Brands, organizations, and institutions use social media platforms every single day to connect with their audiences, raise awareness, and drive leads and business.
With an engaged following on one or more of the major social networks, brands can effectively spread the word about campaigns, new initiatives, and new products and services. However, simply having 1,000 Facebook fans or 200 Twitter followers is not the best indicator of social media success.
It’s possible to have thousands of followers who never read your posts or click on your links. The key is to build a thriving online community of your ideal fans, the ones who’ll actively engage with your content, share it with their networks, and ultimately, become paying customers.
1. Hold contests
Contests can be a great way to get new people to Like and follow your accounts, while also keeping your current fans engaged with your Page.
It’s worth experimenting with contests on every social network on which you are active. Some examples of social media contests include:
Looking to grow your social media audience? In this post, we’ll look at eleven simple ways in which you can grow your social media following.
- Comment to win – Participants leave a comment or answer a question
- Caption contest – Either the best caption (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
- Fill-in-the-blank Contest – Ask participants to answer a trivia question
- Photo contest – Either the best photo (you choose) or the one with the most likes wins
- Multiple choice contest
Tips for a successful social media contest:
- Promote it everywhere – Use your website, email list, and other social networks to drum up participation.
- Do not give away prizes completely unrelated to your brand – For example, if you give away a new iPad, you might drive a lot of engagement and participation, but not necessarily from people who will eventually become customers or lifelong fans.
- Follow the platform rules – Each social platform has its own rules and regulations around contests –
- Follow up with entrants who don’t win – Send them a thank you for participating, along with something about your brand/organization’s work.
2. Include a visual with every post
Visuals are high-performers on social media, so be sure to include an eye-catching, colorful image or graphic with each post.
- Content with relevant images rack up 94% more views than content without images.
- Compared to other types of content, visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media.
- Instagram photos showing faces get 38% more likes than photos without faces.
3. Share more video
Video is the most engaging content type on every social media platform, so if you can, it’s a good idea to create at least some form of video content to maximize engagement.
Be sure to upload your video directly to your platform of choice, rather than posting a link to an outside website (like YouTube). This way, your video will autoplay as people land on it while scrolling through their feeds, grabbing more attention.
Lots of views can lead to increased reach, engagement, and exposure for your brand.
4. Be proactive in listening to and responding to your online community
Did you know that 83% of your Facebook fans, and 71% of your Twitter followers, now expect a response from you on the same day that they pose a question on each respective platform?
In fact, 32% of Twitter users now expect a response within just 30 minutes.
Give your followers a fantastic user experience on social by being exceptionally responsive. Listen to their needs, and respond accordingly.
You should also look to publicly recognize people who retweet, favorite, and mention your organization on Twitter, and thank users who comment on Instagram and YouTube.
When you make your online community feel heard and acknowledged, they’re more likely to become raving fans, and your most loyal social media ambassadors.
Don’t just stretch out and pixelate a horizontal version of your logo – no one wants to connect with just a logo on social media. Personalize, humanize, and customize every channel you can, with a visual image that speaks volumes.
Also, make sure you use the right social media image sizes for each platform.
5. Change your Page profile photos and cover photos
Your profile photos and banners are some of your best and most-viewed social profile elements. Use these visual tools to showcase the impact of your work, and the stories of those who benefit from your services.
On Facebook, consider changing up your cover photo at least once per month, and remember to write a great caption.
On Twitter, use your profile picture and banner photo to highlight your great work.
It takes work to establish such, but that effort can pay off, big time.