Social media is one of the greatest innovations of our generation. It forms connections between people from all walks of life. News can be reported instantly and without agenda. Causes can gain worldwide support in a fraction of the time it would take to send a more traditional call to action. Internet sensations and small businesses grow exponentially through clever marketing to their social media follower base. Social media is one of our most powerful tools, and it’s accessible on devices that fit in the palm of our hand.
Many people who took the time to understand social media created nearly limitless opportunity for themselves. This is an option that’s available to anyone with an internet connection, and so many of us miss out. But where would you even begin with creating a social media brand? How could you do it?
The most important part of any endeavor in social media is the construction of a loyal follower base.
Why Build A Follower Base?
A social media following provides several clear benefits regardless of whether you’re promoting yourself, or your business. Pages with a large amount of followers are prioritized over similar pages. This means that social media platforms promote a larger brand over others, and the same is true for search engines. This leads to increased exposure for your brand. Followers from social media are also potential customers for those involved in a business.
Larger audiences play a factor with income generation on certain platforms. YouTube is one example. They’re more likely to offer partnerships and syndication with users that have high subscriber counts. This creates financial opportunities and exposure for your brand. Brands with a large following might explore unique opportunities to collaborate with other content creators or businesses. An example of an individual who found success after he developed a large fan base is Logan Paul. Paul turned comedic videos on Vine into an acting career, and several high profile promotional deals including a partnership with Gillette. His experience is extraordinary, but it shows what’s within the realm of possibilities when growing a social media brand.
The reason for building a brand is simple, but the best way to do it isn’t always clear. Here’s some advice on building a social media follower base.
Be Genuine & Courteous
The most vital step in building your social media brand is being genuine. People are inquisitive and perceptive. Even without body language, most of us discern intent eventually. If a person or brand come across as insincere, that trust is lost forever.
Be yourself when you’re creating content, and interact honestly with your followers. Don’t be afraid to engage in debates and share opinions, but also treat your followers like they’re human beings. Some brands make the mistake of turning people into statistics. Don’t fall into this trap; not only do you jeopardize your brand image, but you miss out on learning about the kind of people that find your content interesting. You can also discover and develop organic relationship with influential members of your follower base. These people may have a brand of their own, and create an opportunity for exponential growth with your own following.
Quality & Quantity
Social media experts say that “content is king”. This is true, but no one is interested in daily content if it’s useless. Any brand interested in expanding its follower base needs to strive for quality content creation.
Your content needs some sort of focus, or message. Build a brand’s follower base on “pillar” content, or content that is strong enough to support the brand’s content creation. Evergreen topics are a great example. This means that the information provided by the content will always be of use. Creating a compilation of resources, or a thoroughly researched article with multiple authoritative sources is an excellent choice for “pillar” content. Content with a powerful message or impressive entertainment value can also be “pillar” content. Anything associated with the brand has to be well-edited, clear and concise. Content should be intellectually stimulating, and visually appealing. Promoting discussion is another important aspect of content, as it encourages followers to take a more active role in the brand community.
Avoid filler content if possible. Anyone can write a brief article or make a five-minute long video. Having to use little, or no filler will already put your brand ahead of most of the competition.
Importance of SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a key concept in bringing people to your website. The prevalence of people using search engines is staggering, and Google is the #1 most trafficked site on the net. Snagging a first page ad on Google is a big deal for social media brands, but having an organic link make the first page is a near guarantee of success. Over 90% of people select Page 1 Google links that are organic, not ads, and less than 10% of people go to Page 2.
But how do you lock up a spot on Google’s first page? Keywords are very important. For written content, keywords should be in the content title and several paragraphs. Pictures and other media also tend to improve your visibility to search engine. Connections to other pages, like hyperlinks and sources, will improve your ranking in Google’s Search Engine index. Every search engine has a different criteria and the criteria is always changing. Be sure to study the system from time to time to see if you need to make changes to your brand’s marketing approach.
Your developing follower base will have key demographics. This helps you understand the kind of people who watch your content. If you understand your follower base, your content can be diversified to meet each demographics interests. Google Analytics is one of many tools that provides information on followers. You can use Google Analytics on a tracked page to see your social media page views, general information about your follower base and peak times that they view your content.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Brands take a significant amount of time to grow, and your life will get in the way. We can’t work on our brand 24/7 because it doesn’t sustain us at first. You also can’t force the issue with low quality content because that will simply drive people away.
Give your best effort on keeping a regular schedule for posting high-quality content, and interacting with your followers. Follow these steps, and stay informed on the ever-changing landscape of social media trends. Grow your brand into something you love, and something you can be proud of.