When it comes to Social Media networks, size does matter. Of course, you want a quality audience that’s genuinely interested in your brand and what you have to say, and interested in sharing news about your brand with others, but you also want numbers—BIG numbers.
Telling 10 of the most interested and loyal fans all about your products and services just won’t create the kind of buzz telling a self-selected target audience of a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or even more “fans” will. Twenty years ago, advertisers and marketers could only dream of such a thing. Now it’s reality and commonplace.
- Justin Beiber connects with more than 77 million fans through his Facebook fan page, and 55 million through his Instagram account. These are people who actually want to hear from the Beibs on a regular basis (apparently such people exist, and no I’m not one of them).
- Similarly, Taylor Swift communicates with 84 million fans via Twitter, and (love him or hate him) our soon-to-be-president, Donald Trump, reaches more than 20 million followers with his tweets (compared to Barack Obama’s following of 80 million; but hey, he’s had an 8-year head start).
- Over at LinkedIn, retained executive search expert Ron Bates (41 million connections), and entrepreneur and senior financial and business professional Steven Burda (37 million connections), are cited as the most connected influencers on the LinkedIn platform.
While these numbers add up to a lot of fans and connections, your brand doesn’t need to have tens of millions of followers to make Social Media work for you. While there’s no hard and fast rule about how many Twitter followers or Facebook fans or LinkedIn connections is optimal amount, Social Media scientist Dan Zarrella, cites 2,000 twitter followers and 1,000 Facebook fans as the tipping points where audiences start to grow and engagement seems to take off.
Some of you reading this might be thinking (with a shrug), “Heck I’ve already got those numbers,” while others of you might be shaking in your boots thinking, “I’ve got 100 followers, how am I ever going to get numbers like that?”
THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM TO GROW
Regardless of the size of your Social Media followings, you likely have room to grow—and audience growth is achievable, so long as you are committed, patient, and in it for the long-run. Success on social media is not a one-and-done proposition.
Here are 10 Social Media musts for growing your audiences:
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: content. Content. CONTENT! Without providing valuable content that your followers can’t find elsewhere, you’re just treading water. Articles, blogs, infographics, videos, white papers, etc., are all examples of the kind of content you should be generating.
- Participate/post/tweet often. If you post articles or comment on Social Media only once or twice a month, you’ll never create buzz around your brand or your content. Those who choose to follow you want reassurance that you’ll be a frequent contributor, otherwise they’ll just go elsewhere. To you, daily updates might feel like overkill, but remember only YOU read 100% of what you share. Your audience will not see everything you post, so frequency is important, just like it’s important when running radio or print or TV advertising.
- Feature your preferred Social Media platforms on your site, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram—and others that make sense for your brand (such as Manhattan Beach-based Malakye for outdoor and lifestyle industries). Your website visitors are more likely to follow or like or connect with you via your Social Media platforms if you make it easy to do so.
- Feature links to your Social Media pages in your email signature and on your business card. Again, the idea is to make it easy for followers and potential followers to make the connection.
- Follow “influencers” in your field or industry. These are people you know members of your audience are likely to follow. Comment or ask and answer questions on their posts and tweets. This can expose you and your brand to an ever-widening audience. Impress them, say or share something of value, and they’ll start to follow you.
- Learn the tools of each Social Media platform. Use hashtags (#) so your content can be found easily, and use @mentions so that influencers know when you mention them.
- Keep your profiles and bios up-to-date and filled with keywords you want associated with your brand. Make your write-up attractive to people in your audience so they’ll want to follow you and share your content with their friends.
- When someone comments or asks a question, respond in a timely manner. You’ll not only engage that particular fan, but also show others that you are active and in-tune with your audience.
- Make your Social Media FUN. Post pithy quotes, funny comments, recommended viewing, witty commentary on timely topics. Hold a contest. Be provocative. Have fun with it. Not only will this engage your audience, but it will keep you enthused and excited about posting and tweeting.
- Last, but not least: stick to it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are large Social Media followings. Growing your Social Media audience takes time, determination, and persistence.
Social Media . . . It Can be Addicting
Social Media is essential for engaging customers in conversations about your brand and building loyalty. As brand devotees, your Social Media followers will talk about your brand, tell others, and share your content, becoming brand ambassadors helping to spread the word quickly and effectively.
BARREL O’MONKEYZ RESOURCE FOR YOU
Learn more about social media at the Barrel O’Monkeyz website where you can download our “Social Media Planning Checklist” White Paper (in PDF format). It’s full of ideas and resources you can use right away.
Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in the Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. Barrel O’Monkeyz serves as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around!