For many businesses, especially small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), one of the main digital marketing goals is to have a solid social media following. This is, of course, easier said than done.
But what if, through your social media efforts, you already have a strong social media following made up of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers? Is that enough? Do you stop there?
The short answer: No.
After gaining plenty of social media followers, the next challenge is answering the “Now what?” part. It’s time to keep them engaged and leverage your social media presence to ensure further business success and progress through…
Leveraging Your Social Media Following Further
Social media marketing is the method of getting exposure for your brand or products by attracting traffic or attention on social media platforms. Social media is one of the pillars of digital marketing, which has profoundly transformed marketing and advertising in recent years.
Social media platforms are an integral part of digital marketing for many industries, including fashion, tourism, and professional services. They have become an invaluable component of the global marketing conversation and offer a bounty of affordable advertising options compared to traditional media.
Now, if you already have plenty of social media followers, you should intensify your digital marketing efforts aimed at them to maximise social media’s aforementioned advantages. Remember that the more followers you have, the greater the reach you have. Make use of this fact to drive your marketing campaigns to greater heights and gain even more followers in the process.
SurfStitch, an Australian online clothes retailer, has built up around 450,000 fans on Facebook alone by running regular competitions on their website. The company uses these competitions to accumulate consumer data and draw even more people to their Facebook page, further solidifying their social media presence. It costs far less than traditional advertising and has proven to be even more fruitful in terms of marketing their products.
Formulating New Social Media Goals
Your social media plans and goals should be different when you’re just starting out compared to if you already have many followers. The former should focus on enhancing your social media visibility and creating online buzz, the latter should be about making use of your social media presence to boost marketing efforts and generate leads and conversions.
Once social media influence is gained and built on, you will be able to attract a greater audience. This provides better and more direct access to your customers, suppliers, prospects, and even a future talent pool. You then have the power to start conversations, reply to customer issues, and establish your brand as an industry thought leader through insightful social media posts that attract users back to your website and take the next step on the customer journey.
If you don’t adjust your strategy accordingly, you risk getting stuck with having a huge social media following that you’re not really able to make use of. Switching from a “growth” to “reach” mindset allows you to unlock social media marketing’s full potential when you already have a solid base.
Making Sure Your Social Media Followers are Engaged
Your social media following needs attention and must be maintained. For many businesses, social media marketing is not a priority, which means less focus and effort towards keeping followers engaged.
This shouldn’t be the case, especially when you already have a strong social media presence. You should keep your followers engaged by pushing regular social media campaigns and content. This allows your business to remain in the minds of your followers, keeping your brand in the conversation while potentially spreading the word to more people who are unaware of your business, thereby further increasing your reach and potential customers.
Studies show that posting content regularly can keep social media users engaged. Posting at least once a day is considered a minimum for most social media platforms (and at least three times a week on Facebook). Creative campaigns, special offers, and online polls or competitions are great ways to encourage engagement through Likes, Shares, and comments. These activities ensure that your brand appears more frequently on social media feeds while letting your followers know that you’re thinking of them and value their insights and participation.
Delivering Quality Content
After gaining more followers, you should also pay attention to delivering quality content—this is another way to make sure that they stay. Content can be in the form of blogs, podcasts videos, e-books, and infographics, and promoting them on social media not only keeps them engaged but also results in more views for your website.
The key here is quality, so be mindful of what you post. Keep in mind that the number of followers you have can dwindle much faster than you gain them. Posting sub-par content such as badly-written articles, posts with inaccurate or false claims or statements, or poorly-edited videos will have a negative impact on your brand’s reputation, leading to unhappy followers pressing the “unfollow” button.
Defining the kind of content your followers will like depends on your followers, target market, and the social media platform you’re planning to use. For example, if you cater more to professionals, you can push informative, formal, and well-written blog posts on LinkedIn. If you’re in the restaurant business and your followers are foodies, banking on the gastronomic visuals of your products and promoting them on Instagram could be your ticket to encouraging more social media engagement.
In a nutshell, before you post content on social media, make sure that it fits your target market or followers and that it’s made with quality and accuracy in mind.
Being Authentic and Listening to Your Followers
According to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, more than 64% of consumers say that they trust a brand that interacts positively on social media. One way of interacting positively with your followers is through authenticity and avoiding being too promotional with your content.
Being authentic is one of the cornerstones of a successful social media marketing strategy. Remember that your followers will know if you only look at them as mere stats rather than people. Avoid blatant self-promotion as well as sounding like a robot in your social media conversations. Your followers will appreciate it if you converse and interact with them because you value what they have to say, not just because you want more conversions. All good relationships are built on trust, including the relationships you build with your social media followers. Authenticity is crucial here, as well as a way to enhance customer loyalty for your brand.
See? Having a huge number of social media followers is not the end goal. Rather, it’s should be treated as the true beginning of your social media marketing journey where you’ll encounter and interact with more people and personalities. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!