Grow Your Social Networks by Engaging Industry Leaders Online

With 800 million active users on Facebook and 100 million on Twitter, it is no surprise that social media marketing is hot right now.

Yet reaching your target audience on social networks is not always an easy task, nor is it always cheap. As Facebook advertising rates continue to rise, the price tag to be promoted on Twitter is $120,000 — per day.

Engaging Thought Leaders

So how can you effectively target relevant Facebook and Twitter users without breaking the bank? The answer is simple: Engage online with thought leaders and other popular businesses in your industry.

The underlying strategy is the same for both Facebook and Twitter, though the process varies slightly for each network. Here is a simple step-by-step guide for each.

Note: If you have not created Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business, you will need to do so before moving forward with this strategy.


  • Step 1: Search for company pages in your industry that have a strong Facebook fan base. Because you are in a similar niche, the people who follow these pages are more likely than a random person to have an interest in your specialty.
  • Step 2: Using Facebook as your business page, “Like” the pages you found. Their status updates will now appear in your business page’s home News Feed.
  • Step 3: Read other pages’ status update and respond to them, preferably with insightful or witty comments. Anyone who sees the status update and comments will see your company page. If you say something that interests them, they can easily click through to your Facebook page and see what you’re all about


  • Step 1: Follow Twitter accounts that are engaging the followers you want. This often requires more research than identifying relevant Facebook pages, as Twitter is full of bloggers, journalists, and individual experts for any given topic. You can start by viewing Twitter’s “Who to Follow Suggestions,” after which you should do a keyword search. Next, look at which accounts industry leaders are following and follow some of those accounts as well. Finally, there are a number of free and paid services that will let you search by topic or industry, some of which give you specific suggestions as well.
  • Step 2: Interact with the accounts you now follow. You can do this in a number of ways, including responding to their tweets, tweeting them questions or interesting articles, and praising them. If they respond to one of your tweets (as you prompt them to do with questions), then their followers will see you. Praise is also a strong weapon, as many Twitter users will either re-tweet what you said or favorite your tweet, thereby giving you visibility to all of their followers.
  • Step 3: To boost your results even more, take it one step further. As soon as you send a tweet to an industry thought leader (or, better yet, as soon as they respond to one of your tweets), follow their followers. Why? First of all, you are likely to receive a number of automated follow-backs. Second, you will prompt the users you followed to look at your profile. There they will see in your recent tweets that you interact with an account that they already follow, thereby increasing the chance that they will follow you back. (Tip: In most cases a user will see only your three most recent tweets when they click on your username, so make sure the tweet you sent to the thought leader is recent).

There you have it — a free way to find and engage with relevant users on the world’s two largest social networks. Best of luck growing your online following.

About the Author: Written by Rachel Dotson on behalf of ZipRecuiter, an innovative job distribution service and one-stop-shop for finding, screening, and tracking job candidates. Find them on Facebook.

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