How to Grow Your Fans, Followers & Audience
The biggest obstacle that many people face once they establish themselves on a social media platform is the part where their fans, followers, and connections increase. Well, in this segment we are going to go over the basics to increasing your audience. There are three drivers to increasing your audience. You need to be familiar with all three of them if you would like to grow your audience at a fast rate. They consist of the following:
- Paid Drivers
- External Drivers
- Internal Drivers
Starting with the most obvious, you can pay to boost your audience on most social media platforms. Paid drivers are advertising sources on social media platforms that drive more traffic to your social media channels. These advertising sources vary per platform and we will cover the specifics of each advertising option in the advanced segment of our training. But for now, you should become more familiar with the following types of paid advertising:
- For Fans and Followers: Promote your business on a social media platform to become a fan or follower of your social media page.
- For Boosted Reach: Promote a specific message from your social media platform and boost it to reach a broader audience that is not connected with your page.
- For Website Clicks: Promote your business on a social media platform in the format of an advertisement that directs traffic directly to your website.
Each type of paid advertising serves a significant purpose. Businesses may want to increase their fans and followers to a certain amount of people so that they can reach a large audience each time the post for free. In contrast, you may want to get your message out to a large audience in a hurry. By paying to boost the reach of your post, you can get your message across to your target audience quicker. However, you only get one chance to catch their attention with your content, so put some thought into boosting posts.
Using social media as a paid driver to your website is quite different from using it to directly benefit your social media presence. You can usually pay per click, which is known as PPC, meaning that you are charged each time someone clicks on your ad. You can also pay per 1,000 impressions (CPM) meaning that you are charged each time your advertisement reaches 1,000 people. Finally, you can pay for website conversions, which is paying each time someone performs a desired action on your website, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. In order to do this, you would need to set up conversion tracking on your website, which will track the actions performed on your website. The paid advertising terminology for websites can get very technical for beginners, so for now this is all we are going to cover as it relates to paying for more traffic to your website.
External Drivers are sources, outside of social media, that drive traffic to your social media channels. Media, events, on-site traffic, website traffic, and emails are examples of external drivers that may drive more traffic to your website. Let’s review each component in more detail.
The media is a great way to drive traffic to your social media channels. News outlets, magazines, and television are external sources that have the capability to reach millions of people. If your business is highlighted on a large scale in front of a large audience, you have the potential to increase your fans and followers by a large amount if your business social media information is incorporated into the content related to your business. For example, Bob is a chef and is featured in “Top 10 chefs in the country” in the National Restaurant Association news release, he can gain a relevant following of thousands of people who may be interested in his food or recipes.
Events are another fast way to increase your social media channels. If you are a vendor at a high-traffic event and you create an incentive for each person who comes up to your booth to connect with you on social media, you could quickly gain followers and fans. It could be as simple as “Like us on Facebook for more information” or “Like us on Facebook for a chance to win _______.”
On-site traffic is traffic that your business receives on a daily basis. It is typical for businesses to create “VIP” or loyalty programs for customers to receive special offers, discounts, and updates as an incentive to connect with their social media pages. This is a critical component to using social media for business because if a customer does not purchase a product they were looking at on a prior visit, your brand has the opportunity to get your product back in their face through social media.
Converting website traffic into social media traffic can be done in multiple ways. The most common approach to converting website traffic has been to include social media icons on the homepage of your website. Another way to convert website traffic to your social media accounts would be to integrate your social media feeds onto your website. For example, your website could display the most recent posts on Twitter on your actual website. If the content is relatable and attention-grabbing, people will gradually migrate to your social media channels. Below is an example of what those icons may look like on your website.
The final external driver that we will cover is email. Email may be one of the easiest ways to convert more traffic to your social media channel. On social media platforms such as Facebook, you can literally upload your email contacts and automatically invite them to Like your page. Also, you can email your contacts to Like your page, with your social media icons (linked to your social media channels) included in the email.
If you have ever wondered why some businesses have thousands of fans and followers and say things like “I’ve spent zero dollars on advertising on social media”, they probably had an external driver that brought outside traffic to connect with them on social media. The larger or more popular the business is, the easier it will be to drive external traffic to their social media channels.
If you are a small business with very few external drivers and a small budget for advertising, then this is the section you need to pay the most attention to. Internal drivers are actions, on social media, that could result into driving more organic traffic to your social media pages. In order for your internal drivers to be successful, it is going to take time. The results of your internal drivers are based primarily on your own effort. The more effort you put, the more results you will get out. In this particular section, we are going to teach what you need to do to generate organic traffic and you have to decide how much time you will allocate to it.
With that being said, in order to drive more organic traffic to your social media channel you must do the following:
- Create relatable content
- Become active in groups and communities
- Follow your target audience
- Engage your followers
- Interact with potential customers
It all starts with creating relatable content that resonates with your customers. When people are browsing on their timeline or viewing your social media profile, your content needs to grab their attention and make a positive impression on them. When people like and share your content, your brand will reach more people and gain more organic traffic.
Next, some social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn have different groups or “communities” that reach different audiences. Become a major contributor in various groups related to your business and people will eventually want to know more about your business. If done correctly, you will find that more people will connect with your company from those groups.
On almost every social media platform, with the exception of Facebook, you can follow people. Following people is a quick way to drive traffic to your social media pages. Typically, if you follow 100 people, a large percentage of those people will view your social media page. An even smaller percentage will choose to follow your page if they find it interesting. It is your job to humanize and design your page to appeal to your audience, so that when they click your page they’ll want to follow you.
Example: If my businesses targeted other businesses in a certain area, I can do a specific search for business owners and follow them.
What do you do with new followers? Engage them! Learn more about your new followers and what they do, then introduce potential ways that your service or product may be able to help them. Like, favorite, retweet, or share their content and they may be willing to engage with your content as well. A common way to engage followers is to host contests on social media. This will drive engagement, awareness, and more traffic to your social media channel.
Finally, you need to find and interact with prospective customers. This is a tactic that varies per platform. However, on platforms like Twitter, you can search and find anyone who is in a specific location and target them by what they are talking about. For example, if I am a restaurant in Houston, I can filter through everyone in Houston and see who is saying “I am hungry”. If you interact with this audience, a certain percentage of people will respond back favorably. We will cover this in more detail in the Advanced Twitter segment of our course.
These are the five ways that you can internally drive traffic to your social media channels. Again, this takes time and effort. But, if you have a low budget for social media marketing this is where you would need to start. This section describes WHAT types of internal drivers there are to choose from to drive traffic. In the advanced segment, we will dig into the HOW to use these internal drivers on each platform.