In 2018, having a well-crafted social media presence is a crucial part of growing your small business. However, with over 50 million small businesses using Facebook alone to connect with consumers and influence their purchasing decisions, getting the attention of your target audience is more challenging than ever.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of four ways to boost your social media following in 2018.
1. Research Your Platforms
When trying to choose a platform, do your research. For example, if you’re a purveyor of dentures, you’re not likely to find your audience on Snapchat, which has a predominately under 30s fan base.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are obvious choices to showcase your brand. However, if you’ve got the time and the resources, it’s well worth exploring some of the more underrated social media platforms. For example, Google+, offers some great features to help you connect and engage with customers.
Not only will using Google+ improve your SEO and visibility, but it will also help to connect you with potential customers from your local area. Photographer Lori Janeson illustrates the power of Google+ for visual retailers by showcasing her photography using Google+’s intuitive Collections feature.
2. Use More Images
Regardless of the type of business you run, research has shown that utilizing imagery is vital. When your target audience is scrolling through an overpopulated newsfeed, it’s a clever image or video that is most likely to grab their attention.
Research supports this with images accounting for up to 90% of Facebook Advertising Performance. However, not all images are created equal. Studies show that infographics are king when it comes to increasing engagement. They are liked and shared up to 3 times more than any other type of contact and provide a perfect opportunity to provide potential customers with interesting tidbits about your brand and products.
3. Develop a Brand Persona
With so many businesses vying for your target audience’s attention, standing out from the crowd is imperative. Studies show that one way to do this is to create a mascot or establish a strong brand voice. This is a technique often used by fast-food chains. For example, just reading the words Wendy’s, McDonald’s and KFC probably instantly brings their respective branded mascots to mind.
You don’t need to go so far as to create a fictional character to represent your brand, but if you want your products and services to resonate with your customer’s values, it’s important to present yourself accordingly.
If you’re trying to sell quirky gifts, for example, your social media presence is likely to benefit from using humour and popular images, such a memes. However, if you’re promoting a luxury jewelry brand, the tone you use on social media will be more restrained and eloquent to highlight your brand’s sophistication.
4. Offer Value to Your Customers
Research consistently shows that one of the major reasons that users choose to unfollow brands on social media is because the content they post is uninteresting or blatant self-promotion. It’s up to you to incentivize following your brand by offering value to your customers. The most popular way to do this is to post exclusive sales or coupons on your social media pages.
Another way is to post giveaways and competitions that are only open to your Facebook or Twitter followers. However, you don’t necessarily need to give away something material to offer added value. Your social media pages can also act as a place for customers to ask questions and give feedback on their experiences with your business. If you answer these questions and respond to criticism in a constructive way, your fans will view you as more transparent and trustworthy. It will also build a sense of loyalty that will keep them coming back to you rather than your competitors.
Making your business heard in the vast sea of social media can be challenging, but by adhering to these four rules, you’ll see an increase in followers almost overnight. Continue to review the analytics too and if you’d prefer to focus your postings on interesting content do daily searches online to find out what’s topics are trending that relevant and of interest to your followers.
You can be a curator of news and views for your followers and they will respond in kind with likes and comments. We’re all strapped for time so by doing the leg work on curating news and articles that are targeted for your followers you’ll create a reputation as an trusted source and your profiles will be the go-to i.e. where your followers go to first and this can only be a great result for your business and brand.
Post more of your own content too. Your knowledge base will grow through your curating effort and providing your own opinion is also a key part of being interesting and thus retaining and growing your follower base. Publish articles on your blog and share them on your social media profiles. The be active in replying to comments made to keep the conversation active for as long as possible.
So while in this article there are four main ways to get social media followers for your business there are other strategies like content generation that can also help the process be more effective.