How many followers do you have on social media? Whether you care or not, if you’re building brand awareness for your business numbers do count! The majority of us have an unconscious sheep mentality - especially when it comes to the world of social media. Unfortunately, if you are a developing brand this makes your job far harder as people will often follow social media pages with already high follower numbers. Therefore, working on increasing your social media audience following requires time and dedication.
The world of social media is now an unignorable part of building and sustaining a business. Even if you have a strong quality product or service that you believe in, you need these numbers to back that up to the global social media audience. Social media is now the million dollar way to promote your business and is essentially free marketing - if you do it well! However, you can’t market if you have no audience to market too.
From Instagram to Twitter and Facebook, these mediums can help your content reach a mass audience at the blink of an eye. Building an audience on social media can help increase your brand recognition, improve your brand loyalty and of course, impact your sales. With all of that in mind, it can therefore, become incredibly frustrating and demoralising if you are unable to draw people to your social media pages and keep those follows and likes growing. That’s where we step in! Here at Wriggle Marketing, our social media guru’s have compiled some crash course advice on how to grow your audience on social media…
So, how do you grow your social media following?
#1 Create a strategy
First things first - make a plan! Whether you are a brand new business or well established in your given market, if you want to build a social media audience you need to start first by planning and strategising. It doesn't matter if you’re going it alone or working in conjunction with a digital marketing agency, the first port of call will be developing a social media strategy. Without this, you will fall into the trap of aimlessly publishing content and randomly engaging. With social media, you need to pinpoint your target audience, plan how to best engage with them and be consistent with your content and when you post. Sproutsocial is an excellent software to manage and strategise your social media platforms and enables you to pre-schedule posts and analyse engagement statistics and social traffic.
#2 Know your audience
When trying to build an audience on social media it is crucial you understand who you are targeting with your social platforms and how then to tailor your content accordingly. Think about the social media platform that will best attract your target audience depending on the social media demographics of each platform. Identifying your target audience through customer profiling and creating content in line with this from the outset will ensure you grow your audience quickly and effectively.
#3 Follow other people
This may seem like an obvious one, but you may not have considered following other brands, influencers and users to them draw attention to your own page and get others to follow you back. It’s a practical step and a great place to start with an emerging social media page. When choosing who to follow and attract into engaging with your brand, think about people you know personally, brands you admire and those within your respective field with high followings. Fortunately, most social sites will give you recommendations for people you may know or for brands that might appeal to you based on who you are already following. This provides an opportune moment to branch out and find appropriate people to follow. The marketeer King Neil Patel also recommends using the tool Tweepi to assist you in finding suggested followers on Twitter. The tool analyses your social activity and your current followers and then suggests actions to take to grow your following.
#4 Quality over quantity
Producing valuable content is integral to growing your social media audience. Ultimately content is king and people will not follow you unless your content is of interest to them. Create original content that is in line with your brand identity, be consistent and maintain your presence by posting quality content on a regular basis. By ensuring your content is in keeping with your target audience will help you immensely with this. Additionally, it is vital to remember that social media is incredibly visual and as people whizz through their social feeds it can be very easy to brush past an unengaging, wordy post. You have seconds to attract someone on social media so make those seconds count - be visual, be interactive, and be unique and innovative with your content.
Retweet and share the content of other social media accounts! Not only does continuously prompting your own products and services get shameful, but it also becomes boring for your followers and can make them form a poor impression of you causing them to unfollow. A great way to boost both the quality of your content as well your interaction with your audience can be to share and retweet content for other pages that you like or feel would be of interest to your audience. This enables you to interact with brands you like at the same time as feeding through their content to your audience to draw interaction to your own page.
Audience engagement is essentially the process of attracting your social media following to engagement with your content, be it through liking, retweeting, sharing, answering a poll and so forth. The more engagement and activity you get from your social posts, the more your content is going to prove successful. Conduct polls and surveys, run competitions and reply to comments to assist audience interaction and also provide a forum through which you can listen to the feedback you are given and hopefully improve your brand even further.
#7 Make use of hashtags
Using hashtags can be a great way to gain new followers! Much like when you use keywords to attract visitors to your website within the world of SEO, hashtags can be a vital means through which to increase your exposure on social media. Hashtags are especially prominent on Twitter and Instagram, so keep this in mind when using these channels. Finding the right hashtags for your business is important for attracting an audience that will convert into engagement, traffic, and sales later on. Don’t fall into the trap of simply using the most popular hashtags for exposure, this will not help you get the long-term results you need. Hashtags like #love and #food have hundreds of thousands of posts, but these generic hashtags will be useless for your business. You’ll get likes, but not from people who are genuinely interested in your business or brand. It is therefore important you keep on topic and brand with your hashtags. If you are unsure how to create effective hashtags for your brand, search hashtags you may potentially use and see what comes up to ensure that they are not being used for something you wouldn’t want your brand to be associated with. If you need a bit more direction with this, Ritetag is a very nifty tool to save you time when finding the best hashtag for your social media post.
#8 Take inspiration
There is nothing wrong with checking out the competition! If you are struggling to know how to best utilise your social media platform, do some market research and analyse your competitors to see what is or isn’t working for them. See who has the highest following, most liked posts and generally high audience engagement. Take note of the form of posts they are doing and how they are getting audience engagement and interaction from such posts. Not everyone is creative so drawing some inspiration and knowing your market can be hugely beneficial when building your social platform.
One thing is for sure, growing your audience on social media is no simple task and in the majority of cases, these tips will not make you an overnight success. In addition to this, you must not get complacent with social media - it can take seconds to lose followers so audience retention is just as important as audience expansion. If you are fortunate enough to attract an authentic following it’s important you continue this hard workand remain top of the social media hierarchy. If this all sounds like a rather daunting task, our expert social media team here at Wriggle would be more than happy to assist you with this. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 285 6128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.