Grow an engaged audience on social media with these five tips

Matthew Dorrington, MD of Simple Advertising Limited has been based in Maidstone for five years, working with a range of clients in industries such as insurance, fitness, business coaching, pest control, high street shops and the care sector, to name a few. Here, he gives his expert advice on using social media marketing to grow your business.

Engagement. We are talking about likes, shares, retweets, comments, all of those delightful little numbers that transform a social media page into an unstoppable marketing machine.

The secret to an effective social media marketing strategy is, well… Strategy. And we have broken it down into five tips that will help you grow your business.

1) Content is king, consistency is the castle.
Human nature makes us turn to things that are reliable and habitual.

We have a natural disdain towards the unknown, and therefore, an effective marketing strategy is that of creating content with a consistent style. Is the content you provide humorous? Perfect, keep it like that.

Is it informative? That is good too. Do you mostly post images with a set colour scheme? Good for you, this way you are doing much more than creating a consistent style, you are effectively branding your services, and people will associate your brand with the value your posts promote.

Funny content makes us feel good, and your product will be associated with laughter. As long as you don’t suddenly start creating depressing content, you are taking the first step towards creating a strong brand identity.

2) Let your audience shape your content.
You wouldn’t market expensive cars to kids, but you would make your motorcycle-fanatic friend hop onto your Ducati.

In the same way, the audience you are advertising your product to will change the shape of your business. Business owners expect services that are highly professional and results-proven.

Children are more likely to be attracted to friendly and colourful toys and so your target audience - parents - will also be drawn towards these qualities. Therefore your social media should reflect these values.

Are you targeting millennials? Publish content based on values they care about, such as environmental protection or inclusiveness. Do you own a business producing baby products? Then, safe and reliable are your keywords.

3) Content IS king, and valuable content is emperor.
You don’t want to click on something only to find out it was a waste of time. People want results, and they want it FAST. When they follow a recipe page on Instagram they want good recipe ideas. When they follow a funny Facebook page they want to laugh. Your content doesn’t just need to be consistent to be successful, it needs to be consistently valuable. You want to provide value to show that your business is exactly what they need to make their life easier.

4) Don’t brand yourself as a robot. Mind that people like like-minded people.
Some social media advisors suggest putting your signature name at the end of your post to show that whoever posted that content is an actual human being, and your customers enjoy giving their hard earned money to people more than they enjoy giving it to robots. Why put a string of keywords like “BUY PRODUCT NOW” when you can simply convince your customers to buy your product as if you were talking to a long-time friend?

To increase engagement with your social media, simply be that: A human being. It’s the reason influencers have worked so well, people love to see what those relatable peers are up to.

5) Engage your audience with posts and comments.
Reply to comments, DMs, be useful. Provide valuable feedback and suggestions. At the end of the day, you are convincing people that your product or service is the key to make their lives easier, so why not show them that straight away? When someone DMs you, reply. A comment? Reply. People really enjoy feeling valued.

BONUS - Let your audience shape your platform
What internet users use depends heavily on demographics. Younger audiences prefer to use social network apps such as Instagram or Snapchat. Older audiences lean towards Facebook. Business owners take advantage of Linkedin quite consistently, and this knowledge is key to getting your business to grow.

You want to reach your audience where they are at! Never expect the customers to walk the extra mile just to learn more about a product they know nothing about.

To conclude, there’s no secret to how to get a massive social media following. You just have to provide valuable content consistently and treat your followers not like customers, but like someone you care about.

Find out more about Simple Advertising Ltd.

All views expressed are those of the author.