2020-04-22-how-to-gain-social-media-followers

How to Gain the Right Social Media Followers

There are few things more aggravating than learning you gained a new follower on social media, only to find that same person unfollowed you a few days later. Why? Because you didn’t follow them back. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic and doesn’t gain the right social media followers.

Many businesses will send out mass follows with no consideration for who they’re following. Their sole purpose for doing so is in the hopes you’ll follow them back. It may gain a high volume of followers in the beginning, but over time they will unfollow when the content doesn’t interest them. So why waste the time?

We have some tips on how to earn followers that will engage with your social media. Doing this the right way will take more time, but it will pay off in the long run as you’ll generate an audience of supporters and evangelists for your business.

Tips for Gaining Social Media Followers

Follow people in your real life network

  • Your existing customers
  • Your suppliers / trades
  • Colleagues
  • Those in industries that support yours
  • Other businesses with like-minded ideals

Support others publicly

  • Give a shout out to another business that did something inspiring or whose product you love
  • Engage with other companies’ or individuals’ posts by liking, commenting, and sharing wherever possible
  • Offer value when someone asks a question

Optimize your bio

  • Ensure your bio is written in a way that makes it clear who you are and what you offer
  • Use keywords and/or hashtags in your bio description
  • Explain briefly how you solve your audience’s pain points in your bio description
  • Be sure your profile photo is professional and represents your brand

Include your social media link in your email signature

Be highly engaged with your audience

  • Reply to all comments on your social media posts, even if it’s a simple ‘thank you’.
  • Ask plenty of questions or poll your audience to encourage engagement
  • Don’t be all business; post things that are interesting to your audience
  • Stay away from being salesy, but if people ask questions be sure to answer them as clearly as possible
  • Don’t answer questions in a private message if they’ve been posted publicly. Others will likely want to see your answer.
  • Be sure to answer complaints or negative comments publicly and quickly. Do NOT delete them. How you handle these situations is important to your audience, and will win you clients if done well.

Post content that solves your audience’s pain points

  • Offer high-value content that gives your audience what they are looking for
  • Solve a common problem
  • Show them what working with you or buying from you will be like
  • Show them what they’ll gain
  • Ask them relevant questions and engage with their responses

Have Fun!

Your audience will enjoy being a part of your social media experience as much as you will if you offer continuous value and have fun connecting with them. Offer up some behind-the-scenes posts so they can experience your world and learn more about how your product or service is created. With all of these efforts, your social media will be more successful as you gain the right social media followers. 

2020-04-14-quick-5point-social-media-audit

How to Perform a Quick 5-Point Social Media Audit

We all know that social media is an important and cost effective method to reaching our target audiences, but the most common challenge is finding the time to manage it effectively. You might have a great idea of what you want your social media to do for you, but you aren’t quite sure if your profiles are performing successfully. Let’s start by bringing it back to the basics with this quick 5-point social media audit.

You’ll want to perform this audit every six months (or every quarter if you have time.)

Steps to Complete Your Quick Social Media Audit:

1. Keep track of your social media profiles using a spreadsheet.

Using the spreadsheet template linked above, record the following information:

  • Social media network (eg. Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • URL (eg. facebook.com/yournamehere)
  • Number of followers
  • Date of last post
  • Is this profile a business account or personal?

By keeping your profiles recorded in one tidy place, you’ll find it easier to make sure you’re only using the networks that contribute to your overall content and/or social media strategy. It will also make it easier to go back during your next audit to monitor growth or loss in followers and engagement.

If your social media profiles are personal (such as Facebook profile or personal Instagram profile), switch to business to take advantage of the analytics perks.

2. Optimize your profiles

For your social media profiles to perform at their best, your bios should be set up in a way that your prospects know exactly who you are, what your intent is, and how they will benefit from following/engaging with you.

Check each of your social media profiles for the following:

  • Is your profile photo professional? Does it represent the brand you want to be known for?
  • Do you have an appropriate background/header image uploaded? (where applicable)
  • Does your bio write-up effectively describe what you do?
  • Does your bio write-up contain keywords and/or relevant hashtags?
  • Do the above items match from one social media profile to another?

You’ll want your visual branding to be consistent across all of your social media profiles, which helps prospects and new followers understand that they are connecting with the person or business they expect.

3. Analyze your performance

The type of posts you publish can make a difference in how well you connect with your audience, and it isn’t necessarily the same from profile to profile, or even from one business to the next. Your audience will tell you, through your social media analytics, what they are interested in. In this section we want to look for those key indicators so you can adjust what you post if you need to.

To find the information below, navigate to the Analytics or Insights section of your social media profiles.

Here’s how to find your analytics for Facebook and for Instagram.

Look at your latest posts (at least 2 months’ worth) and record:

  • Which posts have more successful engagement?
    • Image posts
    • Video posts
    • Link posts
    • Text-based posts (text only, no images/video)
    • Specific topics
    • Content you write
    • Content you shared from someone else
  • If you have a website with Google Analytics, record how much traffic you receive from social media (found under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels)
  • Do you receive more traffic from one social network over another?

4. Review your scheduling

How often you post is directly related to your rate of engagement and growth. That being said, your posts should also focus on quality over quantity. It’s best to post higher-value content less frequently than posting a lot of weak content often.

Record the following in your spreadsheet:

  • How many times a week do you post?
  • Do you post in real-time or do you schedule in advance?
  • Do you use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to manage your accounts?

Using a social media scheduling tool can allow you to have more control over the time you spend creating and publishing posts. If you find yourself struggling to find time to create engaging posts, plan ahead instead. Set aside one day a week, every two weeks, or once a month to write and schedule all of your posts in advance. You might find it easier to come up with quality posts when you’re able to fully concentrate ahead of time.

5. Analyze your audience

Knowing who is following you will help you determine the type of content you should be posting. Always post content that benefits your audience in some way, offers value, and doesn’t oversell your product or service.

Take a look at your social media analytics and record the following:

  • Compare follower count to last audit and record growth or loss.
  • Do you have more male or female followers?
  • What are their age groups?
  • Do they live in your region or are they elsewhere?

Of course, these are super basic demographics, but they are a good start to determine if your audience fits the type of customers you sell your product or service to. You should also actively watch who is engaging with your posts on an ongoing basis to determine what type of content they like and don’t like.

Getting more out of your social media profiles

This quick social media audit scratches the surface of checking whether your profiles are meeting the needs of your audiences. Of course, it is important to ensure these basics are met before diving deeper into your social performance.

Once you’ve completed your audit, we have a few more ideas on how to get more out of your social media.

social-media-diy-tools

3 Free Tools to DIY Your Social Media

Having active and engaging social media profiles is an important and valuable part of connecting with your ideal buyers. Most businesses understand the need to use social media, but if you’re struggling to figure out where to start, you’re not alone. Having the right tools in place can definitely make managing your own social media much easier. There are a variety of free tools available that help you plan your social media calendar, create the graphics you need for your posts, and schedule publishing in advance to save you tons of time. We’ve outlined three of our favourites below.

Our Favourite Free DIY Social Media Tools

1. Trello – For Planning

2020-04-07-social-media-free-tools-trello
Trello is a fantastic tool to use on your own or to collaborate with a team to organize tasks, images, and text related to any project you are working on. Build your own columns of steps within the process such as “Topic Ideas”, “In Progress”, “Ready for Review”, and “Scheduled for Publication.” Within each column you can have individual cards that outline the task itself, which can be used for each individual social media post. These cards can be dragged-and-dropped into the correct column as they move through your process, assigned to individuals on your team, and have due dates attached which send out quick reminders to anyone assigned to complete the task. It’s a very user-friendly way to stay on track with your social media schedule.
Visit trello.com to learn more.

2. Canva – For Creating Graphics

2020-04-07-social-media-free-tools-canva Canva is a super user-friendly graphic creation tool that has thousands of pre-designed templates to serve your needs. Use either the desktop version or the mobile app for convenient graphic making. Choose the appropriate social media network to access pre-sized templates that are custom to that platform. Export your graphics to your computer or download to your phone. Visit canva.com to learn more.

3. Hootsuite – For Scheduling and Publishing

2020-04-07-social-media-free-tools-hootsuite Hootsuite is a versatile social media scheduling tool that allows you to create your posts in advance and schedule them to publish on a certain date and time. Rather than spending your time creating posts real-time (which is highly interruptive of an efficient work schedule), you can set aside 1-2 days per month to create and schedule all of your posts in advance. Hootsuite is free for up to three social media profiles, but if you’re just starting out you probably don’t want to have to manage more than three profiles at once anyway. Visit hootsuite.com to learn more.

Conclusion

These are just a handful of free tools you can use to get started on your own social media management. All of the above offer paid upgrades so as you grow, you can remain with the same tools and pay for upgrades as you need them, rather than starting over with something new. If you need help getting started or have questions about your social media, please give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help!

BONUS FREEBIE

To help you get started on what to post on your social media profiles, download our free 90-Day Social Media Planner. Inside you’ll find three months’ worth of prompts to create engaging social media posts. Click the image below to download your copy! 90-day-social-media-planner-graphic-2000x700
2019-09-27-3-engaging-social-media-post-ideas

3 Engaging Social Media Post Ideas

Coming up with enough social media content to keep your profile active and engaging can be a very daunting and exhausting task. As a business, you are a Jack/Jill of all trades, acting as business owner, sales person, accountant, marketer, superhero—I mean, in addition to all that how is it possible to find time to come up with social media post ideas? 

It’s not impossible. I have a few ideas outlined below to help you create handfuls of engaging social media posts at once so you can schedule out a good chunk of your calendar all at the same time, and in advance. 

Post Idea #1 : Ask your followers a question. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know your audience on a deeper level. You can ask them a simple question completely unrelated to your business, such as “Since it’s the first day of summer, we’re dying for some ice cream. What flavour is your favourite?” Bonus: Tag your favourite local ice cream shop to share the love. You never know what sort of cross promotion you might receive. 

You can also ask them a question related to your business to learn more about their buying habits. An example of this could be, “What is your biggest hurdle to buying X (one of your business’ products or services)” These questions are great conversation starters, and it’s important to take a little time to respond to the comments your audience leaves. Give them advice on how to get over that barrier, or simply acknowledging their concern can go a long way to relating to your audience. 

Bonus Tip: People naturally want to voice their opinion and be heard, so asking questions on social is a great way to stir up engagement. This engagement, in turn, helps you immensely with your social media algorithm, which is the all-important thing that feeds your content to your followers. The stronger your profile’s engagement, the more relevant you are to the algorithm, and the better your results will be. 

Post Idea #2: Answer a frequently asked question. 

Whether you’ve been in business for a long time or are relatively new, you likely already know what sorts of questions your customers frequently ask about your product or service. Posting an answer publicly not only shows your audience you care about their needs, but you’re also creating value for your followers. 

Let’s say you’re an event planner. One of the FAQs you could answer would be “If my event is outdoors, what sort of backup plan do we need in case of bad weather?” By offering a few handy tips, you’re offering your existing or potential clients solid advice on how to ensure their event is successful, and you’re also showing that you are the expert in what you do. 

As another example, you could bust a myth about your business or industry. Is there something that the public assumes about your business or industry about which you could clarify or educate? Present it in a fun way by offering “the myth” and “the truth” in two separate posts. 

Post Idea #3: Curated content. 

Coming up with your own fresh content is the hardest part about keeping your social media active. There’s nothing wrong with filling in the blanks by sharing someone else’s content and offering an opinion or a reiteration of the topic. 

Are there other social profiles you follow that relate to your industry, or inspire you? Share one of their posts, blogs, videos, or other such content to your profile, and explain why you are sharing this information. Be sure proper credit is given; sharing the original post is always best. 

As an example, if you are a Psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders, you could share a related TED Talk or YouTube video that you found supports your style of therapy. Or, if you’re an Orthodontist you could share a blog post you’ve read about the changing methods in your industry (such as 3D printing of retainers) and add your opinion on the topic. 

Conclusion

These are just three post ideas that are easy to implement and don’t take a lot of time or thought, yet they are likely to generate quality engagement between you and your followers. Your social media is only successful to your business if your followers feel you are building a relationship with them, and to do that requires providing value and conversation around your business and the things that interest them.  

Remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be engagement-based, no selling at all; 20% of your posts can be directly related to presenting your product or service for purchase. 

 

Looking for more ideas? Download my FREE 90-Day Social Media Planner, containing 90 days of social media post ideas:

2019-07-03-what-is-a-facebook-pixel

What Is a Facebook Pixel and Why Do I Need One?

A Facebook Pixel is a small snippet of code installed on a website, with the purpose to match website visitors with Facebook users. This allows businesses to utilize Facebook advertising to laser target specific audiences to promote its product or service.

So How Does This Work?

With the Facebook pixel installed on your website, you are able to rely on more than just basic demographic audiences for your Facebook advertising. The pixel allows you to build custom audiences that have visited a specific page on a site, added a product to an online cart, or took a specific action you want to track.

Why Would I Want to Do This?

Let’s say you are a dentist looking for new leads. You try out Facebook advertising and send an ad out to a basic demographic audience such as women in your city between the ages of 18-35. This is a pretty broad audience, and you have no idea if the people seeing your ad are in the market for a new dentist. However, you get some clicks to your website but no one contacts you. Now let’s say you have a Facebook pixel, and you build an audience of people who have visited your website already. They already know who you are, which is a great start. They maybe just hadn’t seen any urgency yet to take action to book a consultation. You now publish a Facebook ad that targets this new custom audience, and your ad contains a special offer for new patients–let’s say a free teeth whitening with a booked consultation. This ad contains a lead form to inquire about the special offer. BOOM! You have given the right audience the right offer, and you are far more likely to obtain new leads this way.

Warming Up Leads Even Further

The above example is a simple retargeting tactic that addresses a warm audience, but it won’t appeal to everyone. Facebook advertising is robust, and offers a large variety of ad types, targeting options, and methods of communication. Using a Facebook Pixel, you have the power to create a variety of custom audiences, essentially taking users on a journey to learn more about your business. This allows you to also get to know your audience better and learn what offers work for them and which ones don’t. Imagine being able to know your clients that well before they even buy from you. Facebook offers a variety of ad types, as seen in the diagram below (taken from Facebook Ads Manager): 2019-07-03-facebook-advertising-types In each type of ad, audiences are targeted in a different way. In all cases, Facebook’s powerful algorithm determines which users should be delivered the ad based on the objective you select. For example, in Brand Awareness, Facebook will match your ad to the users that are most likely to be interested in your business based on their past activity. If you choose Reach, your ad will be fed to as many people as possible to maximize your reach.

Cost Effective Marketing Strategy

Facebook advertising is still very affordable, and is a very cost efficient manner to reach your audience. For businesses just starting out, setting aside a monthly Facebook ad budget is a valuable marketing investment and offers great ROI along with a sales strategy.

Video Ad Case Study

As an example, some of you may know I am a painter as well as a marketer. I recently ran a video ad using a $1 a day ad spend for my custom commissioned art. I targeted a specific audience of interior designers and new home builders (for show home art). My results over a one-month period are shown below: 2019-07-03-facebook-advertising-video-results With a total amount spent of nearly $37 (for the whole month) I earned nearly 800 views. Since this was an awareness ad, I didn’t expect any direct sales from this ad. My next step is to build a custom audience of all the people who have watched this video. I will then deliver an ad to that audience that could A) contain a special offer to solicit direct sales, or B) if I feel I want to warm up this audience even more before asking for a sale, I will offer a free eBook download on how to choose art for your home. If I choose B, I expect to obtain fresh leads from the download. From these leads I generate, I can now build yet another custom audience on both Facebook as well as an email drip campaign to obtain sales inquiries.

Conclusion

As you can see, the idea is to warm people to your business, ultimately building a relationship in which they will invest in your product or service, and/or refer your business to others. This manner of advertising is both cost effective and a great addition to any existing marketing strategy your business may have in place.

Questions?

I’m happy to answer any questions about Facebook advertising at no charge. Give me a shout today!