June 6, 2018 • Aerio Staff
Your content is not reaching enough people or the right people. Does this sound familiar? If so, try the following techniques to grow your audience and improve engagement.
Take some time to develop ideal buyer or audience member personas. The focus depends on your goals. An e-commerce site has different goals than a lifestyle blogger . When you define who you want to reach, it becomes easier to focus your community building efforts.
Once you define your ideal audience, research your existing audience. Most social channels offer analytics showing what type of people follow you. These analytics are a great place to start. Best of all, this information is free.
Compare your existing audience data to your ideal audience. If they are very different, consider adjusting your approach to better focus on attracting the right followers.
Great content is essential to growing your audience and improving engagement on social media . When adjusting your content, we recommend returning to the following basics:
For example, if your most dedicated followers like your Instagram or Facebook post within minutes of publication, then the algorithm is more likely to push your content to more of your follower's feeds. Pay attention to when your followers engage to optimize your posting time.
Smart feed algorithms also favor content from brands that people engage with, so when you interact, you boost your profile's engagement. As a result, you reach more people.
Each social media platform works differently, and social networks change constantly. What worked well on Instagram last year is different from what works today. The same is true for any established social media platform.
Learn the Culture
Each social media platform has a unique culture all its own. Learn the culture so you can join the conversation on trending topics, to expand your audience and your reach. For example, Instagram and Twitter users traditionally use hashtags to discover new content, but the same is not true for Facebook and Pinterest.
Use the Right Hashtags
When using hashtags for Instagram and Twitter, it’s important to research what hashtags are trending & relevant, while still reaching your ideal audience. When a user follows a hashtag, they have expectations. Trending hashtags can reach more people, but your commentary and content must be relevant to the conversation. When a hashtag draws a user to your content, if your contribution catches their interest they may visit your profile.
Target with Geotags
Twitter and Instagram also offer the option of geotagging your content. If you wish to reach a local or regional audience, but sure to take advantage of this option.
There’s no use in recreating the wheel. If your competitors already reach your ideal audience, you can mine their following to expand your audience. We’ve listed a 7-step strategy to help get you started:
1. Make a list of your competitor's followers. On Twitter, you can use a private list for this purpose. Alternately a simple spreadsheet works well for other channels.
2. Optimize your profile to best showcase your brand, then publish one or two posts that would appeal to those followers.
3. Follow each account on your list.
4. Scroll each feed and engage with any posts you like and that fit your brand. Don't promote your business, but offer a positive or insightful comment.
5. Post new content frequently on a consistent schedule with social media automation tools.
6. Over the next week, visit those profiles and engage as appropriate. Your engagement may encourage your competitor's followers to visit your profile. If they like what they see in your feed, they may choose to follow you.
7. After a week or two, review which of your competitor's followers followed you. You can then unfollow those who did not follow you, as some platforms like Twitter limit your “follower to following” ratio. Repeat the process using another competitor's account.
This strategy uncovers active social media users who are likely interested in your content. It is also more effective than buying followers since it results in active, engaged followers who may become your customers.
Social media platforms change frequently, so it’s important to update and adjust your strategies to keep up. It’s also important to notice the differences among each platform’s audience. Some may respond well to GIFs, while others find them annoying. Some love behind the scenes photos, while others scroll past them. The only way to know what works for your brand is to experiment. Pay close attention to your engagement and analytics, and when you discover what your audience enjoys, be sure to give them more of it.