Social media. It's always changing.
Whether or not you remember the first day you created your Facebook page, or the first day you began connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn, growing your social media following starts with the first step. The first connection.
We are fortunate to live in a society now where we can be friends and be connected with millions and millions of people all over the world with different tastes, religions, cultures, backgrounds...even different ways of handling similar every day scenarios.
But connections and friendships aren't limited to people alone. In fact, as a business, you have a unique opportunity to connect and engage with large groups of people, businesses and organizations. To light a fire of passion in the hearts of your audience about your brand and connect with them in a more personal and meaningful way.
However, making these connections and building this audience can be rough. Both because people want more authentic connections and value from their friendships and because trying to get off the ground without the experience or tools can feel next to impossible.
But that's where we come in. And this article is meant for you.
Are you ready to dive in and learn how to grow your social media following organically and without tears? Let's get started!
Make it Possible to be Found in the Right Places
And how can you go about doing this? Be in the right places! Find the platforms where your audience is-and be there!
Beyond just being on the platform, though. You need to understand how the platform works, what kind of people gravitate towards it, (even if they don't use it daily) and how you can best utilize it.
You can read more about choosing the right social media platform HERE.
The Competitor Investigation and Advantage
Like any good marketing tool, there's plenty of competitor analyzing in social media marketing. Analyzing your competitors and finding out what is and isn't working for them can give you an incredible edge and help you learn from their successes- as well as their mistakes.😉
A few questions you can start with when it comes to analyzing your competitors would be:
- What platforms are they most active on?
- What type of content do they share?
- How often do they share content?
- How much of their content is UGC and how do they go about attaining it?
- What time do they generally share content? Is there specific times?
- How can you best distinguish your brand from your competitors? What makes you unique?
Of course there's endless amounts of information and data you can pull from the way your competitors are interacting and sharing online, but this is an excellent place to start and will help you get a foothold in growing your audience.
Be Consistent, Stay Consistent.
What is the tone of your interaction online and what does it communicate? Your personality, brand values and goals should be coming out through everything you do. If your brand can't be picked out of a crowd by your target consumers, you've got a problem.
Sticking with brand colors, a unique tone of voice and telling the same story, (namely, your story) across platforms is a vital tool when it comes to growing your audience and growing your following.
The Secret is in the Content
Hint: NOT one of the best kept secrets. Why? Because sharing valuable, insightful and powerful content should be your goal even if you're not actively trying to grow your following. Most especially in an era when consumers want you to research and show them WHY they need your products and services.
Don't share a bunch of information regarding what a great job you can do, prove it. And make your content reflect your dedication to your work. High quality, engaging, informative, creative and fun.🎆
Follow, Connect and Engage With YOUR Industry Thought Leaders!
These are some of the most powerful and inspiring people you can connect and share with, so make your efforts count!
Connecting and following industry thought leaders will open doors for you to make new connections, gain followers and engage with potential future colleagues and customers.
P.S if you're in the social media marketing industry or are passionate about education and marketing, the Southern Social Summit might be just what you need to connect with those industry thought leaders in the opportunity of a lifetime!
Yes, we have a whole post about which and what hashtags to use, so you have all the information you need at your fingertips.
A few quick tops about this, though: Stick with your industry, stay relevant and above all, LESS IS MORE. Using 200 hashtags won't make your post anymore useful or relevant to your audience.
Ahem, that's all. 😉😏😉
Go Ahead and Utilize Those Paid and Sponsored Options!!!
Not something you'll want to do immediately. However, once you have successfully begun building your brand and establishing your voice this is an excellent next step to get in front of bigger and bigger audiences as well as your lookalike audiences.
Each platform has it's own rules as far as advertising goes, but the general rules you need to keep in mind are making the next steps to a conversion easy with straight-forward CTAs and make sure you're including fun and relevant images.
With more and more people buying products and signing up for services from social platforms, if you correctly utilize this tool, you'll be growing in no time!
Filling Out Your Profile (All of it.)
Filling out your profile. An under-utilized but extremely important step.
If you don't have your profile filled out, or aren't sure, we've created a cross-platform cheat sheet to check off down below with the *essential* bits of information you need to include if you want to make the most of your social media.
- Your Name or Brand
- Your Bio or "About Section"
- Your Website
You'd be surprised at how many businesses and industry professionals forget to add these to their profile, but without them, you'll be throwing away traffic and conversions as well as meaningful connections.
Above all, Engage!
This is a VITALLY important rule if you want to grow your following and build meaningful connections.
You can engage on other industry-related content, leaders content, trending topics and more! Just so long as you're ADDING VALUE and STAYING RELEVANT, anything goes.
And that's it! Growing your following can be as simple as 1-2-3 if you put your mind to it and educate yourself.
Do you have any insight that can be useful for growing a following across the social media channels? We want to hear from you!!