Growing a targeted audience in social media is the first step on your path to success. Without any followers, in most social networks your chances of getting people to your content and website are diminishing small.
While a large following does not guarantee social media marketing success, a targeted following is necessary to attract an audience to content, generate leads and eventually sell anything.
And most of the time simply searching for keywords in bios won’t get you far with finding the right people to connect to in Social Media.
And while you might dream of thousands of followers and achieving influencer status in social networks, the hard truth is that often a smaller but scrupulously targeted audience will give you the far better results and a lot more impact than a large but untargeted audience.
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To find the right followers and make them listen to you is an art. For each network, there are slightly varying rules and best practices. Here are 6 tips for you to get started with attracting a targeted following in your social channels:
It all starts with filling out your bio and telling people what you are about. Be honest! Instead of going for shiny and hip go for the keywords best describing what your followers can expect from you. You want your followers to appreciate what you share and know what they will get if they listen to you.
Far too many people are either too lazy to fill out their profile at all, or they are providing the wrong information. If you use social media for marketing at least, mention the niche you are posting about.
2. Provide value
I see that over and over again: Before people send out their first post and have any fans or followers, their only thought is: How can I get people to my website. What should I tell about my product? Which features or services will be the best to lure people to buy?
That is wrong.
In social media marketing, you have to get people to listen to you first. Long before you should talk about your product, its features and the arguments why people should buy it. And often you will not talk about your product on your social media channels at all. Instead, you will provide something that your target group is craving for. And you will achieve results by providing value.
Social Media Marketing is all about providing something that your target group wants and not about what you want your target group to know – that comes much later in the process. Being overly self-promotional can easily drive your followers away:
Image Source: Hubspot
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Be honest: Would you follow a channel where you only get promotional product information or self-centered feature talk?
3. Post consistently
Have you seen these accounts that post pictures of dogs and children, beautiful landscapes, updates about visiting a theater and the latest news? And then in between, there is one post about some weird niche you never heard of before? That is not going to work.
If you want to attract a targeted following, you need to be consistent in your posting and post about the target niche most of the time. While one more personal post at a time strewn in between a large number of targeted and valuable updates is ok and can serve to add some personality to your social media activity, you need to make sure that people who see your posts know what you are about. Why should they follow you and what can they expect to get? If you attract young parents to children’s images or fans of photography to beautiful landscapes, they are not very likely to be interested in your business content about manufacturing cars or research on cancer.
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4. Use keywords and hashtags
I am not an overly strong fan of using hashtags. I am also not an overly strong fan of keyword optimizing. But the most commonly used keywords that describe best what you provide should be included in your activity. People need to see the words they are familiar with and expect for your area of interest on your social accounts to identify you as the valuable source of information you want to be.
Image Source: Buffer
It still seems to be a well-kept secret that search on social media is huge. In fact search in social networks is the second largest search engine right behind Google (YouTube).
By making sure that your account and posts can be found via search you can attract a huge audience. There are even some social networks like Pinterest where optimizing your posts for search is by far more important than how many followers you have if you are looking for views on your posts and traffic to your website via clicks on your updates.
Image Source: Buffer
Never underestimate the power of hashtags and keywords in social media. They may well be the key to your social media marketing success.
Do not sit back and wait for people to find you. It is not only acceptable to actively connect to people in social media. It is also key to growing an audience faster to take action and make yourself more visible on social media.
Do not expect others to like or comment on your posts before you start liking and commenting on some posts from other people from your target group. You can search for keywords and hashtags; you can monitor conversations, and you can simply watch out for conversations that competitors or influencers from your field have.
In some social networks, a straightforward way to grow a targeted audience is to follow people you want to follow you back. The principle is simple: If you provide value to your target group some of the people you will follow are interested in what you provide, they will take a look at your account and if they like what they see they will happily follow you back.
By choosing the people you follow, you have it in your own hands to target people from your target audience. This can be slightly tricky. A good starting point is often your competition or influencers from your niche– if they have a considerable following in social media. If their followers like what your competitors provide they are likely to be interested in the value you can provide and will eventually follow you back.
However, this is not a concept that you should overindulge in. Aggressive behavior is considered spam in most social networks. So you have to make sure that you know the limits and the best practices for the networks.
And in some networks (Facebook for instance) this concept does not work. That is simply due to the fact, that Facebook is based on friendship rather than following people.
7. Be active
I have seen many beginners make the same mistake: They post if they have new content. That is a post once a week or even less. That is simply not enough to stay on people’s radar. Even worse, in some networks people will unfollow accounts that stay inactive for more than a few days.
In most social networks activity is crucial. To stay on people’s radar, you have to post constantly. The frequency of posts varies in the different networks, but for most networks, it is a good starting point to post at least once a day. If you do not have enough own valuable content, there is nothing wrong with sharing great information that others created (the concept is called content curation).
Final words on growing a targeted audience in social media
Without an audience, your social media activity is likely to get very frustrating: No reaction, no traffic no connections. But you have the power to actively grow a targeted audience. Do not necessarily go for a huge audience, focus on growing a targeted audience ad you will start seeing results!