Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to Build Your Social Media Following

Oftentimes when I meet with clients and review their Social Media sites I discover they don’t have very many followers. In order to get your message out to your target market, you have to build a following. So how do you do that given the constraints and algorithms of social media, particularly Facebook and Facebook business pages.

First, we must understand why people are on Facebook. Why are you on Facebook? To connect with your friends, to be entertained, look for recommendations, sell stuff, get information? It’s different for everyone. So, if you have a business fan page, you need people to ‘Like’ your page, so that when you post on your business page, some percentage of those who ‘Like' your page will see your posts. And you also have to realize that not everyone who ‘Likes’ your page will see your posts. With that in mind, is it worth your time?  The answer is yes, if you’re willing to do the work to get a following.

Here’s some recommendations to help to build your following:
-        First make sure you have a complete
Facebook business page. Complete your about section and describe your business. There is a place for a short description and a place for a long description. Hours of operation. Complete all the sections.
-        Brand your business. Invest in a logo and corporate colors. Ensure your branding is consistent across all social media sites. When someone goes looking for you on their favorite social media site, you want to be easily recognizable.
-        Have a custom professional banner. If you want people to call you, make sure your phone # is in the banner. If you’re a plumber, no one wants to scroll down the page to find your phone # if their toilet is running over.
-        Set up a custom URL, i.e. - not something that ends in a bunch of #s and funny characters.
-        Make sure your Facebook page is verified.
-        Start with your family, friends, employees, clients, and prospects. Invite them all to like and share your page.
-        Send an email or snail mail to all your clients and prospects and ask them to 'Like' your page.
-        If you have a brick and mortar place of business, post a sign in the window, at the counter, and print it on the client’s receipt - Like us on Facebook - Follow us on Twitter.
-        Make sure all your marketing material, website, business card, email signature line, etc. has your social media links on them.
-        As you start posting content on your page, ask your closest family, friends, and employees (if you have them) to ‘Like,’ Share, and Comment. The more ‘Likes’, Shares, and comments you get, the more Facebook with show your posts to others. It’s called engagement. The more interesting and engaging your material is, the more Facebook will show it.
-        Post images. Original interesting images. Original engaging content. Yes, you can find material on the internet to share, but Facebook likes originality best.
-        Videos are great. Again, original material. No more than 3 to 5 minutes. Also, go back and edit and caption your videos. Sometimes people are in places where they do not want to turn up the sound on videos, so if it isn’t captioned, they won’t watch.
-       For your content, don’t just post about your business, but post about yourself, your community involvement, a day in the life of, your story, your passion, demonstrations, before and after, etc. Think in terms of reality shows. Your Facebook Business page is your business reality show. People want to know about you, so don’t make it all about your business. Think ‘Infotainment.’
-        Feature some of you clients on your page.  Tag people in your posts.  People love recognition.
-        Post about current events, holidays - especially the ones that have something to do with your business. If you’re into healthy eating, Aug. 8th was ‘NATIONAL SNEAK SOME ZUCCHINI INTO YOUR NEIGHBOR’S PORCH DAY.’
-        Hashtag your posts, i.e. #hashtagyourposts #socialmedia
#morelikesandshares. Why? This makes your content searchable especially if it relates to some current event or trend.
-        Be consistent in your posting. A Facebook business page is not like a website. If there are no consistent posts, then Facebook, after a period of time, has the right to shut down the page. So be active. At least post a couple of times a week. You can schedule posts to a Facebook business page.
-        Link pages together when possible, i.e. link your Facebook business page to a Twitter business page, so that when you post on one site, it will appear on the other.
-        On LinkedIn you can post links to all your social media sites. 
-        Set up a YouTube channel. Link your Facebook page to your YouTube channel.
-        If you have a visual product like a florist, set up an Instagram account and a Pinterest Account.
-        Use an application like Hootsuite to manage your social media and to only have to post in one place. 
-        Study your ‘Insights,’ and your stats. See what gets more ‘Likes’, comments, and shares? Post more material like that. For instance, I have a travel agent that I post for, but when she posts about some of her personal travels, those posts get more ‘Likes,’ shares, and comments.
-        Follow those in the same industry as you to see what they do. Don’t copy them, but use it to learn better what to post for you.
-        Be social as your page - ‘Like,’ comment, and share other’s pages posts especially if it’s in the same general field as yours. This helps with your following because it’s not always about you. You have to give to get.  Hopefully they will return the favor. 
-        Join groups that relate to your business, local sites, Women In Business’ allows you to post links to your Facebook page, website, post specials, etc.
-        From time to time, boost a post. Spend $20 bucks from time to time (not all the time) and boost a post in order to gain a larger following.
-       Get Reviews.  Those clients that praise and rave about your product or service, ask them to write a review on your Facebook business page.  Be sure and thank them when they do.  The more positive reviews you have the more creditable you will appear to your followers.

What else have you found that helps to build your following? Your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.
Here are some other articles I have written in the past. They have some of the same information, but also have additional tips not mentioned in this article.

- 'Social Media - It's about being social'
- 'How are you building your following on Social Media'
- 'Tips for Growing Your Business with Social Media'
Building a following is not rocket science, it just takes time, work, and a little creativity.

If you need a little help, let us know, that is what we do.  
We appreciate your comments and feedback.  Send us an email, or you can provide feedback on our Facebook page as well as our blog.
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Happy Posting,
'Helping You and Your Business Look Good'


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