How To Build A Social Media Following
Hi, I’m Kaleb Baker the owner of Market Hoot, a full service digital marketing agency.
In the content below I am going to show you how to build a social media following for your business!
Over 82% of people in North America have an active social media account. Additionally, global markets are flocking to the numerous social media channels. Ensuring your business capitalizes by accessing and connecting with social users has the potential to revolutionize your business growth.
In this article I will first explain the importance of having a strong social media strategy. Secondly, how social media translates into revenue for your business. And lastly, strategies you can implement to improve your following and engagement on the different social media channels.
Social Media Channels: Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn Snapchat TikTok Vine (RIP)
By now you have probably heard about the major social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat along with the up and coming channels like Tik Tok and Alignable.
I am going to cover 3 big questions in this article:
1. Why is social media important for my business?
2. Can I grow revenue through social media?
3. How do I increase my following and engagement?
In the article below I am going to address these questions and more.
1. Why Is Social Media Important For My Business?
The Stats Behind Social Media
The problem most business owners have when it comes to social media are numerous:
– They do not understand the purpose of the platforms.
– They do not understand how to leverage social media platforms to grow their business.
– They do not understand how to grow their social channels.
– They do not understand how to translate followers into revenue for their company.
– They do not understand why they do not see results quickly.
How Most Businesses Approach Social Media Strategy
Most business owners have heard that social media is important. So they decide to create an account on a platform or two and begin making some posts. Then they realize that keeping up with all these posts is time consuming.
After a couple months they do not see the results they want so the value lessens in their mind and before you know it they haven’t made any posts in 36 months. Sound familiar?
Now there is one important thing you need to understand. And that is this: it’s not your fault.
Expectations vs. Reality
The real issue is that you have not been properly prepared and educated to understand how these social media platforms actually work, what is in it for the social media companies and how you can leverage their platforms to engage with your target audience.
Additionally, because of all the hype you have set up unrealistic expectations in your mind in regards to how quickly you should expect to see results. Social media is predominantly social, and building trust through relationships takes time so give yourself some grace and realize you are in business for the long term not just some quick cash.
The Purpose of Social Media Platforms
Let’s begin by addressing the first challenge, the purpose of social platforms.
All of the big social media platforms are free for users. Whenever something is offered free, for an indefinite period of time you can be certain that you are the product and the business model revolves around advertising and your data.
This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is important that you understand that the purpose of Facebook and Instagram are not to allow you free access to millions of users; their purpose is to increase revenue for their shareholders via advertising dollars.
The reason we are okay with this is because they have added enough value to us by allowing us to interact with our social network online. We put up with the advertisements because we would rather lose some attention than lose some money by having to pay for it.
Content Is King
VALUE Is King
Now, that we understand the motives and goals of the social media platforms, there is another factor that is vital for us to understand. If you listen to the majority of experts out there they will argue that what is most important is content. Which is partially true. The problem is you can create content that does not resonate with your target OR does not add enough value.
Here is an example. Let’s say you own an automotive shop. You could post about your team members. You could also post about your current offers. Or you could create a post showing your audience step by step how to change a flat tire.
Which of these three do you think is most valuable for your audience?
Of course, it is the latter. Now there is certainly a time and place to share about your team and current offers and promotions BUT you must remember that adding value is pivotal for increasing followers and engagement.
Aside from all the statistics above it is important that we understand social media is simply another medium just like radio and television. In 5 years the attention might switch from social media to virtual reality and A.I. and with that switch we as business owners will have to adapt.
Whether that happens in 5 years or 15 the point is, its up to you to adapt your business to meet your customers where they are.
2. Can I Grow Revenue Through Social Media?
Let's Talk Traditional Marketing
In order to accurately answer this question let’s put this in the context of how traditional marketing has operated. Essentially there have been 5 major marketing mediums in the past.
- Direct Mail
Each of these mediums worked for several decades and are still being utilized today. Unfortunately, the issue with many of these methods are numerous.
1. Unable to track results.
2. Limited audience targeting.
3. Extremely expensive.
Take television for example. Let’s say your advertisement was shown to 30k people on local channels around your city. There is no way for you to determine who actually saw your ad or if they simply muted the television during commercials. Additionally, you do not know if the people who saw your ad are even interested in your product or service. Finally, the hefty fee you paid to promote your advertisement on television does not guarantee any kind of success and there is no way to test a campaign before increasing your ad spend.
Social Media Marketing solves all of these issues.
Why Social Media Marketing Is Better
Unlike television ads or other advertising mediums social media marketing has numerous advantages.
1. You can measure everything.
2. You can target age, demographics, interests, location, and more.
3. You can control the budget & optimize campaigns in real time.
The Number One Mistake Business Owners Make
The main reason business owners find it difficult to translate social media efforts paid or organic is because of one huge mistake.
They send them to the home page of their website. Doing this is like handing a potential customer a 50 page brochure of your business and walking away saying nothing.
If you do not direct customers where you want them to go, they will not arrive at the destination you desire.
So what is the alternative then?
Instead of sending customers to your home page you need to send them into a sales funnel.
If you do not direct customers where you want them to go, they will not arrive at the destination you desire.
Sales Funnels Explained
A well designed sales funnel will ensure your customers are well-informed and qualified for your product or service offering. There are numerous strategies and suggestions for how you should setup your funnel but there is one key differentiator I will reemphasize that you must understand. A sales funnel is not a website. A website is designed to provide an opportunity for visitors to browse your site. A sales funnel uses landing pages designed to push a user towards one action. Regardless of your industry or offering here is my suggested framework.
First, your offer must be valuable enough to entice them to enter your sales funnel from wherever you decide to market it, Facebook, Google Search, Instagram, etc. This could be a free consultation, discounted product, trial offer, coupon, etc. The what doesn’t matter nearly as much as the way the what is presented and who it is presented to.
Second, you need to establish authority or quality immediately once your user visits your site. A well produced video along with some testimonials and well written copy explaining the product or service goes a long way. If you are a high-ticket service or product based business I suggest qualifying your traffic through a short quiz. Leads Hook is an excellent software program that can help you do this on your site.
Finally, you need to capture their information by offering the results of the quiz or a valuable lead magnet which matches your industry and target customer. After you do these things you simply need to place the leads into a good CRM and nurture the lead into a sale. Cha-Ching!
3. How Do I Increase My Following And Engagement?
Now we are finally getting down to the nitty gritty. You may be desiring the exact x’s and o’s of growing your social media platforms. The challenge is, these tactics change all the time and many of them become outdated or irrelevant quickly. I want us to think about increasing our following and engagement in two schools of thought.
- Organic growth
- Paid growth
Organic Social Media Growth
Let’s tackle organic growth first. When social media platforms are just starting they allow a huge amount of possibility for organic growth to occur because they want their introductory users to receive the best experience. This way they will go and tell their friends and the viral marketing cycle begins.
Once a social media channel is established such as Facebook or Instagram they cut organic reach substantially. Why? Simple, it is no longer a free for all. They want you to pay to play, and they only want the most engaging content to make it to the top.
So when you launch a post it gets to maybe 1% of your followers, if they engage with it, that number grows and so on and so forth. The more engagement, the better your posts do. If your posts have little to no engagement, your posts disappear into Neverland.
Now if you are completely against any kind of social media advertising for your business I understand and respect your resolve. You may have gotten burned in the past by someone who didn’t know what they were doing or have not achieved the results you desired. Regardless of the reasons, here are my top 5 best strategies for organic growth on social media.
Top 5 Best Strategies For Organic Growth on Social Media
1. Viral Giveaways
If you have not run a viral giveaway before you should. You must pick a valuable item directly related to your target. I recommend using King Sumo as your platform (it’s free). Run it for 2-3 weeks tops. Promote on all social channels and partner with like minded brands to promote your giveaway on their channels.
2. Organic Targeting
You may know that you can target your posts when running ads on Facebook. But did you know you can also leverage audience targeting on your organic posts within your audience? This can help increase your engagement and increase the overall reach of your posts. Social Media Examiner has a helpful article on how to do this.
3. User Content
From sharing users photos, to running photo contests, to product or company reviews there are many options to share user generated content. Buffer leveraged this strategy and saw %400 growth on their Facebook page in one year. Their following went from 4,250 to 21,000 and counting! Just be sure to get permission and attribute the photo to the creator using @username.
4. Video Posts
Recent studies have shown that videos receive much more organic reach than regular posts. In fact they may reach up to 2.5x as much as photo posts depending on the platform. Leveraging video is a phenomenal way to engage more users. WRPBiTV/TCV does a great job creating video content and has 25+ years of experience in the industry.
5. Follower Engagement
Social media is about building relationships. Engaging your followers then, is of primary importance in order to achieve success on these platforms. Encouraging your followers to engage through unique posts and relevant content. Increasing follower engagement requires consistent effort but will result in increased organic reach.
Top 5 Best Strategies For Paid Growth on Social Media
In order to maximize your efforts online and create results faster, social media advertising is a great option. To do this well you must take into account several factors. From creative to ad copy to landing pages, lead magnets, life cycles and more. There is a lot to consider, optimize and manage but this is what we are experts at! And with the possibility to begin advertising for as little as $5 per day it has never been easier to scale an advertising campaign.
If you have wondered whether advertising on social media is right for you we created a short quiz to help you sort that out. Simply click the button below and get your results in just 90 seconds!
On your results page we will let you know if social media advertising is a good fit for you and give you the top 5 strategies for paid growth on social media!