Growing Your Social Media Fan Base Online...and Offline
I could talk about how important a social media presence is until I am blue in the face, but I think by now you already understand that. Most of you also probably realize that it's important to grow your social media fan base, but may not know how exactly to do that.
There are many ways to grow your fan base, but the most important (and effective) ways to do so may surprise you:
1. Get out from behind your computer! - A lot of people think that social media has to be grown through social media. Even though you should be working your social media magic to make connections and grow your presence online, it's not the only, or most effective, way to do so. When talking to customers, your friends, family, someone in line at a grocery store, etc., you should be mentioning your social media page(s). Word of mouth remains to be an extremely effective marketing tool that should not be over-looked, so start talking!
2. Interact with other people - It's called social media for a reason. If you haven't started doing so, start following relevant people/companies on every social network that you participate in. You shouldn't stop with simply following/liking them; you have to interact with their posts, engage in direct conversations, mention them in your posts or photos, etc. That whole "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" rule definitely applies on social media. The more social you are with other people and businesses, the more they will be willing to engage and interact with your page(s).
3. Get your team on board - Your team members, whether they are salespeople, baristas, bussers, or graphic designers, are your best tools to grow your social media presence. These are the people who are interacting with your customers on a daily basis; why would you pass this up? In many ways they are the face of your brand. They represent you every time they walk in the door, and they build direct relationships with your customers. Sit down with them to discuss the importance of growing your social media base, and give them clear direction on how you want them to help you grow (i.e. Make sure to say "don't forget to follow us on Twitter for daily specials and giveaways").
4. Develop an integrated marketing plan - I can't stress enough how important it is to integrate social media into your existing marketing plan. I recommend you include a snippet about social media on every marketing communication piece that you send out. If you're doing a radio spot, make sure you're sneaking in something like "check us out on Facebook today". If you're sending out an e-announcement, your social icons should be included, visible, and clickable. Find ways to incorporate your social media presence in everything you do, and I promise you will see a boost in your fan base.
If you take anything away from this blog post, it should be that social media cannot truly grow in its own little bubble. Find ways to promote your social media presence outside of social media, and continue to put out awesome content that people love. If you do this, you will see growth virally AND organically. As always, if you’re struggling to rock out your social presence, give us a call at (608) 519-3070.