When starting a new online business, one of the most common types of advice you will hear people mention is that you must “Start building a list of subscribers.” Building a list of subscribers/customers is perhaps the most valuable business asset you can develop.
TOP TOP: It’s not just about building a list, it’s more about building a list that is engaging and responsive. A smaller list of subscribers that responds to your marketing is more valuable than a large inactive list.
The key challenge to building a list if you’re new to your niche is that many of your prospects will not know who you are. It takes time to build authority and become a person of influence in your market. To get yourself established, you’re going to need to put in the ground work and “be seen everywhere” and “go where your audience is”. Join the conversation.
Having a strong social presence is key and one that many industry professionals have advocated more and more as social media has popularised in the last 5-6 years.
As Gary Vaynerchuk shares in his book – Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook…
“It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.”
Social media audiences are huge and growing.
The challenge then is, “How do you use social media to build an audience?”
In this blog post, we will list 7 key tips to consider when starting to grow your social following, which we believe will help fast-track you towards building your authority and avoiding the common pitfalls.
We will also look at a New OptimizePress LiveEditor feature, which will allow you to promote your social media presence on your websites and blog to quickly build your following.
7 Top Tips For Building Your Social Media Following
1 – Understand Your Audience.
Before you venture out to build a social media following the size of Tony Robbins, you need to have a clear idea of who your target audience is and what message you want to portray online. This is vital! You need to understand what your business online social persona is and what type of content style will resonate with your audience.
If you think of it in terms of building a house. You wouldn’t start building the house without a plan, first of all, you have an architect draw up plans!
The same applies to your social media strategy, dedicate time to thinking about how you want to portray your business and who are the people that you’re trying to appeal to?
There needs to be a connection. Don’t project the image of a global powerhouse if you’re a solopreneur working from your home office. In the same way, it makes no sense to try to appeal to men in their twenties if your audience is women in their fifties.
One of your main aims is to build a connection with your following and to do that they need to see you as someone that resonates with them and their goals, someone to trust, listen to and follow. If you don’t work on building a connection, then the opposite will happen and you will build a disconnection. Hopefully, you don’t need me to tell you what the result of that will be!
For a great example of building a connection and pitching your social media perfectly for your audience, I recommend you check out a very close friend of OptimizePress – Kerwin Rae. He is achieving great results on social media by being himself and providing value that the marketplace is looking for.
TOP TIP: The connection is between what you offer as a business and what your audience needs as a solution!
2 – Target The Social Media Channel That Resonates With You And Your Audience.
You need to hang out where your audience is, so identifying the correct social network is a good strategy. Being across all of the social media channels is a full-time job, so my advice is to target the social media platform that resonates most with you and mirrors your skill set.
For example, if you’re great on video and have a younger audience demographic, you might be more suited to Snapchat.
TOP TIP: Social media can be overwhelming, lots of various platforms with different ways of interacting. The key is to focus on the channels which you think you can be most effective in and focus on that.
With over 1 billion active users, Facebook has become a powerhouse in the social media world, with people from all over the globe actively using it. Facebook is probably the first network that comes to mind, but there are many other social networks where you can create a presence – Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc…
With many popular social media channels available today, you can be confident that many of your prospects and customers will likely hang out on some of them. No matter how big or small the size of your market is, there will likely be pages and groups available that you can join and get involved in, which we will cover shortly.
Of course, not all of your potential customers will have active Facebook accounts and may likely prefer to use alternatives such as Twitter, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snapchat. Share some updates of your business activities to start getting a feel for how the social platforms can work in your business.
3 – Post Shareable Content.
People use social media to be social, post pictures of their dinner and spy on their friends, so the last thing they’re interested in is you promoting your product. You wouldn’t just enter into a conversation in a coffee shop and pitch your new ebook, so there is no reason why you should act like that online.
It’s all about the share, not the sale!
You should limit social activity to relationship building and nurture value with people. The real key to social media success is to post content that is so valuable and beneficial for people that they want to share it. One of the fundamental principles for this is to talk to people online like you would if you were face to face with them.
TOP TIP: Find a picture of someone that fits with your customer demographic and keep it around your computer. This might seem a little Norman Bates from the movie Psycho, but visualizing a customer when posting on social media can help you vision a real conversation and how you would act!
With your social media profiles in place, you should now start posting useful and valuable content, which will allow your prospects to gain value and hopefully begin getting yourself known. Knowing what’s valuable for your customer can be a challenge at first and may require trialling different content in order to test which content types develop the most engagement. This is great for identifying exactly what your customer is most interested in, which can lead to future potential products and solutions.
Most social media platforms can you give you analytics on engagement and reach of your content.
You can also use a great tool like ‘BuzzSumo’ to help you investigate the most popular and shared content in your market, which will allow you to model and create your own content on a similar topic. Your goal is to add as much value as possible for your audience in order to build trust, authority and eventually be seen as an expert in your niche.
4 – Identify Key Influencers And Engage With Your Audience.
Identify the key influencers in your niche and what social media networks they use most frequently. You can then begin actively engaging with the influencers and their audience.
Success Leaves Clues…
This is great for developing knowledge and insight on the most common topics, which will allow you to further strategise your content pieces so that you better target towards those key topics. Every niche will have their individual pains and challenges, and it’s up to you to identify what these are and to devise a creative solution that will help solve it.
In short, the business which is able to best connect with their audience wins.
5 – Interact With Everyone Who Mentions You – Treat People Like People
When it comes to social media, manners matter! It’s important that you’re constantly engaging with people and replying to those who mention you on social media. This allows your audience to know that you’re active, responsive and listening to their challenges.
Since many businesses use poor social media strategies or dedicate little resources to keeping on top of their social media, if you can be pro-active you can find yourself at a huge advantage.
Being active, approachable and providing great value can mean you quickly differentiate yourself from your competition and build your authority.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.”– Seth Godin
As your social media presence grows, it will eventually become more time consuming to manage. Using a tool like Hootsuite or Mention will allow you to view all of your social media accounts all in one place under one single dashboard.
6 – Participate In The Conversation.
Facebook groups are quite possibly one of the most useful places you can spend your time as a business owner, as they allow you to directly connect with your potential customers and join in on the conversation around your niche. As your time spent on these platforms grow, your understanding of your niche will eventually improve and you will know exactly what content to offer your customers.
At the same time, your contribution to the Facebook groups will help to start to establish you as an authority figure.
Spend some time looking through some common threads, ask questions and don’t be afraid to offer solutions. Other users will appreciate it and you may start to build close relationships with them, further building authority and recognition in your marketplace.
7 – Promote Your Social Platforms.
You have many channels open to you that offer opportunities to grow your social media following. Make sure you have added links to your social media in the following places:
- Email signatures
- Blog posts
- Web pages
- Membership areas
- Forum signatures
- Video sign-offs
When adding social media icons/links to these places always maintain sophistication by including them sparingly. A site full of social media icons and “follow me” banners will overwhelm people and affect your conversion rates.
TOP TIP: When deciding whether or not to add social media links to your landing pages, it’s always best to check the effect this might have on your conversion rates. A landing page should have a clear call to action and distractions for social media channels might have a negative effect.
GOOD NEWS: We’ve made adding professional optimized icon/links to your site, that allow you to actively promote your main social channels simple and easy…
The New OptimizePress LiveEditor Social Networking Element
Shout out to Gary Vee – if you want to better understand social media – this guy is the man!
The New OptimizePress Social Networking Element makes adding social profiles to your websites a quick and simple process. The Social Networking Element provides you with the ability to place social media icons anywhere on your page, allowing readers to connect with your other social profiles; further strengthening your relationships and building authority in the marketplace. With the Social Media Networking element, adding optimized contemporary social icons and links to your sites is now as easy as a few simple clicks.
This new element is available to Publisher and Pro customers with an active updates and support license (PlusPack Version 1.1.0). You can find out more about the amazing new features added to OptimizePress here.