Social media is a low cost, highly effective way to market your business, your brand, or yourself. It can be one of the most powerful digital marketing tools, when used correctly. Social media enables an individual to connect with millions of people, 24/7. By building a solid social media following, posting quality content, and interacting with your network of followers, you will be able to curate a large number of digital friends who are passionate about your brand.
Social media is one of the best digital marketing channels, and having an instagram account or twitter account for your brand or business can help you to promote your products or services. Online marketing using digital media can introduce your business to more potential customers than traditional marketing, which is why you should introduce social media into your digital marketing plan if you haven’t already. Having social media accounts on multiple digital channels, with the help of search engine optimization, can help expose your site to internet users and is a tactic often used by many content marketers.
While it may seem easy enough to just log on, post content, and be done with it, there is actually a method to the madness of social media. Do you feel like you are often posting content on social media but still lack a decent number of followers for the size of your business, or you lack actively engaged followers who interact with your posts?
As a small business or small business owner, content regularly is often not enough to grow your social media following and social media presence. When you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to build that following of people and connecting to an audience. There are a few things you can do to gain followers who are genuinely interested in your business and the content you share.
Post high quality content
There is a lot of content circulating around the social media sphere these days, but not all content is high quality content. In order to gain trust, an active following, and a quality audience, you want to make sure you are posting quality content. If you are sharing industry related news, tips, or otherwise, make sure it is correct, from a reliable source, informative, and interesting. This will impress followers, improve your post engagement, which, in turn, improves your visibility through the different social media algorithms.
Make sure any media you are posting, such as photos or videos, are high quality and formatted for the platform you are using. No one likes watching a blurry video and less of your audience is likely to engage with a low quality photo, which can lower your chances of attracting new followers if they arrive on your page and find that it is not aesthetically pleasing, no matter how interesting or informative the information attached to the media may be.
Post regularly and consistently
While you may be posting quality content, you need to be posting this content regularly and consistently, rather than sporadically. Try sticking to a posting schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, or even more frequently than that if you have an ample amount of content available! You can also post shorter blurbs of content onto stories on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. This will keep you in the mind of your current followers and gives your account more chances to be discovered by potential followers through hashtags, algorithms and shares!
Many brands and influencers have also had recent successes with growing their social media accounts by live streaming or live posting at a specific time each week, say 7pm EST on Wednesdays, where they hop onto social media accounts that allow for live streaming (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more) and interact with followers in real time, face to face.
Another version of semi-live interaction with your followers is Q&A (question and answer) sessions, which can take place on live streams, Instagram stories, or even Twitter! This gives your followers chances to ask questions about your business and receive a quick response to their questions through a video or text reply!
Content and topics discussed during live experiences can range from updates on your business, news related to your field or your followers’ interests, or even a special, exclusive-feeling insight into your personal life if you’re going for the personable, down to earth approach as a business owner!
By hosting consistent live events weekly, business owners can develop a relationship with their followers to the point where your followers really feel like they have a personal connection to you. When you make people, customers, feel special like this, they will often rave about you and your account to others. This can lead to promotion of your accounts and your business just through word of mouth and social media shares!
Make sure your message, tone, and format fit the network you are using
The caption you’d use on an instagram post probably won’t work on your LinkedIn page, and that’s not a bad thing. Social media marketers know that you have to switch your tone as you switch between platforms, depending on your audience.
Instagram is known for having more casual, personal content and captions, and your audience is expecting that tone from you on that particular platform. However, LinkedIn is known as a more professional, high brow platform, where you don’t post just anything. Users use LinkedIn to receive high quality professional news and content, generally from the business or corporate world, so your tone on there should be a bit more buttoned-up. Knowing your audience’s expectations in mind in every social media situation will help you to curate your message, tone, and format for each different platform.
Not only do you have to switch your tone between platforms, you also need to switch your formatting! For example, if you post an image with a longer, multiple paragraph story as the caption on instagram, that caption will have to take some major cuts in order to fit as a caption on LinkedIn, where the character limit on captions is 1,300 characters. Keeping in mind both formatting differences and tone differences as you switch between platforms should help you to gain a more engaged and interested audience on all platforms.
Interact with your followers
This one should be a no-brainer, but less people utilize this method to gain followers on social media! Interaction can be done in many different ways, most commonly through responding to comments or tweets or direct messages, interacting with similar accounts’ posts, or through live streaming! These are all amazing ways to interact with your followers, which helps to retain your current audience, and in terms of gaining new followers.
The best technique is to follow and interact with similar accounts! Similar accounts can include businesses similar to yours or industry professional accounts similar to yours! This way, followers of those accounts can see your interactions, which may direct them towards your page, subsequently increasing your following! Another way to do this is to interact with potential followers, or followers who engage with similar accounts to yours. This can take a bit of research and digging on social media sites, but if you can find accounts you believe are quality potential followers, give them a follow or interact with their account. They might just follow you back!
Use hashtags wherever possible
Using hashtags is one of the easiest ways to get noticed by new followers across all platforms. Many users use hashtags to find content and accounts they are interested in. Don’t overdo it with the hashtags though, you should only use tags relevant to your posts! By using only relevant hashtags, you will be able to attract a more interested, active, and engaged audience, rather than a passive audience.
Possibly the most important key to gaining new followers and retaining current followers, be genuine! Post genuine content, be interesting, relatable, and informative. Don’t sound like a robot. Make your content conversational, but make sure to pay attention to the tone we discussed earlier! Social media users love the feeling of genuine relationships with celebrities, business owners, influencers, and brands that platforms provide, so by being genuine, you can quickly gain an engaged audience of interested followers.