Even before COVID-19, a large number of people were working online. Now, that number is even higher with countless users scrolling various social media platforms every day. But does your content stand out from the masses? Here are a few tips to help you grow your social media audience.
Social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool when done correctly. It has the potential to reach a global audience, connect with future followers, and engage with existing ones.
In addition, social media platforms are largely creative, giving artisans the upper hand. The trick is to know how to best leverage your creativity on these platforms and grow your audience.
Candice Land is a blogger with Ollie and the Captain and looks after Artisanry’s social media. In the last virtual coffee of April, she shared some basic steps to take in order to grow your social media following and a few tips on how to keep the momentum going.
Steps to grow your social media
All good successes begin with a plan. And connecting with your social media audience in an impactful way is no exception. Here are five steps to consider to help grow your following.
1. Begin with a plan
The first item on the to-do list is to set out a plan. Take some time to identify your goals, pin down your brand, and specify your mission. This information will be the groundwork of what is to come.
This is an important step as it will determine how you create your content, how you market your brand, and the way in which your audience responds. Ask yourself if your goal is to generate sales or get people to your website? Will your brand be a personal one or focused solely on organized shoots? Is there a theme, such as sustainability, that you’d like to emphasise?
2. Pick a platform to focus on
There are a variety of social media platforms, each with its own purpose and value. Trying to feature on all of these platforms will have you burning at both ends, with no real results to show for it.
Once you’ve identified who your target audience is in the planning stage, then you can determine how they will be engaging with your content. Essentially, the choice of platform that you choose to focus on will be determined by your goal and mission.
The main social media platforms include, but are not limited to, the following;
- Twitter – posts are typically real-time updates
- Facebook – posts offer information and visual communication, an opportunity for sales, the option to engage in groups, etc
- Instagram – posts are highly visual
- Pinterest – posts are highly visual and sorted in collections
- LinkedIn – posts have a very strong business focus
Top tip: pick two platforms to focus on. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin.
3. Post consistently
Now that you know who you’re trying to communicate with, and what message you want to send, then you can begin posting.
A great habit is to remain consistent in your look-and-feel, your imagery and messaging and post at similar times of the day.
Being visually consistent has a powerful effect on building a brand. Posting at similar times is handy for meeting the platform’s algorithm preferences and managing your audience’s expectations.
4. Engagement is key
Meaningful engagement is the ultimate way to grow your audience. Engagement is the golden factor that makes your audience remember you and your brand in a sea of profiles.
Here are some of the most effective ways to create engaging posts;
- Use your captions to encourage people to comment or like your post
- Allocate time to engage with your audience and others in your online community
- Make sure that you check your inbox and respond to messages and comments
- Tag relevant groups, people and associations in your posts (this encourages a shared post)
- Encourage people to tag you in their posts (if relevant)
- Be an active participant in Facebook groups
Social media algorithms like it when profiles engage with one another, and they reward engagement with increased exposure. In addition, it’s a great way to get your brand out there.
5. Look at your analytics
Switching your account to a business account on social media platforms gives access to account analytics. These insights are crucial in learning if your effort is giving you results you need.
Analytics help you discover insights such as the best time to post (when your audience are online), the demographic breakdown of your followers, and which posts perform best among others.
You can then take this information and apply it to your future posts for better results, making sure that you tailor your message and content for those who are most engaged.
Final tips to keep the momentum going
The above steps will set you up with a good foundation for building a brand and garnering an engaged audience.
There are a few other tidbits to keep in mind that will help you keep the momentum going (yes, social media requires you to be in for the long-haul).
Firstly, focus on being visual. As an artisan, you have the advantage of being creative, so use it. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Match that with a killer write-up and you’re set.
Most platforms have advertising options. For a small budget, you can run a targeted campaign and grow your following. These campaigns are fairly easy to set up and can give very positive results. Just keep in mind that your post should have a very clear call to action before you put some money behind it.
Take advantage of trending hashtags. There are guidelines to how many hashtags to use per platform, but there’s no hard-set rule. These hashtags help associate you with certain content and to be discovered by people who are interested in that content – #winning!
Make sure that your profile is ready to greet your audience – make sure that your profile is set to public (on Instagram) and that your bio is optimized to tell people who you are, where you’re based, and how they can contact you (a link to your website is a fantastic option).
And lastly, but most importantly, don’t buy followers. It may be tempting to throw a few bucks at growing your followers inorganically, but the cost is really not worth it. The goal is to achieve an engaged audience so that you appear authentic and so that the algorithm favours you. This won’t happen if you buy followers.
Ready, set, go!
At the end of the day, it’s important to be yourself and you want to be authentic and real! With this in mind, you can be flexible, honest and creative in your content.
These are just a few suggested practices to help you reach the right people and achieve the goals that you have set out for yourself. If you want to learn more business skills to accompany your creative spirit, then you can join our Artisanry Co. community. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest on what’s happening in our community.