31 simple ways to grow your social media audience
We are all so busy running our businesses, often juggling parenthood or a full time job, that the endless task of creating great content for social media can feel like an uphill battle. We are being told from every corner what to do and when to do it, that many just want to close their laptop or put their phone down and wish it would all go away. But social media is the most important tool in the world of PR and indeed business so it cannot and must not be ignored.
There are 1.86 BILLION people active on Facebook daily and 100 million on Instagram. Twitter enjoys 330 million users a month too – now that is a lot of people to talk to!
Today I want to to take away some of the fear and share 31, yes 31 (one for every day of January) simple things you can do to improve your reach and engagement. Some you may well already be doing, but why not take the opportunity to double check things or change what you have done in the past.
Check your biography on every account is up to date. Make sure that everyone has a website address on (sounds obvious but so many don’t!)
Be available! Check that every account easily shares how to get in touch with you; an email address, phone number and address too if you are a bricks and mortar business
Communicate the why. Also check your “about us” part of the biography. It should say who you are and what you do but I want to task you to do more here. Think about two things – why you do what you do and what makes you special. Incorporate this into your bio so your readers and potential customers can see why you are different from the rest.
Don’t rely on your logo. Check your bio photo for all channels which should be the same. If you are trying to get your personal name out there over and above your business, try adding your photo of yourself. If you create product, add a photo of it. People connect with things and trust other people so think about using this rather than logos.
Show up! Post one daily on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but not the same words as the readers on everyone are different. You can post the same overall message but try and mix it up. As a guide: Facebook readers like to read, so tell a story. Instagram readers want to be inspired so be creative. Twitter users are fast so be concise!
Post your content at the same time every day. This is to get a good habit formed for you, but also readers like consistency. If this is tricky for you, use a scheduling tool.
Unlink your accounts so you cannot copy content from one to another (see point 5)
Add great photos. Every time you post content add a good photo, even on Twitter. People are attracted to visuals so take the time to draw them in. Use a GIF on Twitter if you have not got a photo.
Share multiple photos each time. When you write a blog post, share it on social media with a link to it. Add multiple photos too: this creates a carousel effect on Facebook and more interest on Twitter.
Change your URL links on Instagram. When you share a blog post on Instagram, make sure you add the URL link to your profile and tell people it is there (this is because you cannot add clickable links on Instagram).
Don’t just share content about yourself. Facebook rewards you for sharing other content as you are keeping readers on the site so try and share things you know your readers will love regularly.
Retweet interesting tweets an stories on Twitter too, but take the time to retweet with a quote to share why you think they should read it!
Inspire your readers by thinking about how else to engage with your audience. If they love vintage, then share nostalgic images. If they are brides, share more than what you just make. Inspire them!
Ask for retweets and shares on content that you want to get out there. It is amazing how many people will share if you ask them!
Add a competition to increase your readership by asking them to follow and share.Read here for some of the rules you need to follow.
Ask a question in your post. Every time they reply with their answer, reply with another question to keep the thread going. The more comments you get on a post, the more the algorithms will reward you.
ENGAGE! Go and find your potential followers and go and chat to them in a non spammy way. Use hashtags to help you search so for example: type in #alternativebride and all the people using that hashtag will come up. Click on them and go chat!
Join Facebook groups to meet with new people. Again, don’t be spammy! Introduce yourself, offer advice, be nice and slowly share what you do.
Join Twitter Hours to network too. Follow the rules of point 18!
Create a good looking Instagram feed that represents your brand. Treat it like a magazine – the last 9 photos should work well together and sum you and your business up. Choose a colour palette or a theme and and then stick to it. You can use apps like Planoly to help you with this.
Use Instagram Stories! As your Instagram feed should be beautiful, use Stories to share behind the scene action of your business. Share videos or stills of you making the cake, or creating the styled shoot. It could even be you walking your dog – whatever you choose, use it to paint a whole picture of who you are as a person and business.
Add your location on Instagram Stories to increase your reach by adding your location as then everyone in that area will see it.
Add a poll to your Story to ask a yes or no question – remember people love to share their opinion!
Be original with your content rather than copying others. Go back to the biography detail of what makes you special and why you do what you do and use it to inspire your content.
Share old content such as blogs that you have written or weddings you have worked on. Use Throwback Thursday to share old photos of you but remember you can do this any day!
Check your social media buttons on your website work and link to the right place (sounds obvious but so many don’t work!)
Create live video especially on Facebook. Go live and share what you have achieved or what you are working on right now. If this seems a bit too scary, make a video and share that although the former gets more reach for you.
Use relevant hashtags and use them on Instagram and Twitter. If you are not sure which to use, have a look at other people in your field of work and see what they are using.
Try Facebook adverts – probably the BEST adverts you can use are Facebook linked to Instagram adverts as you can target your audience perfectly.
Be topical! Be aware of what is going on the world and link your thoughts and business to it. If good news happens such as a royal proposal, share your thoughts and congratulations. Be careful of scheduled content during a crisis or tragedy; go online and turn them off. Watch Twitter’s trending hashtags to help with this
Share real stories to connect with real people. People buy from people so be real and share what you are feeling or something that has happened to you. On Twitter try doing it as a thread (write a tweet, reply ti it, reply to that one and so on).
I could go on and on but that is it for now. The key things to take away from this is: Be Real, Be You, Be Timely and Engage.
Want to find out how I got my following to over 120K – then get in touch for a chat and to see how I can help you! I offer advice and delivery for social media as part of The Indie Practice in many ways.