There seems to be an endless number of steps to grow your following on Facebook and Instagram. You offer an awesome service and you know you will work hard for your client – so why do you have to spend so much effort in posting to these channels? Why can’t people just see you’re great and buy in? Does social media even matter?
Look – social media isn’t easy. That’s why people are paid to manage it. You can’t expect to throw some colour and text together and people will love it and become fans overnight. You have to meticulously analyse the successes and failures of your strategy, put thought into valuable content, and most importantly be consistent.
But why? You have a website, don’t you?
Well, you need to start thinking of your digital presence as an extension of your website.
Why Social Media Is So Important
Facebook accounts for more than 42 percent of monthly social media usage with more than 70% of users in the United States and 60% of users in New Zealand logging in daily. The average amount of time is between 20 and 35 minutes, meaning you have a small window of opportunity to make your content count! This is why valuable content posted at opportune times is so important.
YouTube is the second most popular social media platform while 46% of social media traffic for B2B sites is thanks to LinkedIn. As for Twitter, 42% of its users are on every day and 85% of its small to medium-sized business users use the platform to provide customer service.
There’s also Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Tik Tok… you get the point. Social media is inescapable and has become an integral part of today’s business strategy. Whether you’re building your brand, establishing super fans, providing valuable content, offering reliable customer support – there is a platform to reach any desired target market.
But before you cast your net too wide, it’s vital to consider just where exactly your audience is. If they are primarily on Instagram, you don’t want to be posting to LinkedIn, for example.
Once you’ve established where your audience is, you’ll need to work out how to speak to them.
Instagram – The New Website
Let’s focus on Instagram, as this is fast-becoming a hot spot for potential customers to discover new brands and purchase from them on the app, with more than one-third of users having buying products on the platform at the second highest dollar value of US$65 per order.
If you decide to advertise on Instagram, 75% of users will likely either visit your website, purchase from you, or follow you. Imagine the ROI – that’s a high percentage and worth investing in.
If you’re wanting to strengthen your brand’s image or establish a trust in your brand, Instagram is great for giving businesses a more personal voice.
If you’re wanting to build your potential audience, Instagram makes it easy to reach new people organically through hashtags, stories, and general interactions.
But if you’re going to succeed on Instagram, you need to remember two important things: value and consistency.
When you’re starting out on the platform, it can quickly become discouraging as your follower numbers grow at a snail’s pace and your engagement (likes and comments) are low. I’ve heard many people remark: “What’s the point?” And I always circle back to the key point of this article – Instagram is the new website.
Time to reflect
Go look at some big name brands, or some mid-sized competitors of yours, and look at their profile. What do you notice? You’ll likely see a certain style across their photos that makes their whole profile look connected. You’ll probably see “highlights” – which are saved stories into categories for future profile visitors to look at. And if you take a look at their captions, they’re likely a little long and encourage comments.
Now reflect on your profile. Do all of your photos come together to create a seamless look or feel? Does your content simply just sell an idea or product? Do you have a cover photo on your highlight to make it look clean and professional? Are your captions engaging, keeping people on your post for longer?
Take a moment and check out these profiles to get a sense of what I mean: @33acresbrewing, @humansofny, @charlottecurd, @9roundofficial, @britandco, @letterfolk
If you don’t have the means to take beautiful photos, find other ways to create engaging content, like creating memes, featuring other people’s work, or sharing beautiful quotes or interesting facts. Utilise stories and lives and highlights. Go interact with people!
Consistency is Key!
Now as for consistency: Do not give up. I understand it can feel disheartening that hundreds of people aren’t immediately swarming to you, but Instagram’s algorithm rewards those who are consistent and are using most, if not all, of their features.
Find the best time to post and post good stuff. Speak to your audience in your stories and encourage engagement. Go to competitors’ pages and speak to their audience, follow their followers.
Don’t miss your scheduled post. Don’t fall behind in content creation. Once you do, it’s a steeper hill to climb back up.
What I suggest is making use of a scheduler like Hootsuite, Later or PromoRepublic. I suggest shopping around for the platform that best suits your needs. However, I will say that PromoRepublic tends to be a crowd favourite – it’s like a mix of Buffer and Canva.
What’s so cool about PromoRepublic is you can create content within the app, with access to tons of free photos and post ideas, and then schedule it to several different platforms. PromoRepublic also predicts the best time to post and includes an event calendar to remind you of any major public holidays you can incorporate in your posts. Plus it’s super affordable.
I recommend putting together, and scheduling, at least a month’s worth of content and then dedicating a certain amount of time each day (or whatever works with your schedule) to engage with others on your social media platform of choice.
And if you need assistance in managing it all, as it can be quite time-consuming, then get in touch! I’d love to help.