10 ways to grow your business through
When it comes to building large and loyal social media followings, brand size matters less than you might think. Take Wendy’s, for example. There may be five times as many McDonald’s locations in the world as Wendy’s, but Wendy’s has more followers and a stronger fandom thanks to its quick quips and roasts, which spark more engagement than almost any other fast food brand.
This pattern repeats all across social media. Moonpie may have fewer products than Keebler, but the marshmallow cookie company has nearly 15 times the followers on Twitter. These are just a few examples of how brands of all sizes can build relationships with potential customers by telling stories, communicating value, and inviting them to join a community of people with shared interests — or at least a sense of humor.
As a creative leader, developing content that resonates with your target audience is what you do best. If you’re ready to build a deeper connection with your ideal customers in the spaces where they already hang out, we have some ideas for you. To get the most mileage out of these tips, share them with your marketing colleagues. Then choose a few — together — that you’ll focus on first.
- Brand yourself consistently. You get to control your image on social media. Use that control to your advantage by associating your brand with the same colors, shapes, symbols, causes, products, and purposes consistently. This is by far the most important step to creating a space that people will identify with and want to engage with once they discover you. Do this by first identifying your niche audience — not “American women” but “single women ages 18 to 26 living in the American West, either college-educated or planning on college, who spend their weekends with friends and at public events.” Imagine you’re writing, filming, or creating for that specific audience when you publish anything, and your brand will be recognizable and relatable to the right people.
- Deliver engaging content. Never lose sight of the fact that your business is composed of individuals. Remember this and you’ll never sacrifice your humanity when designing new strategies or posts. Remember that your goal is to foster meaningful communities, not cohorts or segments.
- Create ongoing video content to drive engagement. Raw, simple video is king. Share updates about your products, or talk about the good you want to create in the world. Give them a behind-the-scenes look at what your business is like. Use mobile-friendly video editors to brand your videos and prep them for easy upload to any social media platform.
- Create two-way communication channels to stay in touch with followers and prospects. No matter how busy your team gets, always have at least one person monitoring incoming comments and messages from across your social platforms. Your audience needs to know you’re available to help or interact with them anytime they have a question or feedback for you.
- Celebrate and publish user-generated content. Did you know some brands have customers and users who create content for them? As in, for free? Influencers like Chris Do have platforms that are filled with guest posts. It’s clear he values the community he’s creating because he steps aside and allows his followers to use his platform to create and share valuable content. Reach out to your followers and ask if they’d like to be featured on your page or account. Many people appreciate the gesture and will use the visibility to make both your business and themselves look good.
- Partner with micro-influencers and local influencers. A micro-influencer typically has somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Someone who has a substantial following, but still takes the time to interact with individual followers, likely has a more powerful relationship with your potential customers than the celebrities they follow who have over a million followers each. Consider a partnership with a micro-influencer who matters to your prospective audience. Reach out — through a direct message — to individuals who have high engagement with their followers and ask if they’d be open to collaborating. You may be surprised at how much their opinion matters to the people you want as your customers.
- Enable reviews and respond to posts and questions. One social media user commented on a post from BarTaco, a restaurant that was closed for a few months during 2020, saying she missed visiting. Months later, when they reopened, BarTaco found that comment, replied directly to it, and announced to her personally that she was welcome to come back. She didn’t get a coupon or special offer, but the fact that the brand gave her such a personal update made an impression. She returned to the restaurant as soon as she could.
- Sponsor yourself on local social platforms. Not every social platform worth considering has users in the millions. Apps like Nextdoor focus on connecting people to the businesses in their own town or neighborhood. Apps like EatStreet of Madison, Wisconsin, are wildly popular in their hometowns and make a great effort to highlight local cuisine. Find out what local social platforms are popular and have conversations with them. Do they sponsor community businesses? Would they consider a partnership with another growing business from the same town? People like to know that what they buy supports their local community or economy, and advertising on a local platform might be the best way to grow support for your business.
- Reference and cross-link to like-minded content on social sites. Your community doesn’t have to be limited to you and your followers. What other organizations are doing work that complements your work? Who inspires you? Who do you learn from or mentor? Create a human connection with your audience by freely admitting that you haven’t gotten to where you are without their support, and engage a larger network in your growing community.
- Make content shareable. Nothing looks better for your brand than when you create something that’s so funny, so moving, or so valuable that one of your followers chooses to evangelize your business to someone they know and love.
When you engage with a prospective customer on social media, you’re meeting them and becoming a part of their life on their terms. Invite a fan base of loyal, excited people to cheer on your business as it grows by engaging authentically online. Building your social media community is the best way to lay the foundation for the kind of awareness you need for growth that’s both resilient and steady.
Adobe can help.
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives you the world’s best creative apps and services in a single, secure, integrated platform. With 20+ desktop and mobile apps, Creative Cloud Libraries for keeping assets in sync across apps and devices, and 1TB of storage per user, this complete creativity solution is designed to support your business at every stage of growth. Plus, you can count on simplified license management and total control over your software to help your team stay focused on creating great work.