Building up a social media following is challenging work. Whilst there are ‘black hat’ techniques for building followers quickly, such as buying likes and followers, there are no shortcuts to creating a successful presence. Strategies include:
Pick Your Platforms Carefully
There is a bewildering array of social platforms to choose from, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Tumblr. Before launching an account, research the platforms where your target audience is most active. It is easy to create accounts but much more challenging to maintain them. Concentrate your efforts on a few select channels, as nothing look worse than an untended social media account.
Craft your Profiles
Social media accounts are highly ranked by Google and so will be one of the first things that potential customer sees when they look for your business online. Consequently, you should create your profile carefully so they make an excellent first impression.
- Choose a profile and cover image that is consistent with your brand
- Complete all info sections, e.g. ‘About Us.’
- Complete all contact information.
- Include relevant keywords for SEO.
The best way to build a social media following is to post quality content regularly and consistently. This might be once a week, or several times every day. How often you post will depend on the nature of your business and your market, but the key is consistency. The content you post will vary according to the platform, but typical content includes:
- Links to content on other channels (cross-posting). For example, you could post a link to a YouTube video on Twitter or Facebook.
- Blog posts
- Guest posts from influencers
- Relevant news links
- How to guides.
Whatever you post, it should be interesting, engaging content which encourages new customers to subscribe and old customers to stick around.
Engage with Your Followers
Your pages should be a welcoming space where people can spend time together, express their opinions and feel included. Consequently, you should always acknowledge people who respond to your content. Tag people in comments and like and reply to reviews and posts on your page – especially the negative ones.
Most platforms provide free analytics, of which you should take advantage. Posting the wrong content for your audience at an inappropriate time will hinder your posts’ performance. Valuable metrics to pay attention to include:
- Content that gets the best response, i.e., reactions, shares or comments
- Days of the week and hours of day that your followers are most active.
- Demographics of your audience: age, sex, location, interests
Consider Paid Social Media
If you are looking to build your followers quickly, consider promoting your posts to increase engagement.
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