Social media is an amazing equalizer. Anyone can have a social media presence and reach hundreds of thousands, millions, billions of people and build a following of ideal clients. But it’s not easy to get in front of those people unless you’re strategic about it. In this post, I describe four methods you can use to get in front of new followers and existing followers.
1. Use the rest of your presence to drive traffic to social media
First of all, you should most definitely not have your online presence 100% social media-based. It is incredibly risky. They own your page and your followers’ information. They can shut you down at any time for any reason and while it doesn’t often happen to business owners who follow their rules, it can happen and it’s too big of a risk to take.
If they shut you down and you don’t have a presence elsewhere, there’s no way for you to contact your followers and there’s no way for them to find you. Your brand has vanished.
I have a bit of a horror story about this. Listen to the podcast episode for the full story (episode #7) but basically, the story is this: many years ago, I was the editor of a big blog with multiple writers. Because of a website glitch, Facebook blocked all of our Page’s posts that linked to our website. Our only way of connecting our followers was through Facebook and now Facebook wasn’t delivering our posts to them which means our followers couldn’t get notifications of new blog posts. No, we didn’t have an email list (this was a lonnnnng time ago before I started my business when I was very much newer at online marketing.) We never really fully recovered.
Now that I’ve ranted about how you need a presence outside of social media, let’s talk about how you can drive traffic to your social media using the rest of your presence.
On your website, you should have links to your active social media pages in the header and the footer. Another place to put those icons is the Contact page.
Use your content marketing to drive traffic to a particular channel. When I say “content marketing”, I’m talking about your blog posts, podcasts, videos, email blasts, etc.
Almost every piece of content you have publish have some sort of call-to-action. Make the CTA for your social media page occasionally. I recommend making CTAs to follow you on social media focused on one channel for a period of time. If you mention two or more (“follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!) or you switch between different pages from post to post (one week tell them to follow you on Facebook and the other week to follow you on Instagram), your growth will be scattered and slow.
I recommend focusing on the growth of one channel at least for a few weeks and then switching to another channel.
The reality is that social media is an ads-game nowadays. If you want your content to reach a wide audience, you have to pay for it. Which makes sense. Social media channels are free to use and they need to make money somehow.
They make it really easy for you to start with ads. I encourage doing your own ads only in certain circumstances. If you’re just playing around and it’s not a big launch, that’s fine. Just don’t put a lot of money into it. I can’t give an exact dollar amount because every situation is different, but generally don’t spend more than $100 on a DIY ad unless it’s actually begun getting good results.
But advertising is such a specialized skill. If you are going to run a big campaign (with a lot of money and a lot at stake, like a program launch), then you should definitely hire a social media ads company. And when you do, ask for case studies. If you want referrals, ask in The Unforgettable Entrepreneurs Society.
3. Engage with other accounts
This is SOCIAL media. Talk to other people!
By “engage with other accounts”, I mean literally like and comment on other people’s posts.
It’s not easy to do this with Facebook Pages, but on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you should pick a few accounts and consistently engage. Regularly engage with other accounts that do something similar to you and have a similar audience.
You’re building a relationship with the account and also showing up in front of their audience. Not only heart/like their post, but you should comment, too. Make your comment meaningful and valuable. It doesn’t need to be a long comment that takes forever for you to write. Something short, sweet, and meaningful. Not something low-effort, like “Great post!” If people see you often enough and like what you’re saying, they’ll be compelled to click over to your profile and see what you’re all about.
One of the main uses of hashtags is to discover new content. For example, I really love a painting style called “acrylic pouring”. I love watching videos of people doing acrylic pours on Instagram so I search #acrylicpouring to find videos to watch.
On Facebook, hashtags not very effective for being discovered by someone new unless it’s something special like an event. People simply don’t use Facebook for searching content like that.
On the other hand, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to use hashtags.
Two quick tips for Instagram: the hashtag limit is 30 and you should use every single one of them. Post the hashtags in the comments right after posting because otherwise, it looks cluttered. I have a video about how to do hashtag research which you can watch here.
Two quick tips for Twitter: Try not to litter your tweet with hashtags. It can look messy. Generally, I recommend using 1 or 2 on many tweets. Notice I didn’t say “all”. If you are using Twitter correctly, you are tweeting multiple times a day. Using hashtags in every tweet can be a little much. Select your hashtags very carefully and intentionally. I like using Hashtagify to find hashtags to use on Twitter.
Social media is awesome but too many people treat it like a “one-and-done” marketing activity: just build it and they will come. They will not! You must intentionally and strategically put yourself in front of them. I hope this post helps you do exactly that. I’d love to check out your social media pages so feel free to share a link or your handle below!