How to Grow Your Social Media Audience

Growing your audience on social media can be a daunting challenge. But for those who succeed, the rewards are real – including increased brand visibility and more sales. By employing the right social tactics to deliver content that correlates with what people want, you can grow your social media following in a cost-effective way that doesn’t alienate or annoy your followers. To put your brand on the path to social media success, be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.

Don’t Inundate Your Followers with Discounts and Promotions.  

Eighty-six percent of social media users report that they want to follow brands on social media and often choose to do so. But when a consumer clicks that “follow” button, they expect relevant, valuable, and interesting content to show up in their newsfeeds – not a flood of coupons and promotional offers. In fact, a full 60 percent of social media users report that they are annoyed with too many promotions by brands, and roughly two out of every five social media users say they’ll unfollow a brand that doesn’t share relevant information. Instead of inundating your followers with discounts and promotions, focus on offering them focused content that is interesting and valuable

Do Target Your Outreach

If you’re not careful, social media marketing can turn into one long spending spree that doesn’t actually produce results. The key to growing your social media audience without breaking the bank is to target your outreach effectively. 

“Think of social media as a community. In a community, you most appreciate the person who helps others and adds the most value to other members of the group,” Ian Altman explains in Forbes. “The goal of a community is not in raw numbers. If you measure impressions and shares, you might be missing the point of connecting. If the person who connected to you knew you’d be sending them a daily message promoting yourself, they might not have accepted the connection in the first place. Rather, you want to attract like-minded people where you can add value.”

In order to do this, you’re going to need to invest some time, resources, and funds into getting a complete picture of your target audience, and then figuring out how to target them appropriately.

Don’t Post the Same Thing on Every Social Media Channel

If you’re just going to post the same content across all different channels, then why would you expect a customer to follow you on all of those channels?

“Know your medium,” Joe Legaz, the director of marketing for the LA Clippers, told Forbes. “Different channels encourage different types of content. LinkedIn is for professional development. Twitter is for quick hits of news. Instagram is for eye grabbing images, etc. Understanding each channel is the key to successful engagement. To this point, don’t get caught in the trap of posting the same thing on each channel.”

Don’t Post Clickbait

You shouldn’t be treating your social media channels as yet another place to push out links and sponsored content. Many brands erroneously assume this brand will help to drive traffic to their websites, but the reality is that it does little more than water down the value of social media. After all, users want content they can use and engage with. You’re far better focusing your efforts on building a community, which is likely to happen with one-on-one exchange and dialogue and producing and sharing compelling content.

Do be Responsive

Did you know that 25 percent of social media users report that it annoys them when a brand doesn’t respond to them? Brands are increasingly relying on social media to interact with customers, particularly in a customer service capacity – but if brands do offer customer service via social media, they need to commit to it and throw some resources behind it. Otherwise, if a customer reaches on social media and you don’t have the time or resources to respond to them in a timely fashion, you will irritate them.

“Are you going to handle customer service via social or not? Every time I go to a Vons grocery store, I wait in ridiculously long lines. I complained on Twitter and 10 minutes later they got back to me and asked what location I was at. I replied and then never heard back from them,” Tom Ward explains. “Either you're going to do customer service via social or you're not. You can't expect a social media manager to handle customer feedback 24/7. You're going to have to put some resources behind it in order to be successful.”

Don’t Post in Haste  

When brands post in haste, they make mistakes that can do long-term damage. Whether it is a well-intended joke that ended up coming across as offensive, or a comment made in ill-taste, these kinds of mistakes are the mistakes that can alienate followers. “A social media gaffe can tarnish a company’s reputation just as badly as a scathing online review can,” Daniel Newman explains in Forbes. “Don’t ‘newsjack,’ and don’t hop on the latest hashtag bandwagon unless you know your content is relevant, appropriate, and meaningful. A well-timed post can encourage brand conversations to flow online, but an ill-prepared post can start conversations of a different kind!” When it doubt, refrain from posting until you’ve had some time to think things over.

Do Post Frequently—But not too Frequently

In order to succeed on social media, you need to develop and stick to a fairly routine posting schedule. Consistent posting is an absolute must if you want to grow your audience.  Too little, and your consumers will forget all about you, but too much, and you run the risk of annoying and alienating your followers. It’s critical to get the balance right.

So, how often should you post?  “Thoughts vary here but the general consensus is that you should be posting up to 14 times a day on Twitter, five times on Snapchat, and two times per day on Facebook and Instagram,” Ward says. “This can change depending on the brand, but the general message is to post frequently without being annoying.”

Don’t Pay for Likes or Followers

Paying for promoted content on social media channels can be an excellent part of a digital marketing strategy. However, what you should never do is pay for followers. “The whole point of building a social media presence is to attract an audience that is interested in what your company offers. If you buy likes/follows, you simply don't have that any more,” Sarah Mateljan explains in Forbes.

”You are much better off spending your marketing budget on promoting specific posts each week to build your follower base. At the end of the day, it's not about how many followers you have; it's about how relevant those followers are to your business.”

In conclusion, growing your audience on social media is a worthy objective that can have a tangible positive impact on your business overall. However, the key is to strategically facilitate this growth without annoying people, alienating them, or breaking the bank. Find out more on how to grow your social media audience by contacting us today!