Wishing to reach out to an audience via social media platforms? But not sure how to build a following? As with most things, this can take time, but I have conjured up quick winning points that can aid in getting the ‘word out.’

  1. Build Relationships – Obvious yet difficult, why you ask? There are no specific techniques to build an audience and more often than not, where can you start? The best ways to achieve this is both online and offline engagement. Being online gives you the freedom to connect with others not just within the local area, joining groups and participating with chats greatly boosts your visibility as not only are you promoting yourself, but also getting involved with the community. You want to get the name out within your sector of choice but make sure to be real and authentic. Another fantastic tip is to promote fellow businesses, just simply retweet/share their page and they will do exactly the same for you. Offline engagement is going back to the good old days. Simple face to face/over the phone interactions can also allow you to build relationships and gives you the opportunity to fully understand the local community at a quicker rate. Furthermore, attending networking events allows you to notice other businesses and gives you an insight on how each party can benefit one another, which can potentially lead to online engagement. Remember to mix up the two in order to fully gain the largest audience you can possibly reach!
  1. Audience’s habits – I’m afraid this pointer will take some time out of your day, however it is important to understand what type of content is being fully digested. To fully understand your audience’s content consumption habits, experimenting is vital, especially when you are starting out. The best way to highlight which types of content have the most engagement is to actually analyse each post. Believe it or not, social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have an integrated analytics tool (free to use of course) which allows users to see exactly how far the post has ‘reached’, ‘shared’ and been ‘engaged’ with. There are also a number of unique yet also free analytic tools such as Google and Hootsuite that offer more of an in depth report of each platform (I would recommend this!) Analysing the content exactly highlights what is being consumed and how long the audience is engaged with it. Social media users can then focus on similar but fresh new content that will give them the opportunity to increase reputation!
  1. Determine the best channel – Many small businesses starting out rush into creating a number of accounts hoping it will cover a larger audience, while also expecting each channel to equally do well, wrong. It is actually more valuable to highlight the primary delivery channel as this allows you to focus on the greatest audience engagement. It is simpler to create new content for one channel once that content has hit the slow phase, why spread the exact same content on all your channels, the audience will think you are struggling with ideas. Regularly freshen up your content and learn the dynamics of each channel, although your target audience will potentially be the same, they most definitely do not want to see the same old content posted throughout. A key point is that you can always migrate to a different channel if you have momentum off the original channel, social momentum can be pivotal as your audience is fully engaged with your posts and will follow if you switch accounts, boosting the reputation on that particular platform. If you do decide to switch during this period, be sure to let the audience know! The main point is to offer your audience various rich content on one specific channel as you are able to tap into a larger, loyal crowd and maintain engagement!
  1. Quality over Quantity – Try and not to fall into the trap of continually paying and boosting the content to reach out to a larger audience. Just because you might be able to reach over a larger radius, does not mean you have fully engaged that area, reach and engagement are two completely different terms. Organically growing your social media followers is more effective as they are more likely to be able to relate to the content thus enabling a greater network among the business and its followers. If you are looking to invest and you want to make the most out of paid ads, be sure to support the most relevant business and engaging content if you want to greatly increase social momentum. Investing in content that has minimal engagement with your existing followers can only take a toll on your finances, therefore as mentioned above, experimenting and analysing the type of organic content can prove to be crucial. Your audience will greatly appreciate the time you have took to gather relevant, rich content instead of content that has little relevance to them!

There you have it, a quick yet effective guide in reaching out to the largest possible audience. Interaction both online and offline is the main starting point when building an audience, understandably, both are time consuming but you need to start somewhere. If you are willing to invest your time and show interest to each party, this can will only boost visibility. My previous blog on the different type of posts (http://skyzack.uk/2016/08/03/call-yourself-a-blogger/) can give you interesting ideas of content posts you can utilise after you have identified what the audience love to engage with. Last but not least, be sure to always measure with quality not quantity, growing organically will leave a lasting impression on your readers as they will value the time you have took to fully engage with them. The audience comes first, connect with them authentically and provide some real value to them, in time you will be able to build a real fan base and that is the power of social media!

If social media has stumped you, Skyzack has a fantastic and effective social media package which can demystify all the questions and create attractive content that will most certainly engage with your audience!

Just simply get in touch via the website or don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Joseph Lee