond to every comment with a thoughtful reply
  • Send DMs to followers sharing user-generated content
  • Ask questions in your captions to spark discussion
  • Run polls to get quick feedback on products/topics
  • Jump into related hashtags where your audience is active

Engagement shows existing followers you care while showing potential followers your community is active. For example, the cosmetics brand Glossier built its entire community through engagement:

Social Media Following


They respond to hundreds of comments, foster an ongoing dialogue, and make followers feel heard. Over 2.9 million Instagram followers are a testament to Glossier’s incredibly loyal fan base.

Remember – your followers are your community. Treat them like friends, not just marketing targets.

5. Create Shareable Content 

In the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing is more powerful than ever. You dramatically increase your reach by creating content that followers naturally want to share. Some types of easily shareable content include:

  • Infographics with valuable data
  • Listicles like “10 Ways To…”
  • Memes
  • Entertaining videos
  • Controversial hot takes
  • Powerful photos
  • Quizzes and surveys

The key is posting content that pulls an emotional reaction – funny, inspiring, shocking, or thought-provoking. For example, BlendJet creates viral blender videos on Facebook with crazy recipes like an entire frozen pizza:


Posts like this get thousands of likes, comments, and shares – rapidly growing BlendJet’s audience. Take time to strategize what shareable content would appeal to your followers. Then, consistently post it to boost your organic reach and following.

6. Run Exclusive Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are fantastic for rapidly growing a loyal audience. Everyone loves free stuff and fun competitions! Some popular social media contest ideas include: 

  • Photo contests to showcase users with your product
  • Caption contests for funny/punny posts
  • Trivia with prizes for correct answers
  • Hashtag campaigns to spread branded messages
  • Tag-a-friend giveaways
  • Product sampling through inbox sign-ups or reviews
  • Loyalty programs rewarding referrals or UGC

For example, coffee shop Blind Barber used Instagram giveaways to gain 10,000 new followers in just 3 months:

[Insert Image of Blind Barber Instagram Giveaway]

The key is making giveaways exclusive to social media followers and requiring shares/tags to enter. In addition to spreading brand awareness, this also rewards existing customers. Just be sure your contests legally comply with the platforms’ promotion guidelines. And market responsibly, not making giveaways the focus over your product/service value.

7. Reward Loyal Followers

The most loyal followers are often the most vocal. When someone constantly engages with your content, shouts you out, or provides user-generated photos/videos, find ways to reward them. Some ideas for rewarding loyal followers:

  • Repost their user-generated content (UGC)
  • Send them free products or personalized gifts  
  • Give them exclusive access to events, content, or groups
  • Spotlight them on your page or in ads as “top fans.”
  • Provide loyalty discounts for repeat customers
  • Partner with them as brand ambassadors

Here’s an example of makeup brand Tarte rewarding an Instagram influencer who frequently promoted their products:

[Insert Image of Tarte Instagram Brand Ambassador Post]  

They were made an official #tartebabe ambassador with exclusive giveaways, free products, and affiliate codes. This way, the influencer felt valued and incentivized to promote further.

When you treat top fans like VIPs, they become influential brand evangelists. This word-of-mouth drives referral traffic and sales. Plus, it motivates wider audiences to aim for “top fan” status and privileges.

8. Focus on Video Content

We’ve all heard “video is king” regarding social media. But I can’t emphasize enough how critical video is to build a loyal following in 2023. Here are some powerful video content strategies to boost your audience:

  • Showcase Products – Demo videos and reviews 
  • Behind the Scenes – Give a “Day in the Life” look
  • Reels / Short Films – Entertain with bite-sized videos
  • Live Video – Stream Q&As, events, tutorials 
  • Video Ads – Promote video content for more views
  • TikTok – Lean into the video-first algorithms 

For example, Gymshark grew exponentially thanks to “day in the life” Instagram videos of their sponsored athletes:

[Insert Gymshark Athlete Video]

These videos gave an authentic inside look at wearers of their apparel. Gymshark now has 13.4 million Instagram followers and counting. With short attention spans on social media, video lets you get your message across quickly while showing personality. Prioritise video content and watch your followers multiply.

Listen to Feedback and Adjust 

Finally, stay adaptable by listening to feedback and adjusting your approach over time. Monitor comments, reviews, emails, and conversations about your brand. Hear out what your audience responds well or poorly to. 

  1. Some ways to listen to followers:
  2. Social listening with tools like Hootsuite to monitor mentions 
  3. Surveys through your email list or social posts
  4. One-on-one conversations via DM or customer service lines
  5. Reviews on your website, Google, and social channels

Then, use that feedback to evolve your social strategy. Double down on what works and change what doesn’t. For example, fast food chain Wendy’s noticed followers loved their humorous roasts of competitors on Twitter:

[Insert Image of Wendy’s Roast Tweet] 

So they started posting more funny insult tweets, leading to 4.4 million Twitter followers eagerly anticipating their sassy content. Constantly fine-tune your approach based on what your followers want to see, read, and engage with. This ensures you deliver value tailored precisely to them. Grow a Loyal Audience with These Proven Tactics. 

Building a highly engaged, loyal audience is the key to stopping wasting time and money on low-conversion social media tactics. Use these 8 proven methods to stop chasing vanity metrics and start cultivating fans who support your brand for the long term.

The ultimate secret? Put your followers’ needs first – not your promotional agenda. Provide extreme value, treat fans like friends, and raise the bar on your content quality. Do this consistently, and your loyal community will reward you for years.

FAQs About Social Media Following

Q1: How can I grow my social media following fast?

A: There are no shortcuts to genuinely growing a loyal following quickly. Focus on consistency, quality content, strategic partnerships, and always providing value for your audience. Be patient – organic growth takes time. Contests, influencer collaborations, social listening, paid promotions, and leveraging other platforms can help grow your business.

Q2: What is the best time to post on social media for most engagement?  

A: The best times to post vary by platform and audience but are often before/after the typical workday and during commuting hours when people are most active on their phones. On Instagram, it gets high engagement late in the morning or evening. Twitter and LinkedIn see spikes mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Do your testing to find when your followers are most active and online.

Q3: How do influencers build such large social followings?

A: Influencers build large loyal audiences by consistently creating content their niche cares about, having a magnetic personality, interacting with followers, partnering strategically, optimizing branded hashtags, running giveaways/contests, engaging in viral trends, and leveraging other platforms to cross-promote. Patience and persistence are key – influencer followings take years to cultivate.

Q4: How can I make my social media content stand out?

A: Create content that is helpful, entertaining, beautiful, or thought-provoking. Spark emotion and conversation. Use unique formats like polls, quizzes, and challenges. Lean into video and live content. Collaborate with others. Stay on top of trends and current events. Add your twist and personal flair. Most importantly, know your audience and what makes them tick.

Q5: What is the ideal length for social media posts?

A: Keep text under 250 characters or 2 sentences for maximum engagement on Instagram and Twitter. Videos should be under 60 seconds, preferably 15-30 seconds. On Facebook, up to 80% of text gets cut off on mobile, so keep posts short and use captions to add more detail with links or calls to action. Lean toward quality over quantity of text.

Q6: How influential are hashtags? Should I use as many as possible?

A: Hashtags are beneficial for discovery, but avoid going overboard. 5-10 relevant niche hashtags per post is ideal. Obscure spam tags don’t help. Focus on branded hashtags you want to be associated with your business and those your audience is searching for. Use related event/trending hashtags sparingly. Too many hashtags look sloppy.

Q7: How do I respond to negative comments or complaints on social media?

A: Address issues professionally and never ignore unhappy customers. Empathize, apologize if appropriate, and aim for a constructive dialog. Move longer discussions to private channels. Delete comments only as a last resort. Use negative feedback to improve. Guide conversations back to positive aspects of your brand. Turning critics into advocates should be the goal.

Q8: What tools are best for social media analytics and listening? 

A: Built-in analytics on each platform offer essential insights. Popular social media tools for expanded analytics include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Semrush, BuzzSumo, Keyhole, and Google Alerts. Use them to track engagement, learn follower demographics, monitor brand mentions, discover trending topics, and analyze competitors.

Q9: How do I create viral social media challenges or hashtag campaigns?

A: Successful challenges are fun, creative, visual, easy to replicate, timely, and pull on emotions. Promote challenges through influencers, paid ads, and cross-platform messaging. Set clear guidelines and parameters. Incentivize participation with prizes or rewards. Make it easy to share user-generated content—partner with relevant brands for broader reach.

Q10: How do I convince a business to work with me on social media? 

A: Show specific ways you can help them achieve their goals through case studies, past success metrics, and audience insights. Highlight your relevant niche expertise and influence—pitch win-win collaborative opportunities tailored to them. Be professional and patient through any legal vetting. Offer custom branded content only you can create. Build genuine connections before formal partnerships.