Social media offers marketers many options when it comes to connecting with your audience. Whether it’s a simple tweet, a custom video, or contest, the possibilities are endless. Many developers are great at building their app, but when it comes to getting the word out on social, they don’t know where to begin. If you opened a Twitter account but have plateaued with an underwhelming amount of followers, or you started a Facebook page and are now realizing that there is more to engagement than just posting ad style blurbs, then you’re in the right place. Let’s cover some of the core principles of growing and engaging an organic social audience.
Hit Your Target
One thing you must have a clear understanding of before opening any social profile for a brand, product, or app is your target market. None of the following tactics will work if you don’t know exactly who you are going after. There is some wiggle room, and your target will narrow as you start seeing who starts following and engaging with your brand, but it is crucial that you go into this will an idea of your target market.
As I mentioned in the previous article, once you have your target you can use tools like Crowdfire to start putting your profiles in front of people most likely to engage. Crowdfire allows you to copy the followers of your direct competitors and other profiles who have built followings delivering the same content you intend on serving up. The idea behind this is “if they like that guy’s content – they are sure to like mine”. This, in turn, leads to a high “follow-back” ratio. For those who don’t follow you back, Crowdfire offers a quickly unfollow method for all users not following you at any given moment.
Use Your Connections
Another way to spark some initial growth is simply inviting your friends to follow and share, and asking them to engage in your pages. There is nothing wrong with getting a little help from your friends in the early stages. A ghostly page can be a turn-off for new viewers, but they will be none the wiser to seeing an initial dialogue on the page concerning the app offerings and some buzz on your postings. Be sure also to make your website pages, blogs and all content hosted on your primary site socially shareable. This can be done with a simple plug-in that adds social share buttons.
Create a Buzz
If you are wondering why there is not much dialogue on your social networks the answer is simple, you haven’t started the conversation. There are plenty of ways to start the conversation and get your followers buzzing. Contests are an excellent way to encourage participation from your audience, and it also gives you a chance to reward them for following your brand. Drinkwel products are a good example of this. Each week they host a contest asking for participation from their followers on Instagram. One of their recent challenges asked for their fans to comment their guess of the final score of the Super Bowl before the game started. They offered a double chance at winning if you tagged three friends! Another successful format for gaining reach is the “share this to win” platform. This format can push your message far and wide while gaining new followers and loads of impressions along the way. This works well on Facebook (share) and Twitter (retweet).
Serve the Right Content
Again we go back to “knowing your target”. It is crucial that you have an understanding of who your followers are so you can regularly post content that they are interested in. Facebook offers details on your following through their “insights” feature and Twitter offers an analytics page for this same purpose. Your overarching content strategy is important for gaining new followers as well as keeping the ones you have. There is an unspoken 80/20 rule when it comes to brands and social media content, 80% fun and entertaining – 20% sales and self-promotion. So where do you find the 80%? Tools like Feedly and Buffer’s feeds are an excellent source of new and fresh articles within a particular niche. On Feedly you can add all of the relevant blogs and online publications in one spot, you can view all of the newly posted articles together or separated by source. Buffer offer’s a “feeds” section similar to Feedly that can allow you to ‘one-click’ add it to your cue. This puts it in line to be published on your social media channels instantly.
Another way you can attract new followers on social media is to find and engage influencers in the same industry. There are influencers and loud voices everywhere, you just have to find the ones that are relevant to your audience. Tools like Buzzsumo are an excellent resource when looking for influencers. Start small by sharing their content and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them to guest blog. With a bigger name gracing your blog you can earn more credibility along with the boost in shares if (and make sure they do) the influencer shares the articles to their following.