(Photo by Anthony Quintano)
Recently, someone asked me for some advice on how to grow audience on social media. In truth, these days, the power of celebrity or brand is the most guaranteed thing to gain new fans, and paid social advertising, (when executed well) can certainly fit the bill as well for people with the budgets.
So, what about everyone else? The real truth — social media audience development is hard work, and many people just don’t realize this.
With that in mind, I offered these five pieces of advice to help get them started:
- Be active. Consistently. Especially on Twitter, but increasingly on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. The volume of content you create for people has to be enough to where they find you when they are scrolling around on their news feed. I’d suggest at minimum 5 tweets, 1 or 2 Facebook or Instagram posts per day, or 5 Pins in a week just so that people see that you’re active and can understand what you are about. It’s hard enough to get people to care — even harder if you’re not around.
- Be relevant. You have a set of interests that you can represent, and offer trusted advice on. People will connect with you on these interests. If they like what you’re into, they’re more likely to want to hear from you as a person.
- Be slightly obnoxious. You need to get involved with everything that your interest represents. Look for blogs on your topics and comment on them. Search for Twitter accounts posting around the same things. Reach out to them if they are open top it. Follow them. Join in Twitter Chats, and Facebook Groups. Follow Pinterest boards. Be an active participant. But, be mindful of trolling. No one likes a troll. And it’s perfectly ok not to respond to people you are not comfortable responding to.
- Be you. Your unique perspective on life should be the number one thing that’s appealing to people. Understand who you are and stick by it. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it. Even if it brings out the haters, which, eventually it will, it means you’re being heard. And this also means picking platforms you are comfortable expressing yourself on. You absolutely do not need to be everywhere, but you should be where you can share your best.
- Become ok with failure. Social media is largely content testing — “fishing”, if you will. You will be making things about things (different topics) in different formats (text, links, images, graphics) and seeing what people respond to. Keeping an eye on your analytics and seeing what people engage with can give you a good idea of the types of things you make that people like most.
Good social media is hard work. But if you put in the time, and follow this advice, you can grow your audience to help spread your message, share updates about your life, or, maybe make a few new friends!