As an aspiring creator and influencer, starting to build your brand and following from zero might feel tough and, at times, even impossible. However, we’re here to tell you: it’s not. If you set a strategy, stay true to your niche and pick up on certain tricks and habits, you’ll be well on your way. We’ve collected seven tips on how to grow your audience from 0.
Respond to & engage with your audience
This is the alpha and omega of growing a loyal audience. Try to see your followers as not only a number which you’re aiming to grow, but as relationships you need to maintain. People want to be seen and heard, and interaction and meaningful conversation become more and more important. Make it a habit replying to comments and responding to messages. You’ll probably get more out of this than you think.
Never underestimate the art of being human and authentic. Being human among a sea of filters and facades might be the thing that makes you stand out in the crowd. People want to be able to relate to the influencers and channels they follow. Don’t hide your personality – highlight it. And hey, don’t take yourself too seriously. Especially during times like these, we could all use a laugh or two.
Host a competition
There are a lot of smart ways to engage and grow your audience. Hosting a contest is just one of them. The good thing about having a competition is that there are so many clever little ways to make it a win-win for you and your followers.
You could ask them to comment to take part in the competition, tag their friends or re-share your content, start a hashtag trend related to you or your products or have them produce something in exchange for exposure or a prize. You grow your following and engage your audience at the same time as they get exposure and potential new followers or win a sweet prize.
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Your cover photos and profile photos are the elements that get the most exposure on your social profile. In light of this, why not use these to showcase your work or even highlight the products or services that you offer? On platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch, a good rule of thumb is to update your cover images around four times a year. You’d want your followers to recognize your brand and channel, but you still want to get some variety happening. And where possible, don’t forget to add a catchy caption.
Don’t forget to personalize and customize the image according to the different channels. No one wants a stretched-out or pixelated version of a logo or image. There are lots of great tools to create nice images for social media, but Canva is a great place to start.
Customize your content for each platform
When it comes to content and different platforms, it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ situation we’ve got on our hands. You’ll have to tailor your content to the different channels. This regards cover photos, video format and length, background music, theme, mood, and much more.
Learning which social media platforms work best for you and understanding how to best leverage them enables you to craft strategic and engaging content. And hey, why not A/B test your content on the different platforms, where possible? That way, you’ll optimize for the best results.
Use tags & hashtags smartly
Hashtags are a great way to be found and seen, but also to take part in trends and stay engaged in the community. If you’re lacking inspiration or feel a bit out of the loop, check out Hashtags.org or Hashtagify.me to find ones that are relevant to your audience and your content.
Consider investing in paid social
It can be a really good investment to spend a bit of money on paid social promotions and advertisements. If done right, paid ads can not only grow your audience but also enhance the number of conversions while helping you target a greater number of people.
When choosing where to place your ads, it’s helpful to know which networks are most popular within your target audience. Is it Facebook? TikTok? Instagram? It depends on! There are also a number of different options on each platform. Stories, carousel, messenger, collection… That’s why it’s important to do your research before spending your dollars. With the right strategy and knowledge, there is a lot to be won through small measures. Don’t forget to think about what you want to achieve with your campaign. Is it awareness? Do you want to drive traffic? Or are you looking for hard conversions? Make sure to measure the results so that you can optimize your efforts for the next time you want to invest a few bucks.
Create surveys and polls
Surveys and polls are a great way to both engage and activate your audience and a good trick to learn more about them. What do they like? What were their reactions to your latest campaign? What are their opinions on certain topics? If you want to know what your followers are thinking, just ask them!
Let us once and for all address the elephant in the room by providing a friendly reminder that it’s never, ever, worth it buying followers. This is a typical trap to fall into as these “followers” are likely bots or inactive accounts who won’t engage with your content. It’s also a false metric that might get you in trouble when it comes to collaborations and revenue.
It’s also important to note that just because you have 5,000 Instagram followers, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re successful on social media. It might, but that’s not the only metric you should pay attention to. Why? Some of these followers might not even check out your posts or links. The key to success is to build a community of loyal followers and fans who not only follow you but engage actively with your content and even share it with their own network. Most importantly, social media is a continually evolving landscape, so be ready to adapt your strategy at any time.
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