How to Grow Your Social Media Audience the Right Way
At this point, social media is no longer an optional part of marketing—not if you want to connect with potential customers better (and you should). Social media can be one of the best tools in your arsenal, but you’ve got to learn how to do it right. You’ll never grow your social media audience if you’re taking the wrong approach…
When you learn how to engage your audience the right way, your audience will naturally grow. More importantly, you’ll expand your reach, convert more customers, and have a base of loyal followers that you can keep in touch with.
General Best Practices for How to Grow Your Social Media Audience
Let’s not beat around the bush. Here are our best tips for how to grow your social media audience in general…
Start with a Well-Defined Target Audience
Before you try to grow your social media audience, you have to make sure you’ve accurately defined your target audience. Unless you know exactly whom you’re trying to reach, none of the other aspects of your marketing will fall into place.
This is the foundation, and it will drive opportunities your way.
You’ll be able to consistently publish content that your target audience eats up. You’ll convert them into customers with ease. Further, you’ll have a better understanding of which segments are using which social media networks.
Read this article to create your customer avatar.
Create Viral Content
If you don’t understand what makes viral content go viral, you’ll always be playing small. To compete with the big guys, your posts need to take on a life of their own.
Typically, you have to be bold and timely to win yourself a viral post. It needs to be something people really relate to—something that makes them laugh or provides a unique take on a current event.
And the best part about viral content is that it’s organic, which means it’s a way to grow your social media audience for free!
Make Engagement Your Goal
It’s not the numbers that matter. You can easily have thousands of social media followers who never engage with your posts, yet you could have a couple hundred followers that are highly engaged.
You want people who love your brand. You want people who like, share, and comment on what you post and, better yet, become customers.
Engaging content includes things like:
- Contests and giveaways
- Q&A sessions
- Funny and entertaining posts
- Inspirational content
Another way to spark up engagement is to—of course—engage with your audience. Interact with them in the following ways:
- When they comment, comment back.
- Respond quickly, as social media users expect a fast response.
- Mention those who retweet your content.
Visuals are what capture attention the most. That’s why every post you make should include the best possible image you can think of for that post. Don’t just slap on a stock photo as an afterthought.
You can use Canva to enhance your images and add text. Just remember that images should always be relevant to your content!
And then there’s video, which is the most engaging type of content currently in existence, no matter what platform you’re on. But be sure to upload your video directly into the social media platform instead of posting a link. That way, it will autoplay as people are scrolling.
Approach Each Platform Differently
You need to be strategic about what you’re posting on each platform because each one is used differently by its users.
When you’re planning out your content, think about the different ways people use each platform and tailor your posts accordingly.
- Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual.
- Twitter is for short, quick news.
- Facebook is more for telling a longer story.
- YouTube allows for longer, more robust videos.
- LinkedIn is for professional networking and education.
- Snapchat and TikTok focus on interactive media.
Never Buy Followers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t caution against buying followers. The fact is it takes time and effort to grow your social media audience. And attempting to cut corners by buying followers will only hurt you in the long run.
What happens is it allows robot profiles to infiltrate your audience. No one wants to waste their time or money marketing to a bunch of bots. It will hinder your insights and reduce your organic reach. Plus, it will cause you to advertise to more robots when you run ads to similar audiences.
Further, buying followers means paying for numbers—not engagement. Even when you buy followers that are genuine, there’s a good chance they’ll go dormant because they have no reason to interact with your brand. As a result, this lack of activity will affect your performance metrics.
Facebook Best Practices
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best practices to grow your social media audience in general, let’s look at Facebook specifically…
Capture Their Attention
One thing’s for sure, there’s a ton of competition with Facebook. You’re competing for attention amid a feed that consists of posts from friends, family members, coworkers, other brands, and paid ads.
You need to get people to stop amidst it all, take an interest in your post, and share it. And that means you can’t just put out mediocre content.
You need to wow your audience each time you post something. Then, it will naturally grow.
Think of Facebook Followers as a Community
Community is what brings people together and gets them to interact and engage. So, think of your Facebook page as a community and plan out your content accordingly.
Here are some ideas:
- Post weekly Q&A sessions.
- Provide unique content and perks that they can’t get elsewhere.
- Spark up conversations.
- Create a Facebook group.
- Go live.
- Add interactive Stories.
Take Advantage of Facebook Ads
Facebook has a huge data bank on their users, which has sparked up quite a bit of controversy. However, marketers can certainly use this to their benefit.
You can target your Facebook ads based on demographics, interests, education, hobbies, and much more. This can help you acquire an audience of exactly the type of people you’re looking for.
If you’re going to use ads, make sure you verify your website domain.
Instagram Best Practices
Next up is Instagram. Let’s look at some tips to help you grow your social media audience on this platform…
Apply Hashtags Properly
The best way to gain more visibility for your Instagram posts is to use hashtags. If you’re new to this, it can feel a little intimidating. But it’s actually pretty easy.
Add a few popular and relevant hashtags to each post, preferably in the comment section. Be sure to research your hashtags and use ones that are relevant to your geographical location and post topic. Try to aim for hashtags that have between 10,000 and 500,000 posts, as anything more may result in your post being hidden due to the popularity of the hashtag.
Consider Influencer Marketing
Instagram influencers are advocates who can help you grow your social media audience by putting the word out about your brand to their audience.
Influencers are loved and trusted by their followers, so when you find an influencer with a similar audience as yours, you can easily gain some new followers. You can use a site like Upfluence, AspireIQ, or HypeAuditor to find influencers or reach out to them personally! Many have emails or contact information on their profiles for you to collaborate.
Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a way to tell a visual story about your brand. If you do it right, you can even convert people from your Stories since Instagram has a checkout feature built right into it. Read our article about social media Stories to learn how to use them to your benefit.
Twitter Best Practices
Lastly, let’s see what the best tips are for growing your audience on Twitter…
Post Quotes from Your Blogs
Remember, Twitter is all about posts that are short and concise since you can only include up to 280 characters per tweet.
And one of the best ways to repurpose your content is to tweet out short quotes from your blogs. This inspires interest and gets people to click over and read your article.
Make Use of Hashtags
Like Instagram, Twitter makes it easy to get found through hashtags, so don’t forget to include them. Don’t go crazy and post 10 hashtags with each post. Just use them where it makes sense and get creative with them too. Check out what’s trending on Twitter and use hashtags relevant to those topics, if applicable.
Learn How to Tag, Retweet & Reply
Instead of just scheduling all of your tweets, you need to be personable. You’ll gain the most loyal Twitter followers when you spark up a relationship with them. It’s just human nature (and common sense).
You can gain the attention of other brands’ tweets by replying to them. Making a shout-out to someone or tagging other brands with a complimentary post is a great way to get noticed. Just make sure it’s all genuine.
Now that you’ve learned some best practices for how to grow your social media audience, you can stop spinning your wheels and start getting more out of your efforts on social media.
But if you still don’t want to be bothered, we’re here for you. And sometimes, that’s the best way to get results! As an experienced marketing agency, we know how to get it done quickly and effectively. Contact us for a free consultation today!