Brands, organizations, and institutions should use their social media platforms every single day to build relationships with their audience, raise brand awareness, and drive sales and leads.
With an engaged online community on one or more of the major social networks, your brand can effectively spread the word about products and services, campaigns, and new initiatives. However, despite common belief, simply having 1,000 Instagram followers or 300 Facebook page likes is not the best indicator of success on through social media marketing efforts.
It’s very possible to have tons of followers who never engage with you, read your posts, or click on your promoted links. The trick is to build not build a large following but instead a thriving online community of your ideal fans, the ones who'll actively engage with your content, share it with their networks, and ultimately, become paying customers.
It takes time and work to establish a thriving online community, but that effort can pay off, and it can pay off big time.
Are you looking to grow the social media community for your business? In this writeup, we’ll share our 10 best ways to help you reach your social goals!
1. Run Contests/Giveaways
Contests can be a great way to get new people to Like, follow and engage with your accounts, while also keeping your current community engaged.
It's often worth experimenting with different contests to see which resonates with your audience the most. Some examples of social media contests include:
Comment to win – Participants leave a comment or answer a question
Caption contest – Either the best caption (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
Fill-in-the-blank Contest – Ask participants to answer a trivia question
Photo contest – Either the best photo (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
Multiple choice contest
Tips for a successful social media contest:
Promote it everywhere - Use your website, email list, other social networks and any other resources to rally up participation.
Do not give away prizes completely unrelated to your brand - For example, if you give away a new iPad, you might drive a lot of engagement and participation, but not necessarily from people who will eventually become customers or lifelong fans.
Follow up with entrants who don’t win - Send them a thank you for participating, along with something about your brand/organization’s work. This is super important to build relationships with those who expressed interest in your brand.
2. Visual Content Is Key.
Visuals are required on sites such as Instagram and TikTok, but only optional on other sites such as Twitter and Facebook and. It is our strong recommendation to always include visuals no matter what the platform. Visuals are high performers on social media, so be sure to include an eye-catching, brand aligned image or graphic with each post.
Consider these visual marketing statistics, compiled by HubSpot:
Content with relevant images rack up 94% more views than content without images.
Compared to other types of content, visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media.
Instagram photos showing faces get 38% more likes than photos without faces.
3. Video Content Rules All.
Video is the most engaging content type on every single social platform, so if you can, it's a good idea to create at least some form of video content to maximize your community engagement.
Be sure to upload your video directly to your platform of choice, rather than posting a link to an outside website (like YouTube). This way, your video will autoplay as people land on it while scrolling through their feeds, grabbing more attention.
Videos don’t have to be special. Short clips and little mini movies are perfect pieces of content to grow your brand.
Lots of views can lead increased engagement, reach and exposure for your brand.
4. Put Effort Into Listening And Participating With Your Current Community.
How can. You want 1000 followers when you can’t attend to 100?
Did you know that 83% of your Facebook fans now expect a response from you by the end of the day?
In fact, 32% of Twitter users now expect a response within just 30 minutes.
Give your followers a fantastic user experience on social by being exceptionally responsive. Listen to their needs and respond accordingly.
You should also look to publicly recognize people who give mention to your brand.
At the end of the day, relationships are built through engaging and communicating with one another. Communicate with your audience, become their friends, and build your community.
5. What’s In It For Your Community?
Give both prospective and current fans a reason to follow you.
What value are you providing? What are you offering that will entice them to stay tuned in?
Put yourself in the shoes of your audience, what benefit will they receive from joining your community?
Come up with a plan to consistently post and share content that will resonate with your specific audience, wherever they hangout online.
7. Encourage Tagging Of Friends.
An effective strategy to engage your followers is to encourage them to tag other people who may have interest in your posted content
If you post an infographic, caption “Tag a friend who needs to know this”.
These new people are likely similar to your current audience and can be drawn into the community.
8. Use Hashtags To Get Found.
There are two great ways to use hashtags to increase your social media followers:
1) Use popular hashtags strategically every once in a while
b) Participate in relevant trending hashtags
Check your social feeds daily and pick up on what is trending. If relevant to your business, create content around the trending hashtag.
For example, on Thursday you could use the trending hashtag #ThrowbackThursday and include a photo from your early stages of operation. (tells your story which is key to building relationships)
8. Entertain Your Audience.
Brands that show humanity do well on social media – However, you must always ensure what you’re posting is properly aligned with your brands voice and core message.
There's no point in sharing cat memes for the sheer sake of sharing cat memes. Even if such posts do get a few likes, it is likely to attract an audience for cat memes, not for your brand.
9. Invest In Paid Social Media.
Unfortunately, as users increase, organic reach will naturally decrease.
Leveling up your social media success often involves allocating ad spend.
One of the best ways to grow your audience and gain more exposure is to invest a modest amount into paid social advertisements. When done well, paid social ads can promote your content, increase conversions, and help you reach new people.
A proper strategy and audience targeting enables you to focus your ads on "warm" audiences - people who've already expressed interest in your brand (if you use the Facebook pixel),
Facebook's advanced options, in particular, can be hugely beneficial in reaching just the right people with your paid outreach.
Want to get started with Social Media Ads? Contact us today for a FREE consultation.
10. Never Buy Followers!!
“Fake it till you make it” doesn’t work in the online world. Some people assume that purchasing fans and followers is a shortcut to building a huge online community. This is not only bad practice, but it will largely end up being more of a problem than it's worth.
The biggest issue here is that it contaminates your audience with robot profiles, which will ruin your audience insights, limit your ongoing performance, and will end up restricting the organic reach of your posts. Better yet, you will not be able to get any accurate data for marketing efforts. For example, if you tried to “boost” one of your Facebook posts, Facebook's algorithm would look to show it to more people like those who already follow your Page. You'd essentially be paying to reach bots, and the same implications apply to various other ad targeting measures.
You should focus on creating posts and sharing information that will attract the right people - the people that you need to engage, take an action, and cultivate for a deeper relationship along the line.
When used strategically and thoughtfully, social media platforms can be a great way for brands and organizations to connect with stakeholders, cultivate loyal followers, and expand their reach and audience.
Is your issue time? Contact us today.