Social media marketing is in essence just two things. Distribution (social networks) and content (media).
Get them right and the rest follows. Increased traffic, brand awareness and sales.
But creating the content is one thing but making it move is another. That is why growing your social networks is so important. It puts the power in your hands. That is what excited me when I saw the potential of social for the first time. Access to a global market in real time at high speed.
Beyonce and her marketing gurus got it right when in December 2013, she bypassed mass media to launched her new album on her own social networks. There wasn’t one TV show or mass media channel to be seen.
This was a marketing tipping point.
“Your” social content delivery networks
We now have many social network choices. They are global and still can be “earned” and built directly with your own audience. It takes time but the application of persistent effort is rewarded with your own content delivery networks. Bigger is better.
It’s a long-term game.
You will also have to choose which networks you want to focus on. One is not enough and it also risky because as the social networks evolve they keep changing the game and their algorithms. It’s all your eggs in one basket thing. For many that is the Facebook bucket.
Let’s look at four. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram. There are many more but let’s focus on some of the majors!
Here are the key tips and tactics to grow your social networks without begging for permission.
Facebook has moved on from being a social network that allowed you to build followers and fans that received your updates in their timelines for free. It is now evolving to being more a “pay to play” platform. It means that to reach most of your fans you will need to pay for advertising.
This should not stop you from growing your Facebook distribution network but it just means you will have to be creative. Let’s look at some specific tactics to build fans and followers on Facebook.
1. Run contests
Apps like Heyo make it easy to create contests that attract visitors to your Facebook page. They will need to provide their name and email to enter. The fact they are on your page will also lead to more likes
2. Provide premium content
This can be a free ebook, video or other premium content that captures email at first but this also means the side benefit is a possible like
3. Plugin on your blog or website
Platforms like WordPress have a range of Facebook plugins and the majority of my likes come from this plugin on the side banner of my blog.
4. Inspiring and cool content
Testing to see what content drives “likes” should always be part of your social network distribution growing tactics. Turning quotes into images works well.
This particular image produced over 500 “likes” to the page and also a lot of shares!
5. Engage with your audience
Responding to comments is part of the Facebook like gaming so keep involved.
6. Mobile optimization
Include a like button on your mobile app so that even when they are using your app they can like the page
7. Pay to promote your page
Want to accelerate your likes then paying for them by using Facebook “promote” is worth doing.
8. Make it real easy for people to like your page
There are a couple of tactics that Upworthy use that are worth copying!
- Add a popup that appears after you have finished watching a video that politely inquires whether you want hang out with you on Facebook. This produced 419% more likes!
- Add a hover banner that asks you to “like” your Facebook page. For Upworthy this added an increase in likes of 620%!
Twitter plays by its own rules.
It has kept its 140 character limit despite the jokes, the pressure to change by many of its followers and the demands to be more like Facebook or Google+.
It is misunderstood by many people who throw stones at it from the sidelines. Despite the knockers it has kept true to its initial design and constraints that don’t seem to fit it into an online world that is about bigger being better.
This succinct reporting has made it the channel of choice for breaking news. Twitter is now often seen popping up on the television screen as viewers interact with a show. The character limitation it demands lends itself to one liners that are often humorous, pithy and sharp.
Twitter has enhanced the art of comedy and the throw away quip.
Why should you bother increasing your Twitter followers?
Increasing your Twitter followers does have some distinct benefits for business and brands. Here are three worth mentioning
- It increases brand awareness. What business doesn’t want that.
- Distributes your content wider and faster. This can improve link building to your website and hence improving your organic SEO
- Drive traffic to your blog or website. This can lead to more lead generation and sales.
So how do you double your Twitter followers?
The average Twitter account has a 126 followers and has tweeted 307 times. Doubling that number isn’t hard if you implement some of the following tips. And you can do much better than that if you apply a little focus and discipline.
- Make sure your profile and “Bio” (which is limited to 160 characters) is to the point and attracts followers in your niche.
- Tweet more often. Those with 15,000 plus tweets have between 100,000 to 1 million followers
- Use hashtags. This will expand your tweet visibility
- Schedule and automate tweets with tools like Hootsuite and Socialoomph.com
- Retweet the content of influencers and let them know with the @mention
- Join in Twitter chats or start one of your own a regular basis
- Find new followers that share your interests by using tools like Tweepi
- Twitter is not an inbox but a stream so you need to keep your followers engaged by tweeting valuable content for your target audience
- Learn from the best. Check out Anton Perlkvist does it with @Fun and @Googlefacts
- Promote your Twitter account “everywhere
- 5 Twitter Marketing Tactics for Building a Huge Fan Base
- 10 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers
- How to Build a Targeted Twitter Tribe of 100,000
LinkedIn is the boring brother of Facebook and Twitter.
Sometimes you feel like shaking him and asking if if he knows what it’s like to have a little bit of fun. Comparisons continue to be made including the ones between Facebook and Linkedin. One I have heard that sums it up well is….”Facebook is like hanging out at a barbeque with friends while LinkedIn is the cocktail party“.
Compared to Twitter, the social media rock star that attracts the media spotlight and streams across the bottom of the television, LinkedIn is a bit buttoned up. It’s suit and tie versus jeans and t-shirt. Sometimes you feel like you should be prodding it with a stick.
But despite the comparisons, the jokes and the snide remarks, LinkedIn is not to be underestimated. It can connect you to powerful influencers, provide a focused ecosystem to share your content and be a B2B marketers best friend.
So what are some simple tips to be more effective on LinkedIn and make use of its global network of movers and shakers?
11 tips to double your LinkedIn connections
Sometimes the simplest tactics are forgotten that can make a big difference over time. With the majority of users having less than 500 connections these tips will provide the guidelines to take it beyond the 1,000 barrier.
- Update your status daily. This could include posting your latest blog post, sharing an interesting Slideshare presentation or an article that is of value to your industry and niche
- Participate in (or start) a LinkedIn group discussion weekly
- Follow influencers and ask or answer questions on their posts
- Join relevant LinkedIn groups and focus on 3-5 of these and stay active on each one
- Send 5-10 new invites daily and personalize it. Don’t use the standard default invite request
- Prominently display your contact information so you make it easy for people to contact you
- Endorse people you know for their skills with no expectation of reciprocation
- Promote your LinkedIn profile. Include it on your card, place it in your email signature and on your website/blog
- Tweet your LinkedIn updates to Twitter.
- Include links to your blog and website in your LinkedIn profile. This will help you build credibility by displaying your full online presence
- Publish on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. This will increase your visibility and credibility and accelerates organic views and connections
- Why LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform May Surprise You!
- 10 Insights: How to Use LinkedIn to Build Business Success Faster than Your Competitors
- 3 Ways To Grow Your Business With LinkedIn
More detail: how to get followers on Instagram.
Take the three addictive elements of photography, mobile and social and mix them together in one “App”. Then make it so easy to use that a frog with fingers could use it. Set it free and watch the creativity explode.
That is Instagram.
The social web is providing us with free publishing tools that allow us to create tempting 140 character text headlines and then micro blog on Twitter, record and upload an online video to YouTube and watch it go viral. Snap a photo on your smartphone that uploads to Instagram without thinking and it is visible on the web in seconds from Siberia to Oman.
We are all now publishers and creators of content. No longer waiting for the photo shop to develop the film. Now you can now shoot and publish online to the social network of your choice in less than 60 seconds.
That is why Kodak is disappearing.
Working out how to use that technology and tool to communicate and spread your brand message that engages and connects with prospects and customers is the creative bit.
Increasing your instagram followers
Now the same principles that you apply to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin apply to Instagram.
- Engagement with your audience
- Apply the law of reciprocation
- Great images (content)
But what are some ways to increase your Instagram followers that we haven’t covered before. How do we build that important independent digital distribution on Instagram?
1. Use a tool
There is a great tool Instagram manangement tool called Iconosquare suggested by an Irish friend of mine (Ian Cleary of Razorsocial.com), for managing Instagram that will allow you to respond easily and quickly to comments and allow faster interaction.
This will create and accelerate the acquisition of more loyal followers.
2. Connect Facebook and Twitter
You have created the content on Instagram and make sure that you then connect your social networks to distribute your content. This drives the building of a loyal following.
The top two are Facebook and Twitter but there are also 6 other options.
3. Run contests outside of Instagram
One way is to use the Gleam app for doing this. It will allow you to create the contest for Instagram, increases engagement, build followers and capture insights on your users including influencers.
4. Display Instagram galleries on your site
There is a WordPress plugin from Iconosquare that allows you to display recent Instagram photos as a gallery on the side bar.
This will increase engagement and followers
What about you?
Have you got a strategy in place to build your social networks followers and fans? What unique techniques have you used?
Has it increased your traffic and sales?
look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.