If you’ve read my last piece on social media strategy, you might be thinking:
Okay, Tara, I’ve chosen the right platform for my business, created a social media calendar, and planned some fun and creative posts. Now, how do I build a following so that all this content is getting in front of people?
Even online, no one likes to put themselves out there and get . . . crickets. And all your content-building efforts can feel futile when no one seems to acknowledge your social media existence.
Creating a strong, loyal following can take time. Brands need to earn their audience’s trust—and the first step is to get on their target audience’s radar.
Here are seven ways to help your company grow its social media presence and build a band of raving fans:
- Invite your network to “like” or follow your page. You want to build a network of people who resonate with your brand—not social media bots or “purchased” followers who produce no real value. So start with your own network. Use the tools on each platform to invite family, friends, and colleagues to follow you. Each of those follows will show up in their networks and increase your visibility.
- Be hashtag-searchable. On some platforms, people use a hashtag search when they’re looking for a particular service or product. Research the most popular, applicable hashtags for your brand and add them to your posts. Be specific when choosing your hashtags, and don’t go overboard: while Instagram users often load up on hashtags, you only need 2-3 for Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Follow people and brands you admire. Create a wish list of people or companies you admire or want to do business with, and follow their accounts. Get to know their brand and consistently engage with their content. These efforts may not pay off with the first few retweets, but it can lay the groundwork for potential collaborative efforts, partnerships, or new business.
- Bring on the freebies! People love free stuff. Instagram in particular is known for its giveaway posts: if you drop a like/follow, and/or tag a friend, it lets you enter a contest to win a freebie. The followers you’ll get aren’t always the highest quality, but if you design the contest intentionally to bring in more of your target audience, it’s a great opportunity to boost engagement and grow your fan base.
- Hire a community/social media manager. Find someone in your company who can commit to managing social media consistently. The worst thing you can do is get overly excited, plan a spectacular launch, and then let your social accounts languish. A C-suite executive doesn’t need to spend all their time responding to posts on Facebook, but they do need to help the community manager with high-level strategy and occasional one-off responses.
- Deliver real value, but acknowledge value as well. It’s important to promote your company, but you can build a lot of good will by promoting others as well. Have your community manager take an active interest in other people’s content. Like, comment, and celebrate their wins—that’s how you start conversations that build relationships over time.
- Define what success looks like to you. Set expectations for what a win looks like to you. Is social media success hitting a certain number of followers? Generating xx number of sales? Increasing engagement? Choose meaningful metrics and define why exactly they matter. Once you’ve set a clear goal, make sure you support your team with the resources needed to reach it.
With the right audience and attention, social media can lead to greater brand loyalty, increased sales, and interesting avenues for partnership. So don’t hold back: invest in a good social media plan and a strategist to help you execute it.
Ready to go all in on social media? Start by giving me a follow on Instagram, and I’ll give you one back!