Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It gives an opportunity to communicate and connect with a wide range of people. It isn't constrained by time, distance or language, unlike many traditional marketing strategies. In a few short years, social media has made itself an integral part of business and everyday life.
Think about it.
A business without a social media account or website is could be thought of as subpar. People are sharing everything from intimate life details to food and products they consume. If you're not into that, it could make you feel isolated or outdated.
Why is social media popular?
To put it simply, we crave companionship and meaningful connections to others like us. We're not meant to live in isolation. We live in family units packed into towns/villages or cities. We rarely go a day without seeing another like us. It stands to reason that social media feeds our need to connect with others.
How would I build a following?
Here are a few points to work on:
Honesty — If you're lying, people will find out sooner or later. The crowds may gather quickly, but it'll be a larger audience to witness your humiliation; when you consider lying, think about that eventuality very carefully. Do you want to feel that burn? Do not lie.
Relevance — Every site has a purpose, and focusing on that purpose will help you gain followers. Offer useful, relevant information on a set schedule. Furthermore, your content should offer either useful, thought provoking or educational content. I recommend giving little known or weird content.
If you want to go viral, target cute subjects or popular social issues.
If you're not sure where to start, ask yourself these question:
- What does your blog/magazine offer people?
- What makes your blog/magazine relevant to them?
- How can you set yourself apart from blogs/magazines similar to yours?
- Why did you launch your blog/magazine?
Reliability — Unless you're writing for a gossip rag, reliability is an important focus of a good blog. Why read a blog that gives you a bundle of worthless lies? Think about sources giving you information, and verify facts prior to posting them.
Consistency — If you want to build a following, then working on consistency is vital. Nobody will pay attention to a site that is flaky and unreliable! Who wants to read a great piece, and then have to wait 3 months for more content? It's a deal breaker, so pay attention to it!
Engagement — Engagement is a huge aspect of building a loyal following. Everyone likes to engage their favorite people, and know that their attention is valued. Give people options to review or comment on content. Integrate social media tools such as sharing buttons or tweetable highlights. Giving your site life can bring life to the site.
Understanding Social Media Algorithms
An algorithm is a method of data processing that calculates quality by platform set statistics; it separates content by quality and decides how or if content should be seen by users.
Unless you're paying for exposure, your following depends on understanding how their algorithms work. In truth, quality is subjective, and different platforms will favor different types of content.
Why is social media important?
Honestly, who else is going to read "How to Build a Loyal Following" other than aspiring entrepreneurs, artists and activits? Let's not pretend that exposure isn't our teddy bear.
Building a marketing plan is a huge step. Here are a few sites to help you: