How to Quickly Expand Your Target Social Media Audience
Author: Disha Dinesh
There are two distinctions your should worry about when trying to expand your audience on social media – the difference between a content strategy and a content marketing strategy, and how your content competition differs from your business competition.
Let me clarify each of these before we proceed. A content strategy doesn’t account for marketing and distribution without which your content will remain undiscovered. Yes, that viral video didn’t set itself on fire, it was lit and fed until it caught on. Second, giants whom you may have blind-sighted as business competition remain your competitors in content. Why should readers pick your articles over theirs? Answer this question and have a content distribution strategy in place before you proceed with this list of tactics.
Enable social plug-ins on your emails, blog posts and newsletters
Ideally, all media you use as part of your marketing strategy should be interconnected to create a web of traffic.
Your website, blog posts, emails and newsletters should have social sharing/following plug-ins enabled. You and your employees should include social plug-ins in your email sign-offs. That way, every website visitor or person you come in contact with via email could potentially follow you on social.
Your blog is also a great source of traffic for your social media pages. Your blog visitors should be able to share the posts/quotes they like to their social pages. Automatically picked tweets are good, because they simply the sharing process further and encourage more of your visitors to share, giving you an increased visibility.
Tool to use
SumoMe has social media plug-ins with a counter for your blog. The counter reflects the success of a post and pushes more people to share. Most email clients offer hyper-linking to add social links to your emails and newsletters.
Identify your sneezers and engage them in a content dispelling program
That’s what Seth Godin calls them, your sneezers. People who have the power to infect your specific niche, can be called your sneezers. How do you get access to and influence over a large audience instantly? You can’t. Even with influencer marketing you have to get on your influencers’ radars and then work at building relationships with them.
One sure fire-way of attracting the attention of influencers is by creating and sharing content that they’re interested in and are likely to pick up. Sometimes, simply doing that is enough to earn a wider visibility. To streamline the process and initiate actual influencer marketing programs, a good tool can help.
Tool to use
FollowerWonk is a great tool that focuses on identifying influencers you could connect with on Twitter. It works based on keywords and your location helping you locate the right influencers for your brand.
Organize your employees into an influential advocate army
Employee advocacy is an alternative means of commanding social media influence. Employees are both the most credible sources on social media and the widest reaching channels (when put together). According to studies, employee advocacy can increase the reach of your content by as much as 561% and increase your engagement by about 7X.
With employees, you already have existing work relationships to begin with. Most of your employees will appreciate being a part of something more than simply their work. All that’s necessary to initiate an advocacy program is their support and a tool to organize the efforts. Make you content accessible to employees and enable them to help you distribute it on social media.
Tool to use
With DrumUp employee advocacy platform you can share content with your employees with ease, and they can share it without much effort to their social media accounts. The leaderboard on the platform helps with keeping employee advocates motivated. If you want to track the success of your employee advocacy program, you can do it with the platform’s analytics.
Invade new content territories by re-purposing old content
Expand the reach your content has by converting pre-existing content into new formats. Not only does this increase the visibility of your content by introducing it on new platforms, but also helps you reach people who don’t consume one format or the other.
Convert a blog post into a SlideShare, an infographic, a podcast or video. You simply need to section the write-up, state takeaways under each subhead and type them in/represent them on new formats. Videos aren’t hard to create when they’re a simple slide-show or words and images rendered with the most basic animation. Every image or infographic that you create could turn into a pin for Pinterest.
Tool to use
To create an infographic you could use Venngage which has drag and drop modules that are easy to use. Google Slides are a great choice for making slides for SlideShare and PowToon has pre-made templates to help you animate a simple video.
Leverage the right hashtags and @mentions to help your target audience discover you
On social media, there are certain words that can give you access to large audiences – like hashtags and @mentions. Hashtags are used to index conversations so they can be found easily. By using relevant hashtags on your tweets, you give information seekers an opportunity to stumble upon your content. Have you noticed how Twitter suggests hashtags and related hashtags when you type a query in its search bar?
More than often, Twitteratti use those suggestions to find their content. By adding hashtags to your tweets you increase your discoverability. Using hashtags and @mentions you can increase the reach of your content marketing efforts on social media.
People love shout-outs on social media and it often encourages them to share your content. Tag and @mention them to include them in your promotion process.
Tool to use
Even though Twitter suggests hashtags, it doesn’t tell you how popular each of those suggestions are. You could however access that information through a hashtag analysis tool like Hahstagify.me. Based on the popularity of the hashtags and the influencers who are using them (both provided by the tool), decide on which hashtags to add to your posts.
Co-create & partner with industry experts and similar businesses for content
Building a large and engaged following is an indefinite and effort intensive process. Instead of waiting until you achieve that status on social media, you can connect with everyone you need even before you develop that following. How? By co-creating content with industry experts and social media influencers.
All you need to run this tactic is a good topic to work with or a good set of questions that your niche’s experts are likely to be interested in discussing. While reaching out to the experts is a time consuming task, it is worth the investment. Not only do you gain valuable insights to share with your audience, but you also initiate relationships with experts in the process, and enlist their support and influence in promoting the content that you co-create. Co-creation with anyone who has value to offer is a great idea. Even if your content partners don’t have larger following than you do, you still earn new insights and the possibility to reach a part of the target audience that you may have not connected with yet. The only necessity for this tactic is the target – ensure that your co-creators also work with the same target audience.
Tool to use
A good social listening tool can help you identify people who are actively talking about topics that are of interest to your company. Brand24 lets you separate keyword search results by source – social media, blog posts, forums, news or even video. Using it makes it easier to find the right person for the content format you have in mind.
Image credit – Pixabay.com