You’ve started on a new social network, you have goals and objectives in place, you have followed all the steps to help kick things off and make sure people can find you now it’s time to build an audience. Growing your audience on social media is crucial. These days there are more and more businesses moving online which means there is more competition than ever for eyeballs. As always it’s important to realise that you need to be in social media for the long haul. There’s no point getting annoyed after a few weeks then giving up. This happens all too often. There are some smart tactics to use to help grow your audience. So whether you’re a business looking to grow on Twitter or have started your very own Facebook Live show (well done if you’re taken the plunge) here are our 8 tips to help grow your audience.
Number 1. Cross-Platform Promotion
It’s important to realise as early as possible that you’re marketing tools aren’t in individual silos. What you do on Facebook shouldn’t be independent of what you do on Twitter, LinkedIn etc. There’s a reason people use the term marketing mix. You might have noticed some Twitter and Facebook profiles are Snapchat codes. This is a smart and easy way to help spread the word if your business has jumped onto the social network of 2016. It got to be such a problem that both asked brands to stop using Snapcodes as profile pictures. This is just a simple example of cross-platform promotion. Think how content can be used on different networks, identify the key strengths of each network and then start spreading the word. If you’re doing great content on Instagram then why not use it on Facebook. Build your audience by the showing the great content you create across all networks.
BlueChief Tip: Use SnapChat images on other networks
Number 2. Join and add value in chats/groups/conversations
Reach out to people. If there is a chat about an issue that is relevant to your business then reach out and engage with those people. Add value to the conversation whether it’s a useful article, your opinion or an image that can help answer a question (such as the one in this blog). See if there are groups that you can join and engage with like-minded people or potential customers. If you give value and if people are interested in what you have to say then very often they will start to follow you.
BlueChief Tip: For example with Twitter:
- See if there is a Twitter hour
- Reach out and add value
- Use GIFs and Video to add personality
- Stand out from the crowd
Number 3. Build a network of advocates on key channels
By engaging with 1 and 2 this very often leads to building a network of people who will engage with and spread the word about your business. This is why it pays to put the time into that golden word in social media, engagement. Build links and relationships with people on networks that are important to you. After a relationship has been developed these people will interact and engage with you regularly when you reach out to them. The useful thing with Facebook and Instagram is that these peoples content will continue to appear thanks to the algorithm. On Twitter a useful tactic is to create a list.
Number 4. Chat about core key topics where you can become a thought leader
This is where it’s important to plan your social media brand. Identify a couple of key fields of interest that are important to you but where you are an expert and can give your opinion back up with evidence. A good acid test for this would be a Twitter chat. If you can engage with others and answer their questions or give your opinion in real time then great focus on this topic. There’s a reason why your profile should describe the areas of interest to you. Make sure these are areas you know about with the end goal of becoming a thought leader in.
Number 5. Engage with key people on long topics consistently
Want to become a thought leader? Find the key people in your field and engage with them on a regular basis. Give your opinion on an issue and spark up a debate on a key issue. By doing so and developing the conversation you will reach the stage that these people will reach out to you. If your audience can see that these are the type of people you engage with on a regular basis then they will follow and take note of what you have to say. Consistency is one of the most important aspects of social media. Keep at it, check out your analytics and work on how you can improve.
Number 6. Attend events and track the hashtag
You might have heard this before but events are pretty useful when it comes to harnessing social media. An event that is engaging online as well as offline is a terrific opportunity to build an audience. Most importantly though you’re building a relevant audience!!! If there’s a hashtag then:
- Create interactive content (photos, video etc)
- Use the hashtag in your content
- Engage with others using the hashtag
This helps you to network as well online at an event as you might offline as well. It’s all about maximising the resources available and a simple hashtag can be a great tool to harness.
Number 7. Track, measure and iterate engagement processes
You’re at nothing on social media if you don’t use analytics on social media. I use the example of throwing something on a wall and hoping it sticks to show how pointless it is to not use analytics. While I don’t have anything against experimenting (in fact this is crucial to do) it’s crucial to check out the analytics and see how the post does. So if you’re taking part in a chat or are starting to use a particular method for engagement at the end of the day/week go to the analytics:
- Track the posts where you engage
- Measure how it has done
- If it works iterate if it doesn’t change your approach
- If you don’t keep track of your activity the above approach isn’t possible
BlueChief Tip: Focus on one approach to engagement e.g. only using video, then use another and see what works best.
Number 8. Nurture online relationships offline too
The end goal of your online engagement should be to meet the person face to face. If people are coming up to you and complimenting what you’re doing online then you might be on the right track. While online becoming more important never ever forget about nurturing relationships offline. An event can be a great example. If you meet someone and have a talk with them for a while when the event is over reach out and engage with them online with a view to meeting up offline again. Never miss out on an opportunity to build your audience. Networking is still a crucial skill to develop and nurture.
BlueChief Tip: Look out for networking events in the area.
— WildAtlanticStartUP (@goWASUP) June 17, 2016
Building an Audience, But the Right Kind
Building an audience is crucial. As I often say you’re shouting in an empty room then what’s the point? From making max use of your content to engaging with the right people following these steps will help you build a following who are interested in what you do and who can also be potential customers for you.
Need more help? Fear not check out our services page and see how we can help you with your social media and build the right kind of fanbase.
P.S Here is a chart of the 8 tips to grow your audience