Growing your following on social media is not as easy as clicking a button and you’ll instantly gain 1,000 more followers. You need to engage with people, find an effective strategy, use data to determine what works best, experiment etc.
Social media is not something that all authors will want to use. It’s a matter of whether it will work for your target audience, you will not fully know this until you complete some audience research. Research into your audience and see where they are. See if they use social media on a daily basis, and if they do, determine what platforms they’re using. Without researching, you’re not going to fully understand if social media is a beneficial strategy for you, or your audience.
Every element surrounding social media is unique
It’s unique to you, and your audience. It’s about experimenting and understanding performances and results. Once you understand this, you’ll be able to understand what your target audience react best to and what strategy would be most effective in growing your audience.
Understand Your Audience
On social media, one of the most important things to know and understand is your audience. You need to identify who they are, where they are, what they enjoy and engage with and so on. Identifying these factors will enable you to build a deeper understanding of your audience, which then allows you to target them more easily.
There are some all important factors to consider and understand. These include…
Demographics: age, gender, location, etc.
Behaviour: likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc.
What platforms are they on?
Looking at competitor’s audiences
All of these factors will enable you to build up a true insight into your target audience and completely understand them.
The more you understand them, the more you will reach them
You will be able to fully refine your marketing efforts to earn more engagement and interest your target market more. The more interesting your content is, the more chance you have of your following and audience expanding.
Produce Valuable Content
In 2017, it was said that 77% of adults purchased products online - and 46% of them said they rely on social media when making this decision. This essentially means that the content you send out and your social media accounts need to be attractive and engaging. Your content needs to add value and interest people.
Try to focus your strategy on creating content that will encourage more people to purchase your book, or show their interest in it
This content needs to be engaging, enticing and entertaining. In order to gain more followers and attention on social media, you have to put effort and energy into producing content that enables people to see worth in following you.
Some great and different content ideas include…
Infographics: they are visually appealing and engaging, as well as easy to share
Interactive content: moving image, animation, quiz, video, etc. - they all create an experience for your target audience to take part in
Images: tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more likes and 150% more retweets, and photos on Facebook posts receive 53% more likes than the average post, receiving 104% more comments
In order to grow your social following, it’s absolutely essential to be active and keep up-to-date with what’s happening. It’s all about ensuring you’re posting that engaging content as many times as necessary to attract and engage more people. To find this out, you need to experiment.
You need to understand how active your audience expect you to be and what works best
The generic rule of thumb is that posting too often (being too active) deters people as you’re potentially clogging up their newsfeed; posting too little (not being active enough) also deters people as they’re going to forget about you if they never see content from you. You need a good balance between both and to understand what level of activity works best for your audience.
When you’ve experimented and found a strategy that works for you, stick to a schedule and ensure that the schedule is still gaining you constant engagement and assisting you in the growth of your social media following.
Social media is about being social. It’s about creating connections and building relationships with people. As an author, building relationships with readers or potential readers is vital as it allows them to trust you and feel connected to you; hopefully turning them into loyal readers and always returning for more of your content.
You must always monitor your social media accounts and engage at any opportunity
Even if this just means liking, retweeting, sharing, replying, etc. to posts you see on your timeline made by potential readers or even just your target audience, do it! Whatever engagement you can do, you must do it. The more engagement you do on your social media account, the better. Engaging with people shows your personality and indicates how approachable you are.
Try to respond to whoever you can, whenever you can. Message people, tweet people, get involved in discussions; anything you can do to start a conversation, do it. The more conversations and discussions you can involve yourself in, the better, as it indicates you’re friendly and human.
So how do you make the most of each platform? Below we have compiled short lists to get you started in an attempt to grow your following on social media.
Make images part of your content strategy
Facebook ads: target users who already like other pages in your niche
Using Facebook groups is a good way of reaching potential readers
Videos can also be beneficial to use
Connect with other authors and accounts, share their content, etc.
Use hashtags to find discussions and conversations in your niche
Share interesting content even if it’s not yours
Can easily find popular hashtags to do with your niche using the search function
Remember it’s not always about visuals - captions are important, too
Instagram stories can be beneficial
Growing your audience is a continuous battle. You should be striving to always grow your audience and always find new ways of attracting, engaging and entertaining your target audience.
The way social media works has evolved a lot through the years but it still remains a social platform that is built for meaningful interactions and connections
If you give people valuable content that will make building these connections worth it; you’re doing something right. You want to add value to people’s lives. The more value you add to their lives, the more likely they are to follow you and keep up-to-date with your content.
In order to find the most valuable content and the content that matters the most, you must experiment. You must continuously experiment and use data to determine the best avenues and routes for you. It will be ever changing, but it’s vital to keep up-to-date with it in order to retain existing followers and obtain new followers.