How to grow a small following on social media with short videos

Do you want to start a YouTube channel & are wondering what is the fastest way to grow? Maybe you already have a channel that is struggling to grow & just want some tips. This will be the post for you!

During my journey of trying to grow my small social media following, I have had lots of low times. It’s been hard. Growing a following is hard work, especially if you care.

I wanted to make this post to help other small creators understand that they can grow faster if they just play the algorithm game.

Don’t get upset, just get better.

Your content is the problem

  1. It sucks – most likely the case. Learn how to upgrade your video, audio, but mostly presentation skills
  2. Not producing enough if you make 1 video a month, you will most likely never grow
  3. Awful titles & thumbnails – people still don’t understand this. Why would someone watch your video if you cant even make a thumbnail?
  4. Selfish content – you arent thinking of the viewer, just yourself

YouTube is not the issue here, they actually want you to win. When you do well, they make more money from ads. If no one wants to watch your videos because they suck, why would YouTube promote you?

People tend to overcomplicate this and they get upset at this part, but it’s the truth. Just get better. If your first video looks like your most recent, YOU are the problem.

Everyone that blames the algorithm has crappy content. Either they suck on camera, poor editing, or their audio sounds horrible. Again, why would someone watch that?

Be real with yourself. There is no technique or hack you can learn from a blog post that will turn a bad creator into a great one overnight.

You have to put effort into it & research how to get better in the places you’re weak at. There is no excuse because anything can be learned for free. Plus, your phone is good enough for 99% of people, just learn the basics of filming & you will have better video.

It’s not hard, most people just don’t take the extra steps.

You most likely aren’t posting enough…

A new channel should be posting daily to get a massive amount of content out there. You should really try to maintain that for at least two months. At that point, you can chill since you will have a decent amount of content up.

It makes it easier to get followers when you have more content.

Say you go viral tomorrow on YouTube…

When people discover you, most likely they will go to your channel page before subscribing to see what else you have. If you have 2 videos about your cats, but the video that went viral is about trading stocks, why would they subscribe to you?

Having a library of relevant content is the key to looking like you actually know what you are doing. Posting just 1 video a month as a new channel most likely will get you nowhere. You better be really good or else it will be a waste of time. It’s the same with blogging, a mass influx really does matter.

Making daily videos is hard, but no one said this was easy. We have been posting daily videos for over 2 months now, with an 11-month-old baby… so stop making excuses as to why you cant.

But besides breaking your heart & letting you know that everything is your fault, I wanted to throw some helpful tips your way to hopefully break you out of this!

How I gained over 2000 organic followers in less than 3 months


I have spent hours creating content that no one watched. It sucks. We originally started this channel over a year ago, but never did much with it.


Never had views or followers. This time around, we were a bit more intentional with it & treated YT like a puzzle.

That’s really all it is at the end of the day… there is no mystery to the algorithm, give it what it wants & it will reward you with viewers.

The ONLY thing YT cares about is viewers staying on their platform, if you can do that you win, if not, they kill your videos.

Audience retention is the biggest factor. You NEED to keep people on your videos & clicking on more of your videos.

If your viewers are clicking off too early, or worse off leaving YouTube while watching your video, you cant expect to never “take off”.

How do you increase retention?

A great place to start is just to make shorter videos. Too often creators think more=better, which is not true. No one wants to watch a 30-minute thrift haul video, it gets boring after the first few minutes.

Editing goes a long way, cutting out extra junk to save time will help you greatly. Both of those are great, but the main thing you need to work on is YOU!

How are you on camera? Are you sheepish & shy? Maybe you talk too fast & lose focus often. These are all very common things, but also very easy to fix. You must be intentional, YouTube is a skill just like anything else!

Something I learned from a large creator: Respect your viewer’s time.

If it’s fluff or dragging, cut it out. I went from making 14-20 minute videos to ones around 10 minutes or less & saw a huge improvement in retention.


Moving into shorter videos…

You NEED to be creating daily YouTube shorts & Tik Tok videos.
You NEED to be creating daily YouTube shorts & Tik Tok videos.
You NEED to be creating daily YouTube shorts & Tik Tok videos.

Is that clear?

Pay close attention to this part. There is nothing that will grow your following faster than these two things right now.

YouTube shorts are competing with Tik Tok right now so the algorithm is giving small creators a chance.

Literally, all of our new followers have come from this method. We make 1-3 under 60-second videos on our phones daily & it works like a charm.

Let’s talk about growing a following on Tik Tok…

Tik Tok is SO much easier to grow than any other platform, if you’re not on there, you really should give it a go. Short format videos are hard, but mastering them is essential to growing in 2021 or further.

In the past month of being on there, I have gotten OVER 1000 subscribers by just posting mediocre content. It really is that simple, just most people won’t do it. Most people won’t create 1-3 videos a day, every day.

People want some miracle when all it takes is consistency & figuring out what the algorithm wants.

I made this video which is under 10 seconds long & it got this much traction in just one day…


From this video, I’ve gotten hundreds of followers for something that took me no time to create.

That is the power of these short-form videos, they really do have the potential to go “viral” quite easily.

YouTube Title & thumbnails, why they matter

I have spent so much time studying this as we’ve grown our business, it really is just a combination of good titles, thumbnails & playing the algorithm game.

If no one is clicking on your videos, they will stop recommending them which kills your growth.

Here are two examples of thumbnails for YouTube

Example A is something you see far too often on YouTube, just screen grabs of the video with no effort put in.

YouTube doesn’t want that, nor do people click on those thumbnails in the search. If you put ZERO effort into your thumbnail, why should anyone trust that your video won’t be a waste of time?

Example B isn’t mind-blowing, but it literally took me about 3 minutes to create using Canva. Just taking that extra step can make or break your video, especially as a new creator.

If you want to get a free month trial of Canva Pro to create thumbnails like this, you can sign up here!

Have fun with your titles!

Titles need to be relevant and answer questions that people are searching for. Think of what the purpose is of your video & what would the user be searching for.

You can create clickbait titles, but you MUST deliver on any promise you make in the title.

Your titles need to be searchable on Google.

You need to think of your ideal viewer, what are they searching for? A lot of traffic comes from Google so you need to play their game.

When strangers see that in the recommended videos, they have no relation to it, so no reason to click. Start with a bold statement & keep it short. No need to use every character. Only part of your title shows in the recommend so just keep it simple.

If you are going after long-tail keywords for SEO purposes, I would suggest researching your competition & seeing what titles they are using.

Maybe you’re not that serious, if you are just having fun on YT, don’t make the title too serious. Keep it short and interesting. Don’t over-explain. Leave the viewer with some reason to watch it!

You cant treat YouTube like a personal blog

If your niche is really small. YouTube most likely doesn’t know who to show your videos to.

Years ago, some of us could have become famous for having a vlog, but those times are over. There is so much competition on the internet that you need to understand what your intent is.

We all have a million things in our heads to talk about, but keep that to yourself. Your channel should really be hyper-focused on one topic. That is the BEST way to try to grow a channel.

YouTube needs to know that when they suggest you to someone, your content will be relevant.

If it’s a hodgepodge of things, the viewer will get confused & click off, which is the worst thing that can happen.

I want to talk about so much stuff on my channel, but I can’t.

YouTube wont push it since my channel has a different audience.

Two types of content that you need to make:

  1. Videos to attract new viewers to your channel (trending topics, shorts, etc)
  2. Videos to keep your existing followers happy (long-form, personal, etc)

It’s a balancing act because if you want to grow into a new niche, you may have to do it slowly or even start another channel.

If I follow someone on YT because they teach me how to fix cars, but the next day they are teaching me how to dance, ill probably unfollow.

Your content needs to make sense for the audience that you want.

There is NO magic bullet with social media growth!

Plain and simple, you just have to put in the effort. Most people don’t achieve overnight success & going viral doesn’t mean much unless the right audience sees it.

To grow on social media you MUST follow the trends and adapt. There is no way around it, some of you are too stubborn and will fail.

If your content sucks, get better.

Don’t have time to get better?

Hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you!

We do not have a huge following, but we’re working on it! If you guys need any help with your small channel, you can hire me on Fiverr here!

I really hope this was helpful, if it was please share it! Growing a following is hard, but once you understand the science, it makes sense as to why some people grow faster than others.

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