Cutting through the noise of saturated social media channels isn’t easy. And as more brands become social media savvy, the competition is only intensifying. But they’re not YOU—and that’s your superpower on social media. As a budding brand or entrepreneur, your authenticity will help you stand out from the crowd. Having a consistent brand identity on social media will help you stand out, but there’s a number of other tactics that help as well.
If you’re looking to grow your following on social media in 2020, we’ve got a few tips for you. The good news is—you’re probably already doing most of it! Let’s dig in.
1. Be real
Consumers are growing tired of the slick, perfectly curated social media feeds and overly edited ads. In 2020 and beyond, what audiences want more of is real, honest content that feels relatable. If you want people to take an interest in you, the best thing to do is take an interest in them.
How do you do that? Have genuine interactions with your followers in your comments. Follow your followers back. Be a human, instead of a company mask, and treating social media like a conversation, not a broadcasting channel.
Share content that speaks to what goes on behind the scenes of your business. Even leveraging your customer’s experiences with your business in your posts. They could be testimonials or the use of user-generated content (content created by your followers)…whatever it is, real people having real experiences with your brand will sell your product better than you will. So, get real!
2. Show your support
It’s important to show support for causes that matter to you so your customers feel like they’re contributing to something more than just your brand. Consumers will feel more connected to your brand when they know your values align with theirs. Go above and beyond by supporting your followers’ initiatives!
If a follower is fundraising for a charity event, consider sharing it on your own branded social media channels. This signals to your other followers that you are tapped into your community and willing to support them.
Ultimately, the goal is to make your social media presence less about you and more about your audience and things that are important to your business. Use 2020 as a time to show support for your community on social media.
3. Work with micro-influencers
Micro-influencers tend to have a smaller but highly engaged following. Anyone with a 1k to 100k following is considered a micro-influencer. The benefit here is their niche following in your field that you can reach at a much lower price-point. Big-time influencers might not have the same convincing power that a micro-influencer does, as the connection doesn’t feel as personal.
Try partnering up with a micro-influencer in your field to act as a brand ambassador and review your product or service, or post about it online. They will likely have a much smaller commission rate or cost per post than the major players out there.
4. Build communities
Community marketing is the way of the future. Community marketing moves beyond developing a 2-way connection between a brand and a consumer, to facilitating 360 connections between consumers themselves, under the brand’s nurturing care.
On social media in 2020, we’ll see a strong investment from brands in creating online groups and like-minded community spaces. From Facebook groups to Slack groups, Twitter chats and closed group forums, the opportunity to connect in a highly personal way with our audiences are changing.
But it takes work.
Use your online communities to get people discussing ideas, tips, and experiences. The more you can approach these groups as a way to connect people to each other, the more authentic they’ll feel.
5. Share good content
Yes, we know, this is probably the most obvious point in the world. But in a world where content is changing every day—what does “good content” even mean?
Good social media content is content that creates an instant emotional connection with followers, it is visually compelling, and diverse in format. If you are still using social media to only post an image a day, you’re missing out. Try to diversify how you’re sharing content on social media by going live, sending out polls, and posting videos.
Make sure your content is honest and emotionally engaging, use social media graphics that capture attention, and above all else—post regularly!
6. Use relevant hashtags
When building a small business, the reality of social media is that you can’t just wait for users to engage with you. You have to seek users out using relevant hashtags, and interact with their posts authentically. Generic comments won’t get you very far.
Hashtags remain a secret weapon, but there’s a trick to using them—and it’s not saturating your posts with any trending hashtag. Instead, study your target audience carefully to see what hashtags can get you in front of them. Incorporate those tags only when your post aligns with the content usually shared with those tags.
Your best shot of securing a following with this method is to focus on niche hashtags, with maybe 2-3 top-ranking ones, and share content that will stand out amongst the crowd. The Content Marketing Institute recommends using no more than 10-15 hashtags overall. Remember to continue your efforts on a regular basis. Social media is not an “if you build it, they will come” scenario.
What’s your social media strategy for 2020?
By focusing on real, honest content and driving genuine connections with your audience, your followers will feel more engaged with your brand. Focus on building communities online where your followers can meet and interact with each other, and continue to push out emotionally compelling, and thought-provoking content.
Don’t forget to pay attention to niche hashtags, and consider working with micro-influencers in your field. By doing this, you’ll build an engaged and active following on social media!
Want even more tips to up your social media game? Take a look at our ultimate guide to using social media for business.