Gaining an online following is all about getting noticed by the right people, but often that can be easier said than done. These seven tips will help you determine who it is you’re trying to target, how to engage with them and how to develop valuable content going forward to gain a loyal following on your social accounts.
1. Identify your audience
While it’s tempting to take a blanket approach and hope for the best, “everyone” is not an audience so you need to be more specific about who it is you’re trying to reach when building a social media community. Many brands don’t gain any traction with their social media campaigns because they don’t post content that is specific to a designated group.
Finding your audience will help you figure out:
- Which social media sites you need to be active on
- When you should be posting
- The types of content that are best suited to your brand
- How to establish your brand’s voice
- The information you need to include in your profiles
Once you really hone in on who it is you want to reach, you’ll find that success is a lot easier to achieve. Spend some time creating and analysing audience personas related to your brand, so you can understand what their challenges are and the brands they already connect with on social media. From here, you can carry out competitor analysis to help you understand how your own social media presence can stand out from the crowd – and specifically attract the attention of your target customers.
2. Be human
Acting like a faceless robot when communicating with potential customers isn’t likely to make anyone feel like engaging with your brand, so let your audience see a softer side. This means interacting on your social media accounts on a (very!) regular basis, from responding to posts and comments to showing them who you really are so they can feel more connected to you. A brand who inject personality into everything they do is Innocent drinks. This Twitter post is a great example of how you can use social media to have fun and encourage your audience to visit again in the future.
We interrupt our relentless smoothie-based marketing messages to bring you this photo of a baby skunk. pic.twitter.com/n77B6PoDnk
— innocent drinks (@innocent) February 19, 2015
3. Network with influencers
One of the most effective ways of building your social media following is by connecting with influencers related to your brand or services. By commenting on their posts, sharing tweets and engaging in online conversations with them online, you can increase the visibility of your brand with mutual audiences. Or, to put it another way, to get noticed you need to be hanging with the right people. Pick three to five influencers you follow and admire, and engage with their content. In doing this, you’ll put yourself on the radar of not only the influencer but also their followers. The more visibility you get, the more chance you’ve got of increasing your followers.
4. Produce valuable and visual content
Whichever channel you’re posting to, you can’t help but notice that photo and video content is leading the way right now. Instagram and YouTube are hugely popular and it’s because they’re visually appealing forms of media and easy to use. Facebook has stated that Live videos get six times the engagement than any other type of content on the channel.
Need some inspiration?
- Upload team photos or videos
- Post photos of your customers
- Create albums or short videos of events throughout the year
- Show behind-the-scenes footage
- Upload quote photos
- Develop infographics to showcase your content in a more visual way
- Find ways to incorporate your brand into events, like Coca-Cola did
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) April 3, 2018
Remember, it’s not about just posting for the sake of it – the content you upload still needs to be valuable, not just in your blog but also on social media. Creating the best content helps to put your business and brand in the spotlight, meaning more customers and more money.
5. Optimise, optimise, optimise
Optimisation is key when producing any sort of online content – your social accounts aren’t going to gain followers by themselves. There are a few things you can do to help things along, such as:
- Link your profile to your website
- Update your bios regularly with new deals or events
- Use hashtags and make them relatable and relevant
- Use keywords in your posts and bios
6. Use tools to monitor your activity
Marketers need to be making the best use of their own data in just the same way as everyone else – it’s all about analysing what has performed well, what hasn’t and what you can learn from both of these. There are tonnes of analytics tools out there to help you identify your performance trends and break down your social media presence by numbers. Loomly is a fantastic tool that schedules and analyses social media posts. There’s a real science to digital marketing and using these tools will help you quit the guessing game when it comes to developing content.
7. Stay active
Simply put, neglecting your social feeds reflects badly on you as a brand. You need to be showing up regularly in peoples’ feeds in order to build a following, but it doesn’t have to consume all of your time. There are scheduling tools available to help you stay active on social without having to be constantly present, or simply block out 10 to 15-minute chunks throughout the day to post something new, respond to a customer concern or engage with someone else’s content. Want to maximise your productivity? Try basing your activity around the best times to post on each social channel to increase the chances of engagement.
Here you can see the best times to post on social media from Coschedule.