- Contest Factory
- December 10, 2019
In the past few years, social media has exploded in the business world and is sure to continue to see dramatic increases in the years ahead. According to Statista, there are expected to be over 3.02 billion users of one or more social media platforms by 2021. Keeping this rapid growth in mind, North America has the highest rate of social media users with an estimated 70% of the population active on at least one platform. With such staggering numbers, it is obvious that social media is a trend that is not going away, and businesses need to learn how to use it to their advantage in order to stay relevant.
Building a strong social media presence is a must for any brand to keep and gain customers, whether it be done organically (posting your own content) or through paid ads. Your Social Media Growth Strategy must be comprehensive and fluid in order to stay above your competition in the marketplace. Three keys to remember for your social media strategy are authenticity, consistency, and reliability. Authenticity will generate genuine engagement and a viral effect with affinity groups. Consistency and reliability will perpetuate the viral effect in smaller and more niche affinity groups. In other words, post relevant and honest content so your affinity groups believe and trust your social media presence, and post at regular intervals so you become a familiar voice in their social media lives.
The advantage of brand affinity is based purely on an emotional and personal level with a brand. Don’t confuse affinity with loyalty. An affinity customer will lead followers or customers to see a particular brand as far preferable based on their emotional or personal connection they have with the brand. For example, Apple customers are often very passionate about the Apple products they own, they cannot easily be swayed to other brands, and they often speak out to convince others about the superiority of Apple products. These are affinity consumers. The greatest strength of affinity marketing is that it is fluid, customizable and changeable. Most savvy companies know exactly the niche affinity groups they wish to target and partner.
There are 3 critical components of affinity marketing that must be in the back of your mind when creating your plan.
- Choosing the right affinity partners
- Clearly establishing goals, objectives, and responsibilities
- Ensuring your affinity partners’ goals aligns with yours
So how do you build your social media audience to acquire these gems of consumers? We have outlined everything that’s needed to grow your audience both organically and with a little help from technology.
The 6 Essential Steps to Growing Your Social Media Audience
Set Primary B2B Social Media Marketing Goals:
- Acquire set goal of MQL’s (marketing qualified leads) through social media channels.
- Set Secondary B2B Social Media KPIs
- Frequency of published posts
- Organic and paid reach and impressions
- Audience growth through new followers
- Lead generation from social media channels or targeted campaigns
- Lead nurturing visits from prospects
- New customer acquisition through new accounts closed
- Customer retention by engaging members through social channels
- Identify affinity social media pages and groups; this phase is in constant motion and is perpetually being optimized to find more efficient fan engagement and acquisition methods.
- What does your target affinity group want or need?
- Who are they? (age, gender, location)
- What are their interests and what can your company provide? (educational content, product information, company news, etc.)
- What social media channels do they use? (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- What day and time of day do they look at your content? (weekends, during a commute, lunch hour)
- What emotional reason would they use your content?
- How do they consume your content? (watch videos, social media posts as likes, reposts, shares)
Optimize Social Profiles:
- Use keywords in your Facebook (FB) page to get your social pages to rank on Google.
- If you are targeting FB, make sure to list your keywords in their subcategory.
- Optimize profile, display images, and usernames demonstrating your brand’s expertise.
- Provide a clear description of your brand using links to references.
- Share social media posts with links back to your blog, FB, or website.
- Use high engagement keywords to boost engagement (comment, submit, tell us, etc…)
- Use Features Page (Stories and Story Highlights. These will help market your product to the followers who don’t always see your posts.)
Use Brand Advocates:
- More interactions on your posts create a greater organic reach.
- Relationship building with your affinity partners.
- Content must be geared towards your audience. It must be useful, trigger an emotion and make it personal.
- Benefits: As a marketer, your job is to create content that your audience wants. With the right content, the benefits are long-lasting and help increase your audience.
- Keeps the audience connected and targeted
- Social media authority in your industry
- Fewer promotion campaigns needed
- More visibility
- Chance to build personal relationships
Use Growth Hacking Technology:
Growth hacking uses metrics to strategically focus on your social media growth. The goal of growth hacking is spending the least amount of money while acquiring as many customers or users as quickly as possible.
Growth hacking consists of 5 main metrics:
There are many great growth hacking tools and software in the marketplace that can help you gain customers quickly and efficiently. Some of the top growth hacking tools are OptinMonster Exit-Intent, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Consumer Barometer to name a few.
Before searching out the best tool or software to help you in your quest for new customers, make sure to create a strategic growth hacking plan.
This plan should include some of these ideas to build your audience:
- Email Growth List
- Email Signature
- Rewarding Social Shares with Promotion
- Onboarding Gamify
- Rewarding the user for using the product and bringing in new users
- Psychological Hacks – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and Urgency
- Countdown timers to end of a sale or promotion
- Run a Contest
- Have Bloggers Review Your Products
- Make Sure Your Brand is Relevant in the Right Marketplaces
- Create a Free Tool
You will also need an engagement strategy and goals to attain for that strategy.
The purpose of an engagement strategy is to attract fans that would be likely to aid you in meeting your goals; fans that can directly or indirectly influence your primary goals. Getting fans is one thing, engaging and getting them to regularly interact with you is another. It is recommended to use content marketing to launch your engagement strategy campaign. Post daily on Facebook and Instagram to ensure you are keeping content (YOUR PRODUCT) fresh and available. This keeps your content in your audiences’ news feed. If you are posting videos, it’s helpful to include some text with it, as audio is usually muted by default.
Every company’s goals will be different, but some key goals that apply to most brands include:
- Unaided brand recall
- Identify the proper audience through ad testing
- Fan acquisition and engagement across social media platforms
- Direct Messages
- Increase email list size with responsive audience
- Product sales
- Sell education
Telling your brand story is the most powerful way to differentiate your brand from your competitors. It allows you to connect with your customers, sell your vision and build brand awareness, loyalty, and affinity customers that will champion your brand for decades.