Top 10 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Following

In a previous blog post, I outlined a six-step process that enabled real estate investor David Toupin to attract over 121,000 Instagram followers. In summary:

  1. Create lots of content one or two times per month
  2. Hire an editor to create a content database
  3. Hire a content manager to create a social media schedule
  4. Approve the content manager’s posts
  5. Have the content manager schedule the posts and
  6. Rinse and repeat.

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into David’s social media strategy by outlining his top 10 tips for growing a social media following.

1. Consistency

According to David, the number one secret to success on social media (and really anything in life) is consistency. A good rule of thumb is not to expect to see the results you want on social media for six months. Sure, it is possible that you gain a massive following in a shorter timeframe. The point is that building a large social media following is a long-term strategy. Therefore, once you’ve set a process for how often you will post (like the process summarized at the beginning of this blog post), consistently adhere to that schedule for at least six months before you even consider giving up or slowing down.

2. Focus on Your niche

The second secret to success on social media is to focus on your niche, according to David. In other words, avoid shiny object syndrome. Don’t change your focus because of a short-term trend. If your goal is to attract passive investors to invest in your multifamily deals, only focus on content relevant to that audience. Strive to be the best social media person for your specific niche rather than an okay social media person for general investing or commercial real estate advice.

Here is a blog post where I go into more detail on the concept of hyper-focusing on your niche.

3. Be yourself

Social media has the tendency of morphing you into acting like someone you are not. Most likely, you pretend to be the person you think your audience wants to see. This may sound like a good idea, and it may even work for certain people, but David believes acting like someone you aren’t is a big mistake. Eventually, your following will recognize that you aren’t being real with them.

Think of it this way: let’s say you follow a commercial real estate investor on Facebook. You read his blogs and watch his videos. Eventually, you decide you want to passively invest in one of their opportunities. You hop on a phone call to discuss a deal and you are met with a completely different person you’ve gotten to know over the years through their content. Are you more likely or less likely to invest? Probably less. If they have misrepresented themselves to you and their following for years, what else are they misrepresenting?

The solution: Be yourself. Act naturally. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t.

4. Don’t worry about what people might think about you

“But, what if I am ‘weird’ or ‘quirky?’ If I act naturally and try to be myself people won’t like me.” David’s reply to this question would be something along the lines of, “Yes, some people won’t like you. But that is okay.”

If you be yourself, certain people won’t like you. If you act like someone you aren’t, certain people won’t like you. Overall, no matter what you do, certain people won’t like you.

Keep in mind that the purpose of striving for a large social media following is to attract people who can help your commercial real estate investing business – to get more investors, more deals, build more relationships, etc. Doing business with someone requires trust. To build trust, you need to be honest.

5. Interact with your audience

Whenever someone comments on a post or sends you a DM, make sure you reply in a timely fashion. Interacting with your audience is a great way to create a loyal following who will keep coming back and will share your content with others.

In addition to replying to comments and DMs, brainstorm other ways to interact with your audience. For example, Travis and I created a “60-second segment” on the Best Ever YouTube channel where we answer a listener’s question in 60-seconds or less (here is an example).

6. Tell your story

David has found success in creating social media posts that tell his story.

You want to create content that focuses on educating your following. But if you take a look at David’s Instagram, he also scatters in some personal posts as well. For example, a vacation he has recently gone on, the story of his first huge deal, an airplane he wants to buy, a current deal he is working on, etc.

Ultimately, people will invest with you, partner with you, and work with you because they know, like, and trust you. One way to accomplish this is to provide valuable content for free. Another way is to tell your story so that people know who you are and what you are all about.

7. Build your audience organically

When you are authentic, don’t worry about what people think, and tell your story, David says you will automatically attract people who like the same things that you like. That’s how the algorithm works.

Keep this in mind when you are making your social media posts. On Instagram, for example, utilize hashtags to attract people who are searching/viewing similar content. Here is a blog post we wrote with more detail on leveraging hashtags on Instagram.

8. Don’t get fancy equipment

When you browse the BiggerPockets forum and come across posts from brand new investors, a lot of the questions surround, “Should I go out and get an LLC?”. They haven’t done a deal yet but they want to spend hundreds of dollars (or even thousands if they use an attorney) to create an entity. The social media equivalent of this is, “Should I buy the Blue Yeti microphone and the thousand-dollar Sony camera before I start generating content?”.

David says this is unnecessary. Any modern iPhone or Android phone is sufficient for video, audio, and picture content. If you want to be between these two extremes, I recommend the ATR2100 microphone and the Logitech HD pro camera.

9. The account you use doesn’t matter

Should you create a brand-new social media account or should you use your personal account? David says to not worry about it. You will create your desired audience over time regardless, as long as you follow the other tips in this blog post. If you are comfortable using your current personal account, great. If not, creating a new account works, too.

10. Comment on posts of other big influencers

David’s last social media tip is to comment on the posts of other big influencers. Avoid the “great advice” or thumbs up emoji comments. Ask questions or provide advice, with the purpose of getting the influencer to reply to your comment or getting their followers to check out your account.

10 ways to grow your social media following

David Toupin has over 120,000 follows on Instagram. His top tips for those who want to replicate his success are to consistently post content every day, remain hyper-focused on your specific niche, be yourself by not worrying about what other people think about you, reply to all comments and DMs from your followers, tell your personal story in addition to providing valuable content, use keywords to target people with similar interests, use your current smartphone as your only equipment (at least at the start), use your personal account or create a new account (whichever you are most comfortable with), and tap into the audiences of other big influencers by replying to their posts.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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Joe Fairless