There is much written on the internet about how to manage a social media campaign. Listening to your audience and building a rapport with your followers are pretty much truisms by now. However, there is little written about building a social media presence from scratch. Starting a Twitter account or a Facebook fan page for a small business with little notoriety to speak of can be a daunting task. That ‘0 followers’ line is a particularly disheartening thing to see.
The simple truth is that it takes hard work, careful planning and perseverance. Which social media channels appeal to the brand? Where do their audience hang out, and what interests them? Read more about the advantages of the social media here.
The first, most important thing to do is to make sure that social media channels that the business takes part in are clearly visible on the business website. There are so many businesses out there that have a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, a Youtube channel etc. but don’t advertise it on their website. If no one knows you’re out there, then how are they going to find you?
Finding Your Audience
Hopefully advertising your social media presence as part of your web design will afford you a certain number of followers from existing customers and supporters, whose presence will filter out into the wider world. But at this stage, you have to find your audience, as they are unlikely to find you. Use directories to find people who would be interested in what your business is selling and start following them. Engage as much as you can with them. The key to this is not to immediately start peddling your wares, but to become part of the community for your niche.
The net result of engaging with the appropriate audience is increased visibility. By engaging in public conversations with members of the appropriate community, other members of that community will notice your existence. Out of curiosity they will look at your profile, and if you’re lucky, they’ll be interested enough to follow you. Once you’ve built up a reasonably sizable following you can begin touting your goods and services – but be careful not to overdo it, a sales social media channel can be an enormous turn-off.
Give It Time
Building a social media following takes a lot of time and effort. As with anything, make sure the foundations are there and incorporate it into your web design. Not doing this is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that businesses make when embarking on a social media campaign. At first it may seem like you’re getting nowhere, but give it time, persist in making real connections and the followers will begin to build up.
Author:- Nick is the resident social media guru and copywriter for web design Brighton outfit BozBoz.