Analyzing Your Followers; Growing An Audience
So, you’ve made a few social media accounts for your business and started to gain some followers. Now what? You want your brand to continue to grow in popularity, but social media is saturated with so many engagement opportunities, you don’t know where to begin. Extending an audience can be one of the most difficult things to do when starting up. It is also one of the most vital places to invest your time. With a solid strategy in place, while remembering to listen to your current audience, your brand will be well on its way to finding its voice.
Although it may not seem like an important step, begin with analyzing your own brand. Research what sets you apart from others. What is your identity? Does your brand appeal to a specific market? What is your brand’s specialization? Filling in some of these blanks makes your brand more transparent and approachable. Customers don’t like having to do all of the leg work and search around for information. Don’t be afraid to add descriptions to your accounts. A solid brand identity is also easier on Google. Using the same keywords across your social platforms and websites helps Google identify it as the same business and adds to your credibility. The more Google can register, the easier your brand is to find.
Next on the list is to look at your current audience. Who are they? Dive into what makes them want to follow your business. Online analytics tools are a great way to help break down demographics like gender, age, region(s), and interests. They are also a great resource to quickly summarize where your brand is succeeding and where it is falling short with messages. Reviewing this info is really valuable in understanding the current audience in which your brand appeals. Remember, it’s a lot easier to extend into a demographic you already have a grasp on first, than to go after a completely new one.
Take It, and Run With It
Once you have a good idea of who your brand’s demographic is, develop content accordingly and do it consistently. This step is always where brands struggle, but one of the most important things to do. Plan out messages for the month and stick to it. Like we mentioned earlier, there are online tools available that can help scheduling ahead of time easier. Find one that works for you. It should be noted that this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to update your social media more than a few times a week. Depending on your industry, a handful of posts per week can be enough to get your message across to your audience. Hashtags can also be an easy way to connect. Adding keywords to content can get your brand noticed by people with similar interests and hashtags. However, remember not to overdo it with the amount of hashtags either; less than five per post is a good start.
Location, Location, Location
Location of your social media is another crucial point to invest some time. Different social media is preferred by different age groups. Optimal peak hours also differ depending on who is looking at your content. Consult your research to find spikes in engagement and work from there. If you’re planning to use Facebook or Instagram for social media, setting up ads on Facebook’s Business Manager is another great way to ensure you are hitting your audience at key times during the day. They can be a great way to select powerful messaging you’d like to highlight, and push it out to your desired target audience on both Facebook and Instagram.
What is social media for if not to interact? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your following. Ask them questions on posts. Create contests that promote shares and visibility. Begin an email list and send out coupons or newsletters. A one-way form of communication isn’t enough, so nurture your relationship as much as you can. A lot of social media interactions begin with a comment or direct message left on a page. If you can keep your brand on top of responding to things like that, it speaks volumes to your customers. The group of people that genuinely want to see your content will stick around and more will follow. Of course, your audience shouldn’t control everything you post. Keep a healthy relationship with them so they know you’re listening, but share what you want to as well. Don’t lose sight of why you started your brand in the first place. The right followers will find you.
If you can keep your brand’s identity clear and consistent, social media shouldn’t be a hurdle, but rather a building block for promotion and interaction. If you do find social media is getting in the way of running your company, revaluate some of your brand’s priorities and come up with a strategy. Perhaps you need to invest in a social media scheduling tool to help schedule messages at key times during the day. Or perhaps you need to hire someone that can help create content and run your accounts. Remember, social media can be utilized as much as you want, or as little as you want. As long as it remains consistent and you can respond to your audience as needed, your followers will find their way to your brand.