Guest Post by Shane Barker
Social media has over 3.48 billion active users. As a result, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have become powerful tools for branding. To attract your target audience to your brand and grow your social media influence, you need to create high-quality content on these platforms. When you share this content with your followers, they’ll start looking up to you as an authoritative source of information.
And by building a strong presence on social media, you can establish your brand as a leader in the industry and build your credibility. To help you grow your presence on social media, we’ve put together some useful tips.
Here’s how you can increase your social media influence by following a few easy steps:
1. Make Your Audience an Integral Part of Your Success
Reached 100k followers on Instagram? Shifted to a new office? Or, raised a million dollars in your recent funding round? Share it with your audience!
By involving your audience in your success journey, you establish a personal connection with them while signaling your brand’s growth. You can also organize giveaways, offer special discounts, and run interesting contests that will attract more new customers.
Remember that social media isn’t all about promoting your brand and sending out sales pitches. Rather, it’s a medium to tell your brand story and show your customers your journey and transformation as a brand, and as a team.
Note how the folks at Dropbox celebrated their 500 million users milestone with their audience on Facebook.
Image via Facebook
2. Create Content People Want
There’s an ocean of content out there, and brands are constantly trying to catch the attention of their audience through it. With such cut-throat competition, it can be difficult to cut through the noise.
You can use social media to help your brand stand out from the rest by creating high-quality content that your audience craves. For this, you need to study your target audience and the type of content they engage with. Analyze the content created by the top performers in your niche and suitably develop content for your target audience.
You should also invest more time in creating your content. From the initial idea to the final implementation, think about everything. In addition to this, you should also ensure that the content you create is of high-quality. It’s also necessary to maintain consistency in posting your content to engage your followers.
Remember, your content speaks volumes about your brand. Create good content and people will regard your brand as an authority. Do the opposite, and you might not get the attention you want.
3. Build Your Community Hub
An online community can be a powerful tool for your brand as it adds an extra layer of value to your products or services. It allows your audience to connect with like-minded people, share experiences, discuss relevant topics, and engage with your brand at the same time.
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Say what you want about social media — it’s a pretty crucial business tool these days. According to a recent Animoto report, social media played a major role in the customer journey last year, and we don’t see that trend dying off. So, have you got your social strategy locked down for 2020? Source: Animoto, 2019 #stat #customerfirst #growbetter #hubspot
A great online community that harbors hundreds and thousands of customers adds credibility to your brand. It can help you achieve your business goals, such as driving brand awareness, increasing customer retention, or boosting sales and revenue.
When you create a community, it spurs discussions between users and provides a platform where your customers can post their queries. They can also answer other users’ questions and give feedback about your product or service.
4. Conduct a Poll or Ask for Opinions
By conducting a poll or asking for input from your audience in the form of questions, you can generate engagement on your profile. It is an easy way to get your audience to engage with your social media account.
Ask questions that people will want to share their opinions about such as trending topics or an issue relevant to your niche. Give your audience a chance to have one-on-one conversations with your brand and let them know that you respect their ideas.
Here’s an example of a poll conducted by The Muse on Twitter:
Image via Twitter
5. Start a Discussion About a Relevant Topic
Most social media platforms measure how people interact with your content. They track if they users with your content regularly and how they engage with it. Whether they just like it, comment on it, share it on their profile, or in personal messages, the platforms notice everything.
The more people engage with your content, the better are your chances of your content being shown to them. A great way to boost engagement is to interact with your followers on hot topics that are relevant to your niche. By creating content about a hot topic, you will generate interest among your audience and earn more views.
One of the best ways to launch a conversation with your audience is through a live video or chat using branded hashtags for people to rally behind. This is because nearly 80% of users prefer watching live videos from a brand rather than reading a blog post.
6. Use Hashtags to Reach a Wider Audience
Hashtags are a popular way to reach out to a larger, more targeted audience on social media platforms. When you use popular hashtags from your niche in your posts, your content is more likely to get higher visibility.
However, you must be careful when choosing your hashtags. Aim for those that have a high volume of posts but low competition to ensure that your audience sees your post.
Image via Instagram
Each social media network uses hashtags differently, and it’s important to identify trending hashtags so that your content gets viewed first in the trending topic.
For example, the hashtag #NationalFriedChickenDay began to trend on Twitter. And KFC quickly hopped on the bandwagon to take advantage of it. The hashtag was originally started by food enthusiasts who wanted to recognize it as a Fried Chicken day, but it soon gained massive popularity.
When KFC realized that it was relevant to their brand, they did an entire campaign around it. It was the brand’s most popular hashtag campaign, and they now do it annually.
Image via Twitter
7. Use Social Media Measurement Tools
Creating social media marketing strategies is essential. However, measuring the progress of your social media campaigns is equally important. Make sure that you evaluate your existing ad campaigns and other social media strategies to assess whether or not they are performing as expected.
Various social media software solutions can help you analyze your content’s performance. This can help you figure out where you’re doing well and where you’re lagging behind. Additionally, these social media tools can help you plan and create better quality content for your brand.
8. Build Relationships With Influencers in Your Niche
Engaging with influencers in your niche will play an important role in improving your social media influence. You can collaborate with influencers in your niche, and promote your brand, increase your followers, generate leads, and grow sales.
Social media influencers have strong connections with their audience, and they know exactly the type of content that their audiences are most likely to engage with. When they recommend your brand to their audience, they’ll start trusting it and may even end up purchasing from you.
Depending on your marketing objective, you can collaborate with influencers to host Q&A sessions, create interesting contests, announce giveaways, etc.
Additionally, you can invite them to do a social media takeover. In this, the influencer will use your social media profile to upload content on your behalf for a specific time period. By doing so, their followers may also engage with your profile, and hence, check out your brand and your offerings.
For example, Rosanna Pansino took over the Instagram profile of Wilton Cakes for a day and posted her recipes.
Image via Instagram
Social media is a great place to experiment with content. Be it videos, images, or podcasts, you can leverage multiple media formats to drive engagement to your brand’s profile.
Remember to create content that’s suited to your target audience and build a community to increase your engagement. Conduct polls regularly and share your success stories with your audience. Make ample use of hashtags and partner with influencers regularly to give your social media efforts a boost and grow your social media influence.
Lastly, ensure that you measure your performance to find out where you need to improve.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Find Shane on LinkedIn.