• Tommy Holstein

5 Social Media Tips to Help You Grow Your Audience

In today’s digital world, having a large social media following can be an incredible asset for a growing business. Being able to call upon a loyal audience with the release of a single post can help launch a new product, grow awareness for a cause, or accelerate other business goals.


Social media, though, is a crowded place.


There are so many people competing for your attention that it can seem almost impossible to break through the noise.


So…


How do we get there?


How can someone with a small follower-count gain a massive audience?


It’s not going to happen overnight. But, if you’re patient, consistent, and ready to try new things, you can create a loyal audience that’s willing to listen to you.


This list is not comprehensive, but serves as a way to help get you moving in the right direction.


Use Each Platform Independently

There are a lot of different tools that let you post directly from one social media platform to another. IFTTT, for example, allows you to create workflows that fire automatically once certain conditions are met, and auto-posting to other social media sites are some of the top workflows on the platform. Instagram even has this feature built into their app.


Sounds like a time-saver, right?


I implore you, though, not to do this.


Rather than dumping the same exact post to each different platform, each platform should serve an independent purpose. There should be a reason your followers are connected with you on different platforms. If you’re posting the exact same thing on different platforms, why should they follow you?


Write out a plan for how you’ll use each social media platform individually.

Let’s say you’re a filmmaker.


Use Facebook and YouTube to publish all of your finished work.


On Instagram, post behind-the-scenes pictures of you working on your films.


Use Twitter to engage more deeply with your audience and ask/answer questions.


Use LinkedIn to post articles about the film-making process or industry.


There should be a strategy for each social media platform that you exist on. You can re-post some things, but posting the same exact content to every platform is lazy.


An audience can smell lazy.


Play With Different Types of Media

In the early days of social media, the only kind of content you could create was text posts. Back then, you’d read pretty much everything, because there was nothing else vying for your attention. No pictures, no videos, nothing but words on a screen.


Oh, Facebook. How far you've come.

In the years to come, platforms would allow users to share visual content in the form of photos and videos. Platforms like SoundCloud shook up the music industry to allow up-and-coming artists to share their own music. Anchor allows anybody to create a podcast just by using their phone. All for free. Amazing! We are truly living through the digital creative Renaissance.


You don’t have to be a tech-wizard to make creative content anymore.


There are so many ways to create content now, it’s almost overwhelming! If you’re not already, you need to take advantage of these new avenues of content creation. Your competition is already doing it.


Here are some ways you can make content right now:


I challenge you to try something new. Today. Pick one of these new forms of media that you’re not currently using, and use it.


Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next big YouTube sensation!


Create Content Worth Sharing

A lot of businesses post content that’s simply meant to make a sale. They’ll post pictures of the things they’re selling and try to encourage people to buy something online or go into their stores and make a purchase.

Come buy our product! 25% off today only!
Take advantage of our amazing offer!
New product in stock!

These posts aren’t just boring, but they’re missing the mark completely.


Would you want to share this post with your friends and family?

Do “sales” post resonate with you? Of course not! Why? Because they’re not about you. They’re about the business.


Instead of boring your audience with these kinds of posts, make engaging content that’s worth sharing with their friends.


Tell a story. Give an opinion. Create something unique.


If you wouldn’t share a post with somebody, chances are your audience won’t either.

Content should either entertain, educate, or inspire.

Social media isn’t for you; it’s for your audience. If you respect social media for what it is — a place for people to share things with their friends — you’ll be much more successful than if you’re just there to serve yourself.


If you’re having trouble thinking of good content ideas, use a tool like Portent’s Content Idea Generator to help you get started.


Find Your Voice… and Stick To It

To grow loyal audience, people not only need to find you, but they need to find you interesting enough for them to grant you continued access to their feeds.


You need to develop a voice — a way of speaking to your audience that’s unique to your brand.


What do you talk about? How do you talk about it? What does your brand believe in?


Think of your brand’s voice as a character you’re developing. Is your character funny? Friendly? Professional? Sarcastic? Playful?


Wendy's is notorious for being funny, sarcastic, and mildly offensive.

Once you’ve figured out how you’ll communicate online, make sure that you’re consistent across all platforms.


This can be difficult when you have different people managing different accounts. If you want to stay consistent, make sure you’ve documented how your brand will portray itself online. Then, when people start following you on different social media accounts, they’ll know what they can expect from you.


Finding your voice can take time, but when building an audience, it’s essential.


Start (and Engage in) Conversations

Growing your audience isn’t just a numbers game.


It’s all about the engagement.


To get people engaging with you, you need to engage with them.


So many people are dying to grow their following online, yet when they’re starting off with a small following, they’re not engaging with those initial followers. They’ll post something, get a few comments, and not respond to a single one.


Have you ever sent a text to a friend and been left on read? Yeah, it feels kinda like that.


If you’re not engaging with the five people who are following you now, how can you expect hundreds of people to want to follow you later? Unless your post goes viral, you should be replying to every comment. Every. Single. One.


When you're talking to your audience online, treat it like you're just talking to a friend.

Building an audience is similar to building a friendship. You have to nurture the relationship.


Ask questions, encourage comments, and respond to them.


The more conversations you can start, the more people will see that you actually engage with your audience. In doing so, they’ll be more likely to engage with you the next time you post something.

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