Nowadays, social media is a completely necessary part of any organization’s marketing campaign. It helps get the company name out there and into people’s minds. As this happens, companies also start to develop deeper relationships with consumers, leading to more customer loyalty, honest feedback, and invaluable market insights. Similarly, social media also increases the potential to reach more people and generate exposure for fundraising efforts or other specific initiatives.
With all of these benefits in mind, let’s take a look at how you can go about growing your organization’s social media following.
Get set up on multiple social media platforms
Just as our ‘Digital Marketing 101’ piece discusses a multichannel approach to marketing in general (incorporating your website, email marketing, SMS, and more), adopting a multi-pronged strategy with social media is crucial. While it can be a challenge to keep up with several social media accounts at once, doing so will ultimately help your organization far more than if you stick with just one or two (even if you’re prioritizing the one where you see the most activity). You’ll be able to reach more people across more demographics, which accomplishes two goals. First, it broadens your pure exposure; second, it will enable you to gather data on which social marketing approaches are most effective across platforms and demographics, so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly.
Do your research
Analyzing the market is a crucial step in reaching not only more people, but the right people. First, research the platforms you’ll be using to get an idea of the demographics they cater to. Then conduct surveys, assess your organization’s sales and conversions, and observe competitors’ consumer bases to determine who your ideal customer is. MarTech claims this sort of research helps you to determine “what your customers want right now.” This is true not only with regard to the products or services your organization is ultimately trying to sell, but also the messaging and content you’re delivering over social channels. The more you know about your potential customers, the better prepared you’ll be to create relevant and engaging content for them.
Take advantage of “tagging a friend”
The “tag a friend” strategy, which is what we often see in social posts promoting giveaways and other similar initiatives, is a way to encourage your organization’s current followers to reach out to others and bring them into the loop. Naturally, the primary benefit of this approach is to gain more followers by way of what essentially amounts to word of mouth. There is a potential secondary benefit as well, however. In a post specifically about increasing Instagram followers by AskMoney, it explains that if your content goes viral thanks to followers tagging their friends, your post may appear more prominently in search results within the app, or be listed in places like the top of the “Explore” page on Instagram. Naturally this in turn amounts to even greater exposure and more followers.
Create consistent content
The consistency of your content operation is also crucial to gaining (and retaining) followers. The best approach is to create a calendar for content creation and uploading. Forbes explains that keeping a regular content calendar like this helps your organization build credibility, a strong reputation, and brand trust, and also helps you to cultivate a better customer experience. Alternatively, when potential customers pick up on irregularity in your social media presence –– and thereby your public image –– it can create a sense of distrust. Naturally this is something you want to avoid (particularly if you’re gearing up for a social-oriented fundraiser).
Create relevant content
Finally, while you do want a regular schedule for social media content output, it’s also important to avoid posting for the sake of posting. Your content should always have a purpose, and should be designed to resonate with your target audience. This doesn’t mean that all content has to be an attempt to directly drive sales; some common purposes for content include entertaining, inspiring, educating, informing, and convincing. The goal, overall, is to use your market research and understanding of your target audience to develop a trustworthy, likable, and useful presence on social media. Content should engage consumers, establish and maintain your organization’s personality, and keep up a consistent tone. It should also be made as easy as possible to consume.
Growing your organization’s social media presence is the best way to reach the right people and drive more conversions. It takes a fair amount of effort, but if you begin to follow the steps above, you’ll be on your way to developing a larger and more productive following across platforms.
Special thanks to Roseanne Jane for sharing this expert content. Roseanne Jane became a lifestyle and community outreach blogger after being inspired by her volunteer work in a local senior home. Volunteerism is tough work, but she hopes that she can ignite her readers' calling through her articles.