At one time or another, most of us have struggled with social media.
Whether you’re stuck figuring out what to say, how to say it or where to post it, the ins and outs of social media can be overwhelming, expensive and time-consuming. However, if you’re practicing content marketing, social media must be part of your strategy.
Why build your social media presence?
The success of your content marketing strategy depends on how well you’re able to get what you’ve created in front of the right people at the right time.
Social media remains one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to distribute content. Not only does your content boost your social presence by giving you something engaging to talk about, but your social presence boosts your content by giving you a solid set of channels through which you can share those messages.
An active social media presence does the following:
- It broadens the reach of your content. Not every person in your audience already subscribes to your weekly newsletter or consistently visits your blog—but most of them do hang out on social media. Distributing content via social allows you to reach these audiences where they live.
- It enhances audience engagement. Active social media accounts give your audience yet another place to engage with you and your brand. This goes for both personal social accounts and company accounts. Consistent posting can result in increased shares, engagement, and impressions on your social accounts—all of which contribute to your content’s performance.
- It humanizes your brand. Sharing content on social that you find interesting, engaging, and useful showcases your personality and lets people know there’s an actual human being behind your brand and the content you create.
Ellen DeGeneres is a great example of using social to humanize a brand. Sure, she posts about her show, her clothing brand and the different causes she supports, but she also shares videos of cute kids making messes and posts hilarious pictures of herself photoshopped as Wonder Woman.
How to Grow Your Social Engagement
What is the value of sharing content on social media if you only have about 100 followers?
Your concerns are spot-on. Without a targeted audience to share your stellar content with, a social presence won’t do much for your brand. For your social media efforts to be truly worthwhile, you’ve got to have followers you can engage with your content. Here are four ways to start building your following and, subsequently, your social engagement:
1. Keep it consistent.
It’s not enough to post on social media for a while and suddenly go off the grid when work gets busy. To stay relevant with your audiences, you must demonstrate that they can rely on you for high-quality content—and that means setting a schedule and sticking to it.
If you plan on hiring an employee to manage your social media or decide to outsource, set a plan so nothing slips through the cracks if there’s a change in the project’s ownership. Try using free social media tools to streamline the entire process.
2. Stick to high-quality content.
Much like your editorial calendar, your social calendar should be filled with your best content—your latest blog posts, webinar promotion, press about your brand in a major media outlet, all in advance so you don’t walk into the office and resort to posting yet another picture of your coffee and meeting notes, assuring all of your followers that you are working.
3. Strive for organic growth.
It’s easy to spend a few bucks to gain followers, but these “followers” don’t add any value to your social media or your content marketing strategy. They’re not targeted followers who will engage with your content, nor are they likely to become customers, partners or brand advocates down the road.
Grow your social following organically by using relevant hashtags and strategically following other accounts in your industry.
4. Practice patience.
I’d love to be able to tell you that doing everything in this article will lead to a huge spike in your following overnight, but that never happens. It’s best to simply be patient and persistent.