Whether you’re building your personal brand or business, social media is pivotal for success. But as platforms rapidly evolve, many struggle to build and maintain a loyal following. Social media mavens and members of The Oracles share the tactics they use to grab attention, nurture engagement and attract conversions.
1. Give, give, give
The number one social media principle applicable to everyone is this: You have to give to get. That means producing content for your audience, not yourself.
Social media is not about blasting out marketing messages. You may have a million followers, but if you don’t benefit or connect with them, they won’t care about you — which means they’re useless. And with today’s social media algorithms, they probably won’t see your messages, either.
Social media is powerful because it’s personal. Like with any relationship, it’s about connections, trust and respect. You have to know who you are and who your audience is. What do they care about? Where do they spend their time? Create quality content and conversations based on that. Be willing to interact and respond to every individual. Then, and only then, do you earn the right to ask for their business.
2. Ensure your audience has a good ROI
When you invest your time, energy and money in social media, remember that your audience is investing theirs, too. They want to know that you’re worth all three.
To deliver on their investment, create engaging, informative video content; it relates to people at a personal level because it gives your business a human face. Keep your message short and sweet. Show your viewers that you know their time is precious and that they matter.
3. Go where your audience is
Social media is a double-edged sword. Used correctly, it can provide priceless feedback as you scale and quickly reach your critical mass of customers. Misused, and it’s a brand-damaging nightmare fraught with zero-ROI activities.
When I launched Kajabi, social media gave us immediate and inexpensive access to our core audience of online marketers. It helped us find beta testers who became our early success stories and provided an excellent resource for our initial launch.
As we scaled, we learned a foundational principle — be where your market is; don’t worry about where they aren’t. If your audience is younger, you’ll go live on Instagram and Snapchat; if they’re over 30, they’re more likely on Facebook. Primarily moms? Pinterest is your jam. Trying to be everywhere all the time is when social media becomes a waste of time, energy and attention.
4. Give your presence a purpose
Many people use social media to build a community without having a conversion strategy in place. I fell prey to this trap while building my personal brand. I rebuilt my entire website to reach an audience that didn’t serve my brand or business. I was providing too much value without asking my fans to take any action.
To monetize your audience, ask them to participate. It could be as simple as asking them to sign up for emails or getting their feedback on a new product. Posting for the sake of posting is a waste of time. It’s good to have a presence, but your presence should be purposeful.
5. Do these five simple things
I’ve found that this five-step plan builds loyal followers over time. First, create a posting schedule and stick to it! Life gets busy and social media is work. Schedule your posts ahead of time with pre-determined content. Second, write something interesting. Users like to read catchy captions.
Third, post six or seven times a week. Once daily is just enough to be manageable. Don’t “bleed the feed” and overdo it. Fourth, engage with your followers and comment back. Try to avoid using one-word comments like “amazing.” This comes off as phony.
Finally, be patient. Growing an authentic following doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, you can buy followers — but what does engagement from fake followers do for you? Nothing. Real followers mean real engagement and a lasting impact on your business.
6. Apply the Pareto Principle
If you apply the famous Pareto Principle to social media, 20 percent of your output will yield 80 percent of your results. That means media platforms should be up to 20 percent promotional; the remaining 80 percent should be related to your customers.
Create an “audience profile” for your ideal customer. Measure demographics like age, gender, income, employment, location and education, which are provided on all social media platforms. Then, leverage that data to identify audience trends. Determine what motivates your customers and what they strive for in life. This will help you learn how your product or service helps them achieve their goals.
Originally published on Forbes.com. ©2018 by Forbes Media, LLC. All rights reserved.