Engage & Grow Your Audience: Social Media Strategies You Need to Know
You invested hours into creating relevant content and optimizing yoursocial media profiles, yet you’re just not seeing the results youexpected.
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.
Consider Your Existing and Ideal Audience
Take some time to develop ideal buyer or audience member personas. Thefocus 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 yourcommunity building efforts.
Once you define your ideal audience, research your existing audience. Mostsocial channels offer analytics showing what type of people follow you. These analytics are a great placeto start. Best of all, this information is free.
Compare your existing audience data to your ideal audience. If they arevery different, consider adjusting your approach to better focus onattracting the right followers.
Adjust Your Content
Great content is essential to growing your audience and improvingengagement on social media. When adjusting your content, we recommend returning to the followingbasics:
- Post content that is engaging and helpful to your existing and ideal audience. You can't be all things to everybody. This is why you want to optimize your profile to appeal to the type of person who is most likely to appreciate your unique brand and style.
- Choose a consistent posting schedule . You can fine-tune your schedule as needed, but it helps your followers if they know when they can expect to see new content.
- Optimize your posting time. Your ideal audience members are more likely to see and engage in your content if you post it at a time when they’re online. Some argue post time isn't as important for platforms using an algorithm to create smart feeds, however, such platforms typically serve content to more users if it’s liked, commented on or shared.
For example, if your most dedicated followers like your Instagram or Facebook post within minutes of publication, then the algorithm is more likely topush your content to more of your follower's feeds. Pay attention to whenyour followers engage to optimize your posting time.
- Engage with your followers. Some marketers forget the "social" in social media. If a follower comments on your content, respond or acknowledge it. Active users expect engagement and conversation. When you interact with followers, it shows your brand cares and pays attention.
Smart feed algorithms also favor content from brands that people engagewith, so when you interact, you boost your profile's engagement. As aresult, you reach more people.
- Don't overlook paid advertising. Since most social platforms monetize through advertising, your content will reach more people if you boost it. For best results, consider boosting content that inspired some organic engagement.
- Include original images, video and other media when possible. This helps your posts stand out in your follower's feed, and it makes your profile feed look more interesting.
Learn to Best Utilize Each Platform You Use
Each social media platform works differently, and social networks changeconstantly. What worked well on Instagram last year is different from whatworks 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 theculture so you can join the conversation on trending topics, to expand youraudience and your reach. For example, Instagram and Twitter users traditionally use hashtags to discover new content, but the same isnot true for Facebook and Pinterest.
Use the Right Hashtags
When using hashtags for Instagram and Twitter, it’s important to researchwhat hashtags are trending & relevant, while still reaching your idealaudience. When a user follows a hashtag, they have expectations. Trendinghashtags can reach more people, but your commentary and content must berelevant 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. Ifyou wish to reach a local or regional audience, but sure to take advantageof this option.
Steal Your Competitor's Followers
There’s no use in recreating the wheel. If your competitors already reachyour 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 aprivate list for this purpose. Alternately a simple spreadsheet works wellfor 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 yourbrand. Don't promote your business, but offer a positive or insightfulcomment.
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. Yourengagement 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 followersfollowed you. You can then unfollow those who did not follow you, as someplatforms like Twitter limit your “follower to following” ratio. Repeat theprocess using another competitor's account.
This strategy uncovers active social media users who are likely interestedin your content. It is also more effective than buying followers since itresults in active, engaged followers who may become your customers.
Make Ongoing Adjustments
Social media platforms change frequently, so it’s important to update andadjust your strategies to keep up. It’s also important to notice thedifferences among each platform’s audience. Some may respond well to GIFs,while others find them annoying. Some love behind the scenes photos, whileothers scroll past them. The only way to know what works for your brand isto experiment. Pay close attention to your engagement and analytics, andwhen you discover what your audience enjoys, be sure to give them more ofit.