The first step to running a successful social media operation is to build an audience you’ll later be able to turn into conversions. To help you get started, we compiled our 10 best tips for growing your social media audience.
1. Like snowflakes, each social network is unique
Treat your Twitter followers like your Facebook fans and there’s a small yet threatening chance they will burn you at the stake. Nothing sets off a loyal Twitter follower like directing them to a Facebook post. The nerve! If you can’t say it in 140 characters, don’t say it at all.
Test what type of content works on each network (photos, texts, links, videos) and identify that crossroad between your company’s message and the uniqueness of that particular platform.
2. Ditch the hardsell
Not only is the hardsell on social media annoying, on November 14th, 2014, Facebook officially declared that “overly promotional page posts” will get less play in users’ News Feeds. And when the Facebook algorithm speaks, we suggest you take heed.
This officially means nobody cares about your marketing message as much as you do. Ditch the hardsell or your audience will ditch you. You need to be compelling and shareable.
3. Don’t be rude, respond to your customers
Brands were asked nearly 22 million questions on social in 2014. Brands that are responsive get 3.5 times more interactions than their less-responsive counterparts. Publicly responding to user posts on social media shows other potential customers that you provide a good level of customer support. It shows that they can reach you on their terms. Need more tips on how to provide effective social customer care? Read how Socially Devoted companies outperform competitors.
4. Pay to play, but don’t break your bank
More brands are making strategic and effective use of promoted posts, which puts those that aren’t at a disadvantage. Allocate a test budget for promoted social content and support content that performs well organically. This essentially gives a larger chunk of your audience (and through their interactions – your potential audience) more of what they want.
5. Promote the right content on Facebook
Reach, both organic and paid, is strongly linked to interactions. Facebook wants to serve users the right content in their News Feed, and post interactions signal interest. Learn more about Promoted Post Detection and the science behind boosting content.
6. Don’t be everywhere
It may sound odd coming from social media evangelists like us, but not all companies need to be on all social networks, especially if time and money are scarce.
Give your content an honest assessment, and apply your focus to the social networks that are right for your company right now.
7. Give exclusive offers
Users don’t connect with their local cafes just to find out when the doors open. They want the insider scoop on a limited time offer involving free cookies when you tweet #(insert campaign hashtag). Give your audience a sense of inclusion with a drop of exclusivity. Create network-specific offers that give your fans and followers a real sense of the worth in belonging to your online community.
8. Use hashtags to increase searchability
Not only can hashtags be used to facilitate a campaign or add some humor to your voice, they’re also a great way to tap into a conversation and reach a new audience interested in your topic. Do you tweet about traveling? Add #ttot or #TravelTuesday to your content and join an active community who are already talking about your topic.
9. Set reachable goals
Let’s head back to Marketing 101 where we learned about creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-sensitive). The same method applies for setting and reaching social media growth goals. Don’t simply look to your competitor’s page size and say, “we want to catch up”, give some thought to your priorities and assign value to each goal achieved.
Remember, you won’t know where you’re going unless you know where you started.
10. Learn from your competition
As Pablo Picasso is credited for saying, “good artists copy; great artists steal.” This isn’t to say go on and plagiarize your competitors’ content, but don’t be fooled to think you’re the only one with a good idea. Analyze what they do, how they do it and use this as a jumping off point so you can employ similar triggers in your own campaign.