The coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the way we do business. As many economic activities came to a halt, several physical businesses had to shut shop and stay home. Then the world saw brands clamoring to get themselves online, as a huge tidal wave of awareness hit them: without a social media presence, and without influencers promoting them – brands will become irrelevant shortly.
But it is not enough to just set up a social media account, and post now and then. What we have learned from influencers who have nailed their social media engagement is “a consistent, planned, bull’s eye” kind of approach. Whether posting a creative ad on Instagram reels, a product tutorial for a brand on TikTok, or a BTS on YouTube shorts, successful influencers leave no stone unturned. They are always making an effort to get more eyes on their content.
No matter how big or small, any brand can no longer ignore the benefits of being online, right where their audience is. So if you are still wondering how to present your brand’s USP to the world and make it big as an influencer, social media marketing is the answer.
Looking to grow your social media audience? Let us look at 15 doable and straightforward ways in which you can grow your social media following.
Grow Your Social Media Presence The Right Way
Here are 15 ways influencers can build their social media following, starting today!
1. Give it some thought
Let us get philosophical for a minute and answer this question: What is your big “WHY”?
Your WHY should be the basis of all the content your collaborating brand should be sharing on social media.
Also, answer other pressing questions, such as: What do you want to achieve by posting social media content? Is it awareness, sales or collaborations, etc.? How will you measure growth? How long will it take to achieve these goals?
Having a clear social media strategy with goals and steps defined is the first step. Doing this will ensure you are not shooting arrows in the dark, wasting time and resources.
In 2020, Dove did a “Courage is Beautiful” campaign in honor of the front line workers of the coronavirus pandemic. Their influencers went back to their core message of going beyond the surface to the beauty of human values.
Pro Tip: Once you have created a plan, stick to it. Do more of what is working, tweak what you want to convey.
2. Create an interesting profile
Customize your profile in a manner that reflects your personal brand in the best way possible. Whether it is using your own colors, custom images, or logo, utilize all fields. Be cohesive on all your social media channels in terms of design. Update all relevant information accurately. Your profile is the first thing that people see, so make sure you spend extra time setting it up.
Big brands like Nike keep it consistent on their Instagram page and Twitter, even so far as showing its support to social causes via hashtags.
Pro Tip: Use relevant keywords that associate your content to your influencing business to reap the benefits of organic search.
3. Be at more than one place
Most commonly, influencers use social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. as their go-to for social presence. Explore other options such as Quora, Reddit, and similar websites that receive billions of visitors. Research on new social media platforms and set a trial period. Clubhouse is one such latest platform that both, influencers and brands can leverage.
Glossier, the cosmetic brand, has kept it classy and simple on their social profiles. They have consistently grown their following because of their community first, product later approach, with the help of influencers.
Pro Tip: Do not spread yourself too thin by being everywhere at once. Research which platform resonates most with your influencing business. A restaurant and a lifestyle store may need completely different platforms to shine.
4. Engage like a real person
Don’t just post links to the blog and expect people to click and read. Your posts need to achieve a high reach and engagement. Social media is a place to be social, so get into conversations with other accounts, followers, and competitors. Respond to tags, comments, retweets, etc. Speak to your audience like a friend, letting them know that you listen when they engage with you. Be human, be real, and soon your audience will love interacting with you.
Pro Tip: Engagement is a great tool to understand your audience’s needs and then give them more of what they want, much like a market survey.
5. Crack humor
Even if the brand you collaborate with deals with serious stuff, sharing light-hearted content can help you win more followers for the brand. People love jokes on social media, but make sure they are relevant to the brand’s messaging. Too overboard and you risk harming your own image as well as the brand’s in the long run.
Pro Tip: Jump on the meme wagon and custom create something relevant to you. But remember, play it safe!
6. Optimize all your socials
If you have been lucky enough to find the name of your choice available for use as a username on all desired social media platforms, you are already on a good start. If not, choose usernames that can be easily identifiable with you niche. Notify your audience through pinned tweets, Instagram highlights, etc. Also, optimize your website and emails with social icons and link your profiles.
Pro Tip: Also, treat each platform as an individual entity and share it exclusively time and again to grow your community.
7. No fake or paid followers
Steer clear from falling into the trap of buying fake followers. You may trick the algorithm for a shortcut, but it will harm your image as an influencer sooner or later. Keep it real with engaging content and consistent posting and you will reap organic growth.
Pro Tip: Being authentic and ethical never goes out of style. Also, occasionally run contests and giveaways to boost your follower count.
8. Get the wallet out
Experiment with paid advertising on Google, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., to get eyes on your content beyond your reach. Also, don’t hesitate to invest in paid stock photos or video creation or even hiring experts to reach your social media goals. Professional-looking content goes a long way in building an influencer’s image online.
Pro Tip: You can also get paid subscriptions to editing apps that can help you design in-house content.
9. More customer satisfaction, less selling
If a customer has posted any complaint on your associating brand’s profile, respond to them quickly and professionally. Always aim to resolve issues and go above and beyond to satisfy a customer. There is no worse thing than a brand losing face on social media because of mismanaged customer service – and it’s an influencer’s job to fix it. Some influencers also use spontaneous creativity to get out of sticky situations, but that’s more of an in-the-moment response.
For example, Netflix took a polite route when a customer complained about fake messages, while KFC UK got it right using creativity for critical comment.
Pro Tip: A satisfied customer is a repeat buyer. Focusing more on your audience can potentially do all the selling on your collaborating brand’s behalf without you ever saying a word!
10. Post valuable content
Give people what they want to see. What content does your audience most engage with in terms of likes, shares, or comments? Give them relatable content that they will want to share with others. To successfully do this, you will have to know your audience and reach out through geotags, @mentions, hashtags, etc. Post helpful tips, Q&As, research, etc. Mix it up with images, videos, reels, stories, tweets, etc.
Pro Tip: Research shows that people like engaging more with content that has a person’s (read, influencer’s) face.
11. Hashtag it
Make sure that a relevant hashtag accompanies every piece of content that you post. Research the trending or most common hashtags and add them to your descriptions. Hashtags now work on all major platforms, much like search engines. You can also follow industry-specific hashtags and become part of the conversation. However, please don’t make it look like spam!
Pro Tip: Create your own branded hashtags. Ask people to tag you in their comments using specific hashtags. This way, you can become the leader of a hashtag and claim it as your own.
12. Piggyback on trends
Whenever something goes viral on social media, influencers and brands have an opportunity to create a buzz for themselves too. Be it a trending topic, hashtag, meme, or reel, give it your personal touch if you have something to contribute.
Pro Tip: This is where you should be savvy enough not to have to wait on protocols to hit publish. Risks and rewards go hand in hand, but use wisdom to avoid a social media disaster.
13. Stay consistently active
Building a social media presence needs as much commitment as planning and the work that goes into creating engaging content. A posting schedule is a must and sticking to it is even more important. If you have a social media team, everyone must have access to the schedule so that they can synchronize the various content bites and avoid replication of over-posting.
Pro Tip: Start every month/quarter with a planning meeting and create a content calendar. Take advantage of the free templates of editorial calendars available online and create one that fits your requirement.
14. Outsource smartly
Understandably, a business has a lot to do other than just building their own online presence. They need to outsource their content creation work or hire an influencer. Make sure that you are in sync with brand’s tone to avoid confusion. Respond to every query as a person because bots can’t deal with human pain points as another human can.
Pro Tip: Try not to use generic words in your replies. That sounds automated!
15. Tools of the trade
This part of the work often gets ignored. Is a piece of content even working as it should? Here is where social media analytics come into play. Most social media platforms come with their analytics app where you can see how your content is performing. Also, the Internet offers a myriad of free analytics tools that can help put numbers to your content.
Pro Tip: Being armed with data can help you run a social media audit.
There is no shortcut or secret hack to growing your social media presence overnight. However, following these tried and tested ways can help you achieve your social media goals faster. The Internet responds favorably to those who are consistent in their efforts and bring authenticity and creativity to the table.
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