So you’ve decided to get involved with social media. Way to go! Now that you’ve made a home for your business or brand on a platform or two, it’s time to build up your fanbase. When executed properly, social media can be a highly effective way to draw in new customers and keep current ones coming back. But even your best strategy won’t be effective if you don’t have anyone to talk to!
Let’s look at three ways you can grow your audience with social media.
Drive Traffic to Your Pages
Unless you’re a really big brand, chances are slim to none that customers will initially seek out your page via Facebook or Twitter search. To start building your audience, you’ll need to drive them to your pages from elsewhere.
The easiest and most common way of driving traffic is through your website. Place links on your homepage, making sure they’re prominent enough to be noticed. If you run an ecommerce website, add links on the last page of the checkout process, asking shoppers to like or follow you now that they’ve completed a purchase.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, though. You can create awareness of your social media presence by adding recognizable icons (and your username, of course) on email signatures, printed handouts, business cards or product packaging.
Finally, once you’ve been up and running for a while, you can use the insight tools your platform of choice has available to see where the most fans are coming from. Facebook Insights, for example, breaks down your page likes by source, allowing you to see what’s working and where you have room for improvement.
Create Awareness With Advertising
Facebook has a self-serve advertising system that allows businesses to create ads that are displayed in a user’s sidebar or sponsor content that will display in a user’s update stream. When used correctly, this can be a powerful tool to increase your audience and bring in new, interested customers.
The key to great social media advertising is targeting. When setting up a new ad or sponsored story, filter your audience as much as possible. For example, if you know that a large majority of your customers are women between the ages of 26 and 35, target your ad to that group. This ensures that the right people see your ads, and that will increase the likelihood of new fans or conversions.
Ads may seem expensive, but you can start small to figure out what works for you. A Facebook ad campaign can be set up to run for a short period with a small spend — for example, a week at $5 per day. With the right targeting, this can still get you hundreds or even thousands of impressions or likes. After the trial period ends, you can evaluate and see what changes need to be made.
Create a Great Content Strategy
Although some fans will follow you on social media simply because they like your company or its products, they probably don’t want to hear you talk about yourself all the time. Using a social media channel as a way to continuously broadcast marketing messages is the easiest way to annoy or lose your fans.
Spend some time thinking about your customers and how you can use your social media presence to help them. You can improve their lives, entertain them or give them helpful resources with your daily or weekly posts. Consider following the social media “rule of thirds,” which suggests that only a third of your posts be about your brand. The other two-thirds should be links to outside resources or something else your customers will find helpful.
Develop a content strategy around what your customers will enjoy. For example, Havahart uses its Pinterest page to pin gardening tips and animal-friendly craft ideas. Customers will learn to view you as a resource for the things they love, and your name will be more likely to come up when they’re thinking about replanting their garden. And because you have already engaged them with content they enjoy, they will be more likely to view your other platforms as trusted resources.
Creating a great social media content strategy can be hard work, but there are plenty of online resources to help get you started.
When done well, the combination of organic and paid growth and a stellar content marketing strategy can give you a loyal, happy fanbase more than willing to consider you for their next purchase.
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