Building a Social Media Audience for Ecommerce


There’s an antiquated saying which applies here: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him share your Facebook content. The other one that comes to mind is, I could fish for you and feed you today, or I can teach you to add followers and you can go get them yourself.

There’s a lot to unpack there, so let all that wisdom sink in… Okay, long enough.  

Let’s assume you are a business owner, and you’re sold on social media for your business. We’ll call you “Bob.” You’ve set up your page, but you need to get people to follow your business.

Your hope is that not only will they follow your page, they’ll endlessly like, favorite, reply, @mention, circle, and pin your content until the cows some home. The question on your mind is “how do I build up my followers?”

That’s not the question you should be asking, Bob. We’ll come back to what you should be asking in a minute… Bob.


Followers, as the name implies, are people who would follow you about. In this case, we are talking about following you in social circles. There was existed, once upon a time, a world where you could get users to follow you on a channel and those users would see everything you posted. People were on social media a lot because it was new and they were not-yet-jaded.

Then came the masses and what followed them was the algorithms. Nowadays nobody has time to read their feed endlessly, even with the help of algorithms, and what users do read they tend to skim.

But back to our question, Bob.

Channel depending, you may decide that the best way to build your followership is to engage in what is commonly referred to as, “buying likes.” For a fee, you can navigate to a site where there is cloud software which promises to pay you in kind with X-number of followers in exchange for your hard-earned Bitcoins. 

So let’s say you decide to invest. For $9.99 you can get 1000 followers, but for $29.99 you can get 5000. The obvious deal is the mere thirty dollar investment to become the most popular kid in school. From a business standpoint, everything is above board. You give them your credit card info, and they compensate you with the promised minions.

At first, you are super-excited about your newfound popularity. You blast Facebook with your new follower number, sheepishly thanking all of your followers for their loyalty. Your REAL friends, the ones who’ve been following your new venture, wonder if maybe they shouldn’t have made that investment you asked them for last year.

Good for you Bob. Looks like you’re doing okay.

But then all your super-stardom unravels. You notice after the first few posts you make that very few people engage what you are posting. In fact, on Facebook, the total reach of your posts starts to nosedive.

Frantically you go to your channel insights to do some research of your new peeps and find that many of them aren’t even in your area. In fact, they aren’t in your country! Most of them are in Indonesia, and parts unknown, where click farms have been set up to pay users to like your page.  

Not these sort of minions.

Not these sort of minions…

You got exactly what you paid for Bob: followers. Sort of. They’re technically following you, but not really.

Let’s stop clamoring for followers like your follower count was the equivalent to that lift kit on your pickup truck. You can stop trying to cover up for smaller things in your life by getting bigger things elsewhere.

Rather than measure the success of your social media audience on the sheer number of people following your page, start to measure your success on the number of people that are engaging your content. 

Bob, don’t add followers. Add Engagers.

Move like the tortoise, not the hare.

The tortoise route to getting this done is through your posts. Posts which are properly labeled with keywords, hashtags, and descriptions that engage the casual observer, will over time build your followership. [READ: OVER TIME]

There are other above board tactics which will build your army faster, but you should carefully consider the outcome of any technique you apply.


You add engagers by tempering your follower build with wisdom.

For example, an easy way to add followers on Twitter is to go and follow a bunch of users from your business account. This will get you nearly automatic followbacks at a 10-40% ratio. Some people follow back as a rule.

A smarter way to accomplish this same tactic would be to get very specific about who you follow. In short, follow people who would be interested in what you have to say. Follow those that could potentially be customers. Follow engagers.

For Facebook, the tactic is a little different. After you get all your friends and family to follow your business, you will need to buy engagers on Facebook if you really want to build up your audience.

The great thing about Facebook is you can get very specific about who those people are and where they are. The bad part is that you will likely have to buy them. Buy them right, and they will engage your content. And about your family and friends, the same rule applies. Don’t just add warm bodies.

Google+ functions a bit like Twitter, but with different daily restrictions. You can use a tool like Circloscope to navigate around those restrictions, but the same rules apply. If you just add warm bodies, that’s what you’ll get in return.

Pinterest and Instagram are also followback platforms. The only real exceptions are the aforementioned Facebook and LinkedIn.

The network for professionals is a grassroots engager-build. LinkedIn users will engage your company’s LinkedIn page when your brand has become more of a household name. Think brands like Apple, Virgin, or Coca-Cola. 


So now you know… You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t teach him to fish from it. And, you can corral followers to your business page like cows to a pasture, but you can’t make them eat all the hay. Never mind. All you need to remember from this is one concept: Don’t add followers. Add engagers. The rest of the work is getting in there and engaging them. 

You got this one… Bob.

If you don’t, we can help. This is just one aspect of what we do with your social media channels. We add engagers, feed them relevant content and engage them wherever we can.

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by downtownecommerce_admin