Social media is an invaluable tool for businesses looking to expand their reach, customer loyalty and brand recognition. While using social media platforms these days is very easy to do, there are some best practices that separate the best from the rest.
So how exactly do you increase your social media following?
1. Understand your audience
It is important that you understand the customer base of your business so you can effectively tailor content to them. Content that is specifically aimed at your organisation’s target audience will assist you in forming strong relationships with customers over social media.
2. Focus on the right platforms
Now that you know your target audience, it is important to focus your social media efforts on the platforms that your customers will be most plentiful. For example, if your audience skews younger then Instagram may be most appropriate. Alternatively, if you have an older audience of professionals, then LinkedIn may be the best platform to reach your target audience.
3. Links on your website
Links to your social media website are an easy way of diverting interested customers to your businesses’ social media platforms. Typically, these links will be attached to the logos of the social media sites you are using and are placed in the header or footer of your website. Linking to your social media assets on your business’s website helps establish their legitimacy as sometimes customers are unsure about whether a social media page is official or not.
4. Visual Content
Having a bank of visual content you can use is essential for success on social media. Images and videos perform much better than simple text-only posts on social media. If you don’t have images of your products already, you can make some yourself or hire an agency to craft professional photos for you.
5. Diversity of Content
The ability to promote and sell your products is one of the defining benefits of social media, but it needs to be done in moderation. We have all unfollowed that one business who’s content only consists of promotion for their products. This is because a lack of content variety creates audience fatigue.
There are a few ways to counter this, firstly you can post about industry news or trends. Secondly, you can post thought leadership content, which is when your business states its opinion on broader industry trends and best practices. Finally, you can share user-generated content or content from other businesses. Sharing the best user-generated content (whether it is photos, videos or testimonials) is a great way to engage your followers and make them feel valued.
6. Be Responsive with Customers
Responding to comments and posts by users is an important practice in social media management. Responding to follower’s comments, both positive and negative, is important as it allows you to remedy any issues customers may have and it also promotes a business’s image as one that prioritises customer care.
7. Optimal Posting Frequency
While it can be good to post on social media in response to current news and events, it is also important to plan a content calendar for consistency. For Twitter, the more posts the better as it is a site that has a significant volume of posts. For LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, between 2 to 5 posts per week are optimal.
One of the key success factors for social media is consistency, so for example, if you only have the resources to post 3 times per week on Facebook, then this is the number you should strive for.
Now that you’ve read these seven easy steps, you can apply these to your social media accounts. Remember, it can take time before you see positive results but persistence will eventually pay off.