If there were a magic formula, no one would be asking this question!
There are several challenging factors in how you grow a social media following:
- The variety of social networks, platforms and channels out there – each with their own culture and lingo.
- The amount of content that’s already out there that a searcher has to week through to find what they want or need.
- The way individual social users use each network – their favorites, the time of day they log on, how they interact and engage with posts, friends, businesses and brands online.
Be prepared to do a little Sweat Equity to effectively grow your social media following.
- Before anything, clearly Define your Target Market’s Persona. There’s no way you’re going to understand how they use social media and how to reach them if you skip this crucial step. Click here to download a free Define Your Target Market Workbook.
- Once you’ve determined who your target is, then you need to do a little research. Where to do they hang out online? Which networks do they favor? How do they use them? What devices do they use?
- Learn how each of the major networks work, their lingo and culture. You don’t want to appear like a fool when you start trying to search for and engage your target.
- Develop a strategic plan for each network as well as a tactical plan to implement the strategy.
- Blog at least 3 times a week. This provides the content that your target is looking for as well as what Google looks for.
- Share your blog posts on social media – and not just when you first publish it. If you don’t post stuff on social media, no one is going to follow you.
- Find trusted sources of content and share their related and relevant content on social media. It’s not all about you!
- Search for an follow your target market. When you follow them, they will be notified and then choose if they want to follow you back or not. If you haven’t been posting, they’re not going to follow you.
- Monitor your social media to respond to questions in a timely manner.
- Check your insights and analytics on each network. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not working and it will help you plan for the next month.
If you’re starting from scratch with little or no following, it takes at least 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. Here are the first social media goals you want to reach:
- 100 Twitter followers
- 30-50 Facebook likes – You can see Insights after 30 likes and you can also follow your competition
- 50 connections on LinkedIn – this and a complete profile makes you am “All-Star”
- 10 active connections on Google+ (The ultimate goal is 100 – having 100 active connections on G+ may help you gain up to 14 spaces in Google search!)
- 10-25 Pinterest followers – Your target may not even be on Pinterest, but if you pin what people want to see, your following will grow quickly
Once your following is built, you can manage and maintain it by…
- Continuing to blog 3 times a week
- Automating a lot of other peoples’ content
- Learning how to use free tools like Feedly, TweetDeck, HootSuite and Buffer
- Spending 30 minutes a day engaging with current and potential customers
- Checking your analytics and insights at the end of each month to see if your following is consistently growing
- Planning your strategy and tactics for the next month