Social media can be an amazingly hard tool if you don't know how to use it to your benefit. Some people have a natural gift, while it takes others several years to identify the recipe for success. So much of this success is generated from building the ideal and correct social media audience for your brand.
When used correctly, Social Media has so many things to offer. You can grow your brand, generate sales, increase cause awareness, create event excitement, and the list goes on.
So, if social media is so awesome, have you ever wondered why it seems that accounts with fewer followers have more audience engagement, while you have a ton of followers but have to pull teeth for 20 likes?
Having run social media accounts professionally and personally, I've been there too and can totally understand how frustrating this situation can be, but over time I've discovered a few tips and tricks for developing loyal fans to interact with. Here are my top 5 Steps To Your Ideal Social Media Audience:
5 Steps To Your Ideal Social Media Audience
Have you identified your ideal audience?
Audience identification is THE KEY to success in any social media account or blog, the more specific and niche you are, the more engagement and growth you will have.
I too have been sucked into the mindset that more is better and that my content needed to reach as many people as possible. This couldn't be further from the truth. I know it sounds contrary to what you think but creating content for a specific audience will get you more attention. When you try to be everything to everyone you end up connecting with no one.
As far as agvocacy goes, your target audience could go into a range of interest topics. Such as
- Foodie culture
- Mom/house managers
- Crafting/DIY rustic Decor
- Those interested in commodity markets
- Straight Agriculture facts
My advice would be to pick a niche audience and insert advocacy where applicable within that niche. People are more apt to connect with you when they feel you are a real person rather with someone with a mission just to "educate" them. People don't want to be taught, they want to be related to. There are all sorts of resources on Pinterest about discovering your niche.
Clean up your followers/following.
To continually generate content your ideal audience will connect with you need to get inside their interests and everyday life. Go through who you are following and eliminate any accounts that do not coincide with the brand or audience you wish to connect with. When all you see is what you want to show it will help you with your consistency of image.
After you have cleaned up your following, now is the time to go on a hashtag hunt. You need to pick 30 hashtags that go along with your brand and follow the people that interact with these on a regular basis. AND use them on your own posts. (PRO TIP: Use all 30 hashtags as allowed on Instagram every time. Create a note on your computer and smart device so that all you have to do is copy + paste.)
As far as followers go you will naturally lose some along the way. Think of this a culling the herd. As you are getting more specific, your following will follow. Do not worry about those that leave, they are not who you want to reach anyway.
Pick a theme and stick with it.
It's time for a little more exploration on your part. I want you to go through and find accounts you LOVE and note what it is about their posts that draw you in. Did you know that all it takes for a person to decide whether or not you are an account they would enjoy? 10 SECONDS. let me repeat for those in the back TEN SECONDS!
So lets develop your posting theme...
- Pick 3-4 main colors in images and stick with them, it provides constancy.
- Decide on your image feel. I tend to prefer bright, minimalist images focused on one thing. Others like images that are bright and vibrant with several things going on. Do you like grungy? Do you like "dusty images"? (PRO TIP: If you're going to use filters pick 1 or 2 and use it EVERY TIME.)
- Sharing links? Spend some time going through your ideal audience pages. What do they share? What do they like? Pick three types of main content to share from other sources and stick with those types. Again, this provides constancy and people know that if they visit your page they will find the types of information they are interested in.
The idea here is that there is consistency and flow with your brand. Your audience wants something, and in order to gain interaction you need to provide what they want.
Posting regularly is everything. EVERYTHING.
Posting regularly can make the difference between a loyal crowd and one that forgets your account exists. The social media outlet is what determines regular. Here are my suggestions on "The Big 3":
- Instagram: Minimum of once daily with a maximum of 3 times. Followers want to know what you're up to but not necessarily every minute.
- Facebook: 1-2 times a day depending on the type of content you are posting.
- Twitter: This one can be tricky. You definitely don't want to be a ghost poster (someone who schedules but doesn't interact) but you don't want to over tweet either. Conversation is best with useful links thrown in. I would schedule 3 tweets per day and check in at least once to participate in or monitor any conversation.
And don't forget to interact. You cannot expect anyone to comment or like your posts if you do not reciprocate the gesture. Plus when you comment on like posts, others in that interest group will check you out.
Be true to your brand.
You can't talk about things that you aren't passionate about. As you discover your niche and slim down your ideal audience you need to make sure that the topic you settle on is something that you can deliver again and again, every day.
Be true to what you know and be true to your audience. Don't lead people on to think you do or know more about a given topic than you actually do, but at the same time "any expert was once a beginner", if the passion and the desire to learn are there you can make it work.
[ctt template="2" link="UKdqf" via="no" ]Stop preaching to the choir... who's your ideal agvocacy audience??[/ctt]
Are you catching on to the overall theme here??
Consistency is everything. Whether its images, post types, post time, theme, branding or anything else you've got to be consistent! People crave routine and if they know they will receive a consistent and quality content they will return to your site or accounts over and over again as your true and loyal audience.
As an advocate have you noticed how we can easily get stuck in "preaching to the choir?" Change your direction today and discover your ideal audience with the five steps above.
- Identify your audience
- Clean up your followers/following
- Pick a theme
- Post regularly
- Be true to your brand