Social media is the wild west of the digital world – it’s made of so many diverse platforms that all have their own rules and audiences to grow your business or profile. In the modern world, there is no marketing plan without social media because it is not only the most direct way to connect to your audience, but it gives you as a marketer insights to your audience’s demographics, allows you to reach new people, and promote your business for free!
I hear marketers and influencers complain all the time about how they can’t reach their target audience on social or grow their audience to reach new people who may be interested int heir products or services. The truth is that social media takes a significant amount of time beyond just creating posts to really understand how to it runs, and ow, through five steps, you can look at your social media and learn how to grow engagement from your existing followers, and grow your audience through marketing.
- To get engagement, you need to engage – The biggest mistake everyone makes is that they can be content creators but not audience members. Influencers don’t gain thousands of followers just by posting pretty pictures with a good caption. They actively respond to comments and messages, like and comment of target audience posts, and engage with brands that their audience would be interested in. Make it part of daily routine to spend five to ten minutes on your social media platforms commenting, messaging, sharing, liking, etc. on target audience posts i.e. if you’re a fashion influencer, like brand and fellow fashion influencer posts to build relationships, and offer VALUABLE commentary (continue to read for more about this).
- Show value in your content – Beach photos are great, but if your audience doesn’t benefit from anything about your post, they won’t be interested. Posting a beach photo linking to your bathing suit, tagging the location you’re at, or partnering with a local travel company to promote a destination are ways to build your audience through partnerships and sharing something someone may not already know about. Social media is oversaturated with the same stuff over and over (such as if you follow fashion influencers, you may start to get sick of seeing the same $100 Spanx leather leggings) so it’s important for individuals and businesses to give their audience something new or fresh.
- The more people engage, the more they see – Algorithms are a nightmare for marketers because they’re the rules and data on the back end of websites that drives what content fills someone’s timeline. Although they are great for users who only want to see what they’re interested, it can create a roadblock for marketers who want to put their product or service in front of someone’s face. The biggest hack around the algorithm is your audience’s engagement. When someone regularly engages with your content through likes and comments, the algorithm will recognize that they’re interested in your content and show it to them more frequently as your post. This goes back to point number one – engage with others to get them to engage with you.
- Be public and consistent – Having a public profile that everyone can view and consistently posting often is important to driving engagement. My rule of thumb for anyone looking to grow their audience is to post one post every day and begin to learn about your audience. Social media tracks your engagement and if you post daily, it will give you insight to what times and days your audience engages with you most, and they you can tailor your content to specific target schedules to maximize your engagement. You also want to make sure that post-to-post offers and consistent experience and look. Your images and content voice represent your brand, and inconsistency hinders your audience’s ability to trust your brand.
- Hashtags and discover pages are your friend – Use hashtags and your discover page to find and engage your audience. If your business or brand is all about weddings, you’ll want to target #weddings and specific wedding hashtags to build quality recommendations on your discover page and find profiles that also target your user to engage with. Additionally, you’ll want to use hashtags with your posts to help your target audience to better find your posts in their discover pages.