Modern marketing runs on content. Blogs, articles, videos, reels, TikToks, Instagram stories, posts — they’re all crucial to brand-building and conversions.
57% of marketers believe that creating relevant content is the most effective brand-building strategy there is. And social media is the engine that drives that content to success.
But social media can’t do its thing with just content alone. If you don’t have an audience to share that content with, posting on your social media will be about as much use as shouting into a void.
In order to get the most out of social media, you need a decent-sized audience. Here are five tips to help you build that audience quickly, and get your stuff out into the world:
Make a strategy
It’s tempting to dive straight in with a quirky social media post — but don’t!
Instead, pause and build yourself a strategy. A strategy will give you clarity and focus. It will help you understand what you need to achieve, and give you the tactics you need to do it.
When building your strategy, think about the following:
What do you want to achieve?
Having a clear goal will put everyone on the same page, giving focus and motivation to everyone in your team. It also helps you to understand how well (or otherwise) your campaign is progressing.
If your goal is to grow your audience, consider the metrics you will use to measure success. How large do you want your audience to be, and by when?
Clarifying your goal like this will really help you to understand how well your campaign is working, and where you can improve.
What does your audience need?
To understand this fully, you will need to get to know your audience(s). We’ll dig into that in a bit more detail later. For now, think hard about what your audience needs from the brands that they follow. What problems could your social media content solve?
For example, do they scroll their Facebook when they’re bored? If so, quick, entertaining posts might be the way to grab attention. Or perhaps they use Instagram for inspirational content. You could play to that by showcasing your brand in inspiring, aesthetic ways.
What resources do you have?
For example, do you have a great graphics team? A talented content writer? An analytics expert? What’s your social media budget, and how much time can you devote to managing your social media?
It’s important to understand all this before diving in because it’s very easy to overstretch yourself on social media. Knowing what you have, what you’re capable of, and what you need to get will ensure that you’re fully prepared for whatever social media might throw at you.
1. Get to know your audience
Grabbing attention on social media is not easy. People have a wealth of choices, and they won’t give their precious attention to anything that isn’t relevant to them.
So, in order to build an audience, you need to be providing a social media experience that is relevant to that audience. You need to be piquing their specific interests, solving their specific problems, and talking as directly to them as possible. And to do that, you need to know who your audience is — in as much detail as possible!
Think about who, exactly, you want to see your content. Who do you want to follow you? And why? Once you’ve identified your target audience, ask yourself some W questions:
- Who are they?
- Where can you find them?
- What do they need?
- What do they enjoy?
- What do they engage with?
- When are they most active on social media?
All of this will help you to craft relevant, high-value social media content that will quickly reel into your intended audience. So, put in the research, and watch your follower count rise!
2. Play to each platform’s strengths
Each social media platform has different strengths and different weaknesses. In order to build your audience, you need to play to those strengths.
For example, Facebook is primarily a social network. While it will help you to build and advertise your brand, the most engaging content on there plays to the ‘social’ aspect of social media. Facebook users like posts they can engage with, share with others, and so on.
With Instagram, on the other hand, you need to concentrate on short, hashtaggable text accompanied by eye-catching graphics. It’s also worth noting that Instagram content isn’t as shareable as Facebook content, so you’ll need to concentrate on fostering engagement in the posts themselves.
Then there’s LinkedIn, which is all about business-based content. This is the time to let your B2B knowledge shine. Display your industry knowledge, tag in your industry contacts, and let each post really showcase your expertise.
So, don’t post the same content to every platform. Curate and formulate each post in a platform-specific way. That will give each post the best possible chance of pulling in an audience.
If it sounds laborious to curate platform-specific content, don’t worry. Automations like post-scheduling can do the boring bits for you, leaving you time to concentrate on crafting pitch-perfect content.
3. Post regularly
The question ‘How often should a brand post on social media?’ doesn’t have a solid answer. A lot depends on your particular brand and your particular audience.
If you’re struggling to find original content, you shouldn’t make posts purely for the sake of it. Posts that are really stretching for originality or relatability will be a turn-off for your audience.
However, if you can muster the content, it’s a good idea to post at least three times a week. The reason for this isn’t just that it keeps your followers engaged (although that doesn’t hurt!). It’s that the algorithms like it when you post consistently.
Generally, the more you post, the greater your reach will be. If you can post once a day — go for it! If you can’t, post as much as you can manage. The more you post, the more people you reach, and the more familiar your audience will become with you.
However — one word of warning. Don’t post so much that the important stuff gets buried beneath your timeline churn. If you’re running an important ad campaign or have an important announcement, either link it in each new post or pin it at the top of your page.
4. Engage, engage, engage
Posting frequently is great, but to make the algorithms really adore you, you need to engage.
The basic aim of each social media platform is to give users a good, enjoyable experience. The better their experience of the platform, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around.
One way they measure customer experience is through engagement. It’s an imperfect metric, sure, but it’s what they use. If someone is engaged with a brand, it means that they’re actively using the platform, and the algorithm considers that a Good Thing.
The more you engage, the more the algorithms will like you. And the more they like you, the better they’ll treat your posts. They’ll give them extra boosts, show them to extra people, and so on.
Of course, you shouldn’t just engage for the sake of algorithms. It’s also just basic customer service (and basic politeness!) to respond when your audience talks to you. At the end of the day, audience building is about forging relationships with people — and the best way to do that is to communicate with them.
So, respond to comments, answer messages, and listen to what your audience is telling you. You could even get them to participate in your page, with some user-generated content! It all helps.
5. Build your audience, build your brand
Unless you get very lucky with a viral post, a social media audience doesn’t come to you overnight. Building your audience takes strategizing, engagement, consistent posting, a lot of learning, and time.
It’s worth putting that effort in, though, because the rewards of a steadily-growing, well-engaged audience are huge.
With a decent social media audience, you’ll be able to spread your content far and wide. You’ll be able to get your name out there and grow your brand with ease.
So, time to sit down, and think hard about your social media strategy.