15 Branding Hacks to Ramp Up Followers and Engagement

Personal Branding
emale Entrepreneur Challenges

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Be an Information Spigot 

“I started out trying to keep everything I learned to myself, but after a few years of taking information from other people in my industry who were building big reputations by sharing, I wanted to try something new. I have seen a tremendous growth in engagement since I started publishing everything I know in blogs and videos. I feel useful to the community, like the people I used to borrow from.”

Adam Steele, The Magistrate

2. Be Authentic and Engage With Your Audience 

“Just putting yourself out there with your own unique story from your struggles to personal successes will eventually reap rewards. People will believe your authenticity and will better relate to you once they sense that you are authentic. It also helps to keep your story consistent and keep the engagement consistent. A high engagement rate will propel your number of followers, too.”

Daisy Jing, Banish

3. Post at a Consistent, Data-Driven Time 

“It is pretty straight forward, but figure out when your audience is normally on social media, and then consistently post at that opportune time every day. A lot of your followers will grow accustomed to that, and once they begin to expect it, they’ll start to look forward to it.”

Erik Huberman, Hawke Media

4. Use Images That Resonate 

“We found that certain characteristics of images (e.g. faces being visible) on Instagram resonate better and generate higher engagement. Consistently posting images with this in mind has allowed our engagement to grow and land some of our photos on Instagram Explorer, which ramps up our followers.”

Mark Krassner, Expectful

5. Put Yourself in Front of the Camera 

“As soon as my audience saw and heard me in online videos, podcasts and media interviews that I posted, it provided them with a better picture of who was behind the brand. I have found that I’ve won people over in person by being friendly, personable and funny, so I applied this to my online presence for even better results.”

John RamptonCalendar

6. Being Transparent Will Earn You Trust 

“Social media users can discern between true content and staged content. Be true with your customers, speak transparently and they will respect you for it. Don’t expect engagement and followers to come overnight. By speaking to your audience consistently with the truth, they will value the information you communicate to them and will begin to engage. Being transparent will earn you trust.”

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

7. Amp Up Your Presence on LinkedIn 

“LinkedIn has introduced some changes recently that makes it easier to get your posts read and shared. Create a professional profile with a good photo and thorough description. One of the best branding strategies on LinkedIn is to share articles that have the potential to get syndicated. This is a powerful way to build your credibility and attract more leads and clients.”

Shawn Porat, Scorely

8. Create Evergreen Content 

“Create evergreen content that can be repurposed and reused, such as a post on the Best Laptops of 2017, and then simply update it when the new year comes. It won’t involve a lot of time after the original content is written, plus folks love list-based posts as well. It’s a great way to get more followers and increase engagement, as long as it’s accurate and credible.”

Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

9. Exchange Shoutouts With Niche-Relevant Personalities 

“Find people in your industry with a similar follower count, and exchange shoutouts. It’s an easy way to attract relevant followers. If a particular person has a much larger following than you, offer something of value in exchange for a mention. If you find a way to offer something of value to someone, they will more than likely be more than willing to give you some social love.”

Jonathan Long, LAWYE.RS

10. Use Automation on Twitter 

“Twitter allows users to create automatic direct messages to followers. Take this opportunity to message new followers with a warm welcome, useful offer or great evergreen content. This helps maintain engagement with your newest fans.”

Adelyn ZhouTOPBOTS

11. Use Online Tools to Study Competitors’ Successful Ads 

“We have been using Compass for a few months now and it allows us to see the most successful ads used by our competitors on Facebook and LinkedIn, and also allows us to research the audience they are targeting. Another tool to identify your audience is WhatRunsWhere.”

Nitin Chhoda, Total Activation

12. Create Memes 

“Take a picture that relates to your business and create a meme. Make it creative and on topic to current pop culture. Share it on your social media, and as long as it is good watch it spread. Put text on the meme to encourage the reader to take an action. You have to make it indirect, though, as to not seem spammy. Questions work well, as they encourage the reader to leave an answer.”

Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct

13. Invest in the Right Logo 

“Before I invested in a logo and a friendly, bright character for the website, traction and memorability were low. Afterwards, people associated the brand with the character and it made us stand out in their minds. You should invest in something that is memorable and unique, to be used in advertising material that will distinguish your business and in some way stay with the customers.”

Ajay Paghdal, OutreachMama

14. Hold Contests and Scholarships 

“You want to focus these efforts on your business or niche. If you’re appealing to students, offer a scholarship type of giveaway. If you want to attract more consumers to your brand, offer a contest. The email addresses will come pouring in, and your contest will be shared if the reward is worth it. The return on investment of these is often worth it if you have a set goal, such as likes, followers, etc.”

Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

15. Claim Your Listing and Pump It Full of Happy Customers 

“Make sure your product listing is submitted to every review site in your niche. Once they are all listed, push satisfied customers over to populate those listings with reviews.”

Tim Chaves, ZipBooks Online Bookkeeping Services