Promotion in social media is a fantastic way to develop business marketing. It’s free, you can create your posts whenever you want and how often you want, and the reach of recipients is theoretically unlimited. Any online sales expert will say that there is no point in wasting time and energy sending content if you don’t have an audience and social media offers huge numbers of it. Of course you have to work hard for it. You won’t reach hundreds of thousands recipients immediately. Well, unless you enter paid solutions.
The number of internet users in Poland has already exceeded 28 million people. According to the We Are Social and Hootsuite report, 4,021 billion people worldwide had access to the internet in 2018. That’s over half of the world’s population. Active social media users have reached a numerical value of 3.196 billion. This sum is steadily increasing from year to year. It increased by 13% compared to the previous year.
What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur, blogger, artist or creator? Larger reach. These more than 3 billion people are more accessible than ever; ready for conversation, fun, information and networking wherever they want and whenever they feel like it.
An increase in the number of followers should always come first when it comes to managing social media accounts. Why? Because a lot of followers lead to increased brand recognition, improved customer loyalty, increased conversion potential and rate. Of course, everything is within your target groups and not as part of buying blindly thousands of fans in packages on auction sites.
On the other hand, poor oversight of accounts on social media channels contributes to shrinking the number of followers. It will leave us far behind the competition, which may result in the loss of marketing advantages gained.
Whether you are just starting out with social media or already consider yourself a professional in this matter, below are some great ways that will increase the number of your followers.
Get to know your audience
The first thing you need to do is to identify future customers. Consumer profiling provides the in-depth knowledge you need to attract a large number of people. Some of the more important factors to consider are:
- Demographics: what is the age, gender, and income level of the people you want to attract?
- Psychological profile: what is their personality type?
- Behaviors: what are their preferences, hobbies and what do they dislike?
- If you work in B2B, think about: what kind of company is this? How many people work for them and what is their income and geographical coverage?
- Search for your customers. In order to attract perfect followers, you must first find them: Do they use Facebook more often than Twitter? What are they searching on the internet? Where do they like to go when they are not online? Use media monitoring for this (e.g. Newspoint).
- One of the most important things is understanding customers’ shopping behavior: do they do impulsive shopping? Are they looking for advice and consultation? On what basis do they build opinions about products / services? Do they buy a lot online? Are they more likely to buy if there is a special offer or promotion?
- Talk to existing customers: how did they reach your company? What motivated them to choose such products / services? Why do they remain loyal to you?
- It’s also worth spending some time analyzing your competitors’ social media activities: Who’s following them? What content do they share? Which of their posts have a high level of engagement and which not (number of views, likes and comments)? Which values are liked and which have negative opinions?
Profiling your customers can really help you, because once you understand who they are and what they want, you will be able to present them ready products that will interest them.
Present attractive content
Remember that social media channels are not friendly places for posts with long content. People are visuals. We are attracted by short, visible information, preferably in the company of photos, videos or various graphics referring to the presented issues. Seconds count to attract someone’s attention and stop users from “scrolling” the page. Proven ways to interest others in the sea of information are primarily:
- Infographics – visualize data, they are visually attractive and extremely engaging, so it is not surprising that they are the most shared form of content. They are on average three times more popular on social media than regular documents.
- Interactive content – regardless of whether it is a moving GIF image, animation, quiz, video or game, creating such values for your customers will make you visible.
- Pictures – statistics show that tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more likes and 150% more retweets. Photos on Facebook receive 53% more likes than average and attract 104% more comments. Images gain 2.3 times more engagement on Facebook than text posts, according to BuzzSumo research.
- Picture Posts – refer to your blog content and quote this content in the text box to extend your reach.
- Original “call to action” – create pictures or buttons that call for action that will cause the greatest reaction. If you want to extend the reach of your “call to action” then present your products in the most adequate way for a given platform. Instagrammers are looking for something ingenious. Facebook users are looking for something to see for themself. Tweeter fans are looking for something news that is worth publishing.
But be careful: not all social platforms have the same best practices when it comes to effective visual effects. Test what works and engages in your industry most effectively on each platform. Pictures that do well on Pinterest and Instagram differ from those that do well on Facebook. According to Curalate’s research, successful Instagram posts are characterized by: brightness, a large amount of white space or background, colors towards the blue end of the spectrum, single dominant color, low saturation, relatively gray, faded or pastel color, lots of texture.
Pictures in social media should be easily consumed, quickly providing an emotional and simple message. Here’s what research tells us about what types of photos are best to share:
- select and use only the best images – do not take the first ones from the edge or these well-worn stock photos.
- show body parts: face, hand, finger. Convince & Convert research shows that brand images are the most engaging when they show a part of a person, usually a hand that interacts with an object. Consumers are better able to imagine interacting with a product when they see a part of someone who physically comes into contact with it. Georgia Tech’s research shows that Instagram faces get more “likes” than face-less images.
- go for bright, clear, juicy, vivid and original photos. Research presented at the International Conference on Information Management in 2018 showed that images very much liked on Facebook usually have four characteristics: clarity, transparency, spontaneity and ingenuity. From a technical point of view, brand image posts should be well lit and easy to interpret. They should also contain something fun and creative. Product images from the magazine will not necessarily reach their goal.
Be active and consistent in responding to comments and messages
A very important element of success in the category of “social media engagement” is building long-term, meaningful relationships with recipients. Virtualization of posts is no longer the main determinant of audience retention. People want a responsive conversation and interaction that will make them feel that their opinion is important and companies willingly listen to the advice or comments they want to share.
Care on social media is one of the most effective forms of new marketing, which means that if brands don’t respond to comments or messages, their real answer is: “We don’t care so much about you.” This approach can trigger a negative approach to a given company, which will result in the loss of customers and critical opinions in cyberspace.
What is the solution? Engage in conversations with your audience. Hear them. Respond to as many comments as possible quickly and consistently. Use social media monitoring to notify you of discussions about your products or brand. Never use the same answers from any pattern or crisis instruction. They don’t look trustworthy when they are posted one after the other in public comments. It is very easy to notice such actions towards users and this does not bode well for the future in terms of customer service. Always approach each comment and customer individually.
People will judge your brand on the way you engage them in social media, so always be authentic. This is especially important because 80% of users on social media decide to follow brands whose content appears to be reliable and true.
In fact, people often stop observing profiles that have no personality or use slang and jargon that does not match the sound of a given brand. Undertaking political topics is also not conducive to acquiring new customers.
Also try to reply to comments and messages from time to time with funny, but cultural GIFs or memes (of course, if the situation allows). It’s a really simple way to show users that you are very similar to each other, and this will cause them to visit your social media profiles more often, which will increase brand reach.
Encourage to reply
Ask your followers for an opinion on your product or service and respond to each of their comments (especially the negative ones). Start a conversation about a popular topic and ask them on which questions they would like to receive answers in the next blog post or recently popular webinars.
Ask them, how do they deal with specific challenges? What are the best experiences associated with a specific product or platform? The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to ask further questions and create valuable content that will increase the number of visits of your website and profile. Engagement must go beyond gaining likes in order to establish true, reliable relationships with consumers.
Tag other people and pages
Add specific pages, users and locations to your posts. This increases the likelihood that other people will see you. This will increase your reach and allow you to gain new followers. This may result in future advertisers coming to you to promote your product or service, or to establish some broader, valuable cooperation.
Commitment to social media is a great, long-term investment
The foundation of social networking is building relationships, so try to follow the same principles that apply in every other social relationship – be a good and consistent listener. Also remember that it’s not just about you and your needs. People must trust you. In return, you will understand your clients’ approach, and this will help you create better and better products and services, which is a key element of your brand’s future.
Good relationships take time, so don’t be discouraged and don’t give up. You won’t get everything served right away. Don’t worry about the fact that your engagement indicators will not get out in one night or one month. However, if the meters move up, find out exactly what your recipients have reacted to and remember in which moments it happened. Most importantly, social media is a constantly changing environment, so stay tuned and be ready.