A spike in likes: Methods to increase Facebook and Twitter followers

As The Palm Beach Post’s social media editor, I’m always looking for ways to boost our Facebook fan and Twitter follower counts – increase “conversions,” in the lingo.

For Facebook, for instance, our most powerful tool is the homepage Facebook box, the social plugin I installed last spring that encourages our readers to like our page and shows them which of their friends are already our fans. This earns us about 60 percent of our new “likes.”

When I created our custom Facebook landing page, our conversion rate increased even further.

But occasionally I’ll tweet a link to one of our Facebook posts or photo galleries, as another avenue for making our readers aware of our Facebook presence.

If overused, this tactic could be perceived as sneaky and annoying, so I’m selective about using it. But it seems to work well.

Example: On March 3, I tweeted a link to our Facebook post about a tragic story: “Police question suspects about kids found in Delray canal.” (Because we don’t allow commenting on crime stories, we occasionally shift the discussion to Facebook, where the real-identity culture dramatically cuts down on inappropriate comments.)

The tweeted link to that Facebook post was clicked more than 120 times, and it coincided with 110 new likes for our Facebook page that day. For comparison’s sake, we normally get 30 to 60 new daily likes.

Correlation doesn’t mean causation, of course, but that’s a nice spike in likes, and the tweeted link was the only different thing we did that day with Facebook.

By the way, I don’t do the opposite, pushing Facebook fans to Twitter, since Twitter is so much less mainstream that even mentioning Twitter on our Facebook wall draws snarky complaints.

Storify is another app that gives you a built-in tool to grow your social media followers with its “I’ve quoted you in my story, check it out” feature.

Finally, good old Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter is a standby. Through SocialOomph, I set up our main Twitter account to auto-follow and auto-reply to new followers asking them to tell us if they’re local residents. Each Friday I add new locals to our Locals Twitter list and give them a #FF shoutout on Twitter.

What methods have you found work for increasing your social media following?



Filed under Social media

2 responses to “A spike in likes: Methods to increase Facebook and Twitter followers

  1. People don’t get annoyed with the auto-follow/auto-reply? Everyone I talk to says that’s like the mark of death for a Twitter account.

    • I think it can be risky, but as long as the auto reply is worded in a conversational way and not a cheesy/spammy way, it can work. We are getting very good response to our auto follow message asking people to DM us letting us know if they’re locals who want to be on our Locals list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s