I am always asked how I built a large following on social media, specifically Facebook, with 191,790 followers and counting.
The truth of the matter is it did not happen overnight. It took a combination of a few different steps. So, if you are looking to grow your social media presence, you don’t want to miss these tips.
1. Be present
First of all, it may seem obvious, but it is really important to be on social media, especially to create a Facebook business page. Facebook is the king of social media. If you do not have a Facebook brand page, you don’t really exist.
Never use a personal profile as your business page. Why? Because followers show us as Friends and not Likes. You also cap out at 5,000 Friends, which is not beneficial once you hit that mark.
2. Stay focused
It is smart to identify 2-3 social media outlets, preferably where your target audience engages the most. Make sure the social platforms you choose resonate with your business type.
For example, every entrepreneur should have a Facebook business page. Second, if you run a creative type of business, Instagram should be your second social platform of choice. It is a very powerful way to build your brand show off compelling imagery. Third, Twitter or Periscope might be other good choices. Twitter, a microblogging tool, is good for quick and informative messages. Periscope is live video, so it is perfect for educational purposes and allowing followers to engage with you.
The secret is to know your main social media method: writing, video, on air, or imagery. We all have one form of media that we feel the most comfortable with, so embrace it.
3. Create ‘vibe’ consistency
You need to be very consistent with the “vibe” of your social media. Take a page from the Art Director’s playbook and develop a signature visual style; ensure your message and image is conveyed to your ideal customers.
You are responsible for the overall visual aspects of your social media presence. For example, make sure the headers, imagery and design elements are the same. This will help people start to recognize and recall your brand.
Also, consider using colorful imagery. “We know, for example, that images on Facebook and Twitter get a much better response than plain text, but did you know that ads that are in colour get read up to 42 percent more frequently than those in black and white (Social Times)?”
4. Segment your messages
Each of your social media platforms are designed to deliver the same message in different ways, so make sure you are not posting the exact same thing on all of them. Make sure your content is segmented in some way. For example,
use Facebook to share general information, deals and promotions.
post to Twitter for quick comments, advice and quotes.
deliver inspiration on Pinterest by pinning great niche-specific and an occasional promotion.
leverage brand building on Instagram by sharing imagery and insight about who you are, your experiences and behind the scenes snapshots.
Make sure all of your content is actionable, shareable, fun and provides your followers with some kind of value. This is the stuff that people want to share. The more people share, the more your name gets out there. Bottom line, make it interesting.
5. Be reachable.
Always provide key contact information on every social media outlets. Make sure people know where to find your main website. Ensure a short biography, or business details, is clear for all to see.
6. Use visual real estate wisely.
If you have a specific and concise message, share it on the image itself. Social media sites tend to not share your content with 100% of your following because they want you to pay to be seen.
A creative way around this is to share your message on an image. Images can often gain larger reach and are generally more shareable. Put your website, or a short link that you would like people to visit, in the text of your image too.
Also consider keeping the aspect ratio of your images (1×1) consistent and don’t do any weird stretching to the images.
Since social media is a social place, it’s good to respond to comments and cultivate a sense of community. This also sparks more engagement. The more a post is liked and commented on, in Facebook for example, the more people see it. Commented posts are usually sent directly to the top of your (and your follower’s) Facebook News Feed.
Decide on a posting frequency and stick to it. Posting once a week is not a good idea if you are wanting to actively build a following. As a rule of thumb, use social media management tools like Buffer to automate posting on your social media platforms at least once a day.
8. Drop the hard sell.
Don’t just be selling all the time. People hate being bombarded with sales speak and being told to buy something. Keep these actions to 10%. Instead, share other pages or other people’s work that is complimentary to your niche. It’s all about being collaborative, not competitive. Share what you love!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Marie Thompson is ‘The Creative Success Coach’, mentoring and coaching female entrepreneurs to confidently create a magically abundant life and business. She has created a successful and inspiring online community of 190,000+ people; hosting empowerment and creativity challenges worldwide. Inspiring others to live a life of true potential, as well as having an uplifting impact on the world are Sarah’s main focuses. As the creator of the Wild and Creative brand she assists female entrepreneurs in following their soul’s true calling, into a career that they are authentically passionate about. Connect with @wildandcre8ive on Twitter.
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