October 14, 2016 Quality Over Quantity: Building Your Social Media Presence
You want thousands (if not millions) of followers on social media. But unless you’re an adorable kitten or puppy, your online presence isn’t going to explode overnight and will require diligence and some hard work. So what can you do to grow your social media followership? You can grow your presence and followers through some easy steps if you consistently apply them. But know that patience is the key throughout the process. Also know that the quality of your followers is always more important than the quantity of them.
Why Quality Matters
Social media is a two-way conversation. Think of your real life–would you want to know 100 people that never talk to you, or would you want to know 50 people that converse with you often? Cultivating followers that care about your posts and inspiring them to interact with you online is extremely important. These followers will engage with your content and be more likely to share it. When they share it, you get more exposure.
Ways to Grow Your Presence
Engaged followers is crucial, but you still can’t ignore the fact that you want to have more of them in the end. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Create good content. This seems like a no brainer but really take the time to understand who you are trying to reach and identify their needs. Because the content you develop for prospective followers must be relevant and informative. Get creative and use imagery and video where you can. Be consistent with your posts whether that’s related to their frequency or their branding.
Pro Tip: While you may not want to share content from direct competitors, you can use third party content to fill in gaps, particularly if you have partners or established relationships with other organizations.
- Make friends. You won’t grow your followers if you don’t take the first step. Follow other organizations, associations, publications, and experts in your field on social media such as LinkedIn and others. Follow your current and prospective clients. Participate in conversations; like, share, and comment on others’ posts. Tag their handles when sharing their content or if you want to engage them in a conversation.
Pro Tip: You might get followers from outside your industry. If their content isn’t interesting or relevant to you or your clients, don’t feel compelled to follow back. It will just clutter your own feeds.
- Use hashtags. One of the best ways to be seen online is to use hashtags. But don’t just tag any word. Rather than tagging broad words, focus on the words that are core to your organization. And check if there is a hashtag for the conference, event, or webinar you may be attending and use it to connect with other attendees.
Pro Tip: You can also use hashtags as a monitoring tool to find other feeds and content relevant to you.
- Don’t get discouraged. Don’t panic if you don’t grow as quickly as you’d like. The online world is a cluttered one so it may take some time to build your presence.
Pro Tip: Be patient.
- Don’t get complacent either. While it may take some time to gain the kind of following you want, make sure to monitor how your posts are doing and what possible tweaks could make it better. If you do the same thing for several weeks with very little results, that may be a sign that you need to make adjust to your strategy.
Pro Tip: You can post things more than once. Reuse content but change the way you present the information or the wording of the post to see is something resonates better with your audience.
The online world might be changing at a rapid pace but at its core, it’s not that much different than networking with people in real life. It might not happen right away, but stay active — post useful and interesting information, interact with others online, and test different things — and your hard work will pay off.