If you’re reading this, you’re probably not satisfied with your social media following. You’ve experimented with different kinds of posts, posting at different times of day, hashtags… but you’re not growing as quickly as you want to.
Social media can be a difficult to master, obtuse game. Fortunately for you, many people have found winning strategies before you and some are willing to share their knowledge to help you achieve your social media goals. According to Sprout Social, brands saw revenue increase from advertising on all four major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) in 2019. Here are five focus points that will help you improve your feeds and grow your following.
1) Know your audience
Think about this: every single person who follows you has a reason for doing so. If you’re managing your account well, most of them will be the same reason: they’re interested in your brand, your offering, or your posts. Know that reason, and when you’re creating your content keep it in mind. Give your audience what they want, and they’ll keep coming back.
Most platforms also give you statistics on the demographics of your following. You’ll get percentile breakdowns of sex, age ranges, sometimes even mutual interests. It would be a mistake not to research these details before executing your marketing strategy. Hootsuite has some good resources breaking down which demographics you should be aware of (including age, time zone, language, and interests). Consider it a tool to further specify your content. A 50-year-old woman is not going to be interested in the same content as a 13-year-old boy. By understanding your niche market, you will be able to stay focused and will likely have higher return on your marketing execution.
2) Consistency, consistency, consistency
This one has more to do with the platforms’ algorithms than your audience itself. Most platforms (Instagram and Facebook most notably) tend to prioritize showing content from accounts that post frequently. This means the best way to make sure a person sees your content once they’ve followed you is to post every day! The more you post, the more people will interact with your post—which is also good for the algorithm. Bottom line, more content = more people seeing the content.
According to Techipedia, companies with consistent messaging are worth 20% more on average than those with inconsistencies in their visual branding. In general, it grabs your audience’s attention and builds a reputation of reliability, authority and authenticity.
3) Know your brand and don’t deviate
Ultimately, you want your customers to know that you’re the one who posted your content without having to look at your account name. The colors, the layout, and the subject matter should all be consistent enough to immediately invoke the thought of you, your name, and your brand. You should have a reference document with a checklist for every piece of content you post—are you using your typical color scheme, is the tone of your copy consistent, etc. If you skip this step, your identity will seem muddled and people won’t know what your brand is or stands for—and they’ll unfollow you.
4) Interact with other accounts
The first three tips focused more on
engaging the audience you already have. These last two are more geared towards growing your base. The best way to get other accounts to notice you is to show that you’ve noticed them. Follow accounts with similar audiences to yours. Like and comment on their posts. If there’s the possibility of working together, don’t be afraid to suggest it.
Don’t stop there. Look at the accounts that follow your competitors. Follow them, and interact with their posts. They’re your audience, too!
At the same time, it’s important to maintain an authentic feel. Social media users in general are growing tired of interacting with bots, automatic replies, and other accounts that don’t seem like people. You wouldn’t want to talk with a bot, either, so remember to be authentic and proactive. Don’t get upset if you receive no response at first! As long as you are providing positive & valuable content, you will reap the benefits sooner or later.
5) Invest in ads
The second way to grow your following is to pay the platforms to promote your post. This can get expensive quickly, but if done strategically your investment will pay off. The more people who see your posts, the more will click on them. Make sure you take advantage of any targeting tools the platform has to ensure that the people who see your ads are the people you’re trying to reach. Use the advice in step 1 and target it towards the demographics already represented in your audience!
Remember: marketing is a habit, not a one-off task. Be patient and treat your following as you would a plant. It will take patience and passion—treat watering the audience and growing your followers as daily/weekly tasks. It will provide positive returns in the long run.
There you have it. Enact these five strategies and you’ll be seeing major growth. It’s not easy and it takes time (both time out of your day and time to gain momentum), but these five steps are part of a tried-and-true strategy responsible for dozens of success stories. Now, get out there and post!