Having recently been invited to Social Media Week Jakarta to conduct a Social Media Speed Dating Workshop, I would like to continue and build on the questions that I received during the session. My previous post on How To Start A Brand touched on the "what-to-dos" before launching of your brand. Once you're done with setting your brand tone, branding your brand or defining your target market — you'll now wonder what are the most effective ways of getting your brand out in the public. Here's a concise list of the most effective ways to gain followers and ultimately converting them into sales.

Providing Unique Content
Have a think about the number of brands that exists in the marketplace. What makes you motivated in following a brand's account religiously? For myself, I want to look at original content — how do I wear your brand? What can I use your brand for? Creating relevant content is critical to keeping your followers engaged. Brands like Glossier do this extremely well — through creating beautiful products that allows their users to want to share them through social media. The number one focus of keeping your followers engaged is to provide relevant and real content. If you're a beauty brand such as a lipstick brand, how about providing content on how to better utilize your lipstick? What about ways to preserve the longevity of your lipstick? Read more on importance of creating engaging content here.

Your Network = Your Networth
I get a lot of questions on what are the most effective ways of getting followers. Is it necessary to pay bloggers or fashion influencers to wear your clothes to get people to buy? My answer to that is, yes and no. The most effective way of gaining followers — your network. Think about how many people are within your network; your close friends, your friends' friends, your church friends, your colleagues and the list goes on. When you start your brand, don't look anywhere else but at your own network. Word of mouth marketing is the most important and valuable marketing tools that you can use to gain followers.

Advertising Channels
The next step to gaining followers is through advertising your business and advertising can be categorized into many different forms. Instagram, as all of you might be familiar with already, is the easiest platform for any businesses to start selling, it is also the most affordable channel for you to start listing your products. In my personal opinion, it is important to consider traditional advertising through Instagram but also important for you to advertise your brand through an identified ambassador.

Traditional Advertising
For businesses based on Instagram, I highly recommend using the advertisement features the application offers. They are affordable, easily customisable to your budget and easy to comprehend. All you need to do is ensure that your targeted audience matches your brand's target market and you're good to go.

Advertising Through People
I categorize paying someone to wear your clothes as an advertisement (most often through the help of a fashion influencer). Before you consider who to pay to wear your brand, have a think about your budget — and what kind of market you're after. Every influencer has a different style that suits different brands. If you're offering modest clothing such as hijab or kaftan, then perhaps your brand ambassador is one who caters and is a representative of what you sell. If you're a beauty product, then perhaps look into beauty influencers who has a strong voice in the market. Maximise the efforts that you put in by ensuring that your brand ambassador is your gateway to your desired target market.

Cross-promotion through Partnerships and Giveaways
Cross promoting has proven to be extremely effective for many businesses. What is cross promotion you might ask? It is to leverage on your partner's network or influence to increase your sales. Partnerships help to establish a long and healthy working relationship between your brand ambassadors. It also helps to track which brand ambassadors work the best for your brands. Partnerships can be extended in the form of discount codes and giveaways. One example that you can use is to provide your brand ambassadors with their own personalized discount codes, so that their audience can be incentivized to purchase. Due to their strong voice in their field of expertise, consumers are more likely to purchase based on their advice.

Growing your followers is a natural and organic process. Every brand takes a different amount of time to grow their following and to put themselves out there. Be patient with growing your followers and attracting sales as marketing is a tool that takes time and constant effort. It helps to pay, because after all those are the tools that are available for you to utilize. What works for one brand may work different for your brand. Constant evaluation and review is key to a successful strategy, good luck!

I'd like to hear your comments and opinions, or even suggestions on growing your number of followers. Comment below! :-)

* Please note that the above post is solely based on my personal opinion and is solely for the purpose of discussion. 


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