Each month I consult with several companies on their social media strategy. One of the concerns they bring up is the challenge to compete with the social media presence of established brands in their industry that often have thousands if not millions of followers.
Creating a marketing machine on social media to compete with bigger brands can seem nearly impossible.
However, with the right strategy and a few key tips contributed by several social media rock stars, social growth can go from stressful to incredibly simple.
1) Understand customer demographics
Damian Pros, who is a contributor for Lifehack, Elite Daily, and Addicted 2 Success, as well as the proprietor of Dare and Conquer, states “If you want to make social media work for you, you first need to understand customer demographics and know which social media platform is best for each demographic.”
For example, roughly 6 in 10 (59%) online adults age 18-29 use Instagram, which is nearly twice the number of those age 30-49 (33%), and more than seven times the number among those age 65 and older (8%). This means that of its 600 million users, 59% of Instagram users are under 30.
“Instagram and Snapchat are terrible if you have a B2B consulting business, law firm, accounting firm, or anything that’s business oriented,” Damian explains. “These platforms are more about instant gratification, showing great visuals, and sharing your story. They work much better for travel agencies, hotels, and eCommerce Businesses that are not plainly boring to the core demographic of the platform.”
2) Every single social media platform serves its own purpose.
Known as a Social Media Strategist and recognized by Content Marketing Institute as one of the Most Influential Online Marketers, Rachel Pedersen helps further elaborate on Damian’s emphasis on demographic stating “Every single social media platform serves its own purpose–and can be hacked to maximize results for each client.”
Social Media was essential in growing Rachel’s business. She grew her marketing agency from $0 to $32,000 a month by building a network and a raving following on social media. “I rely on Facebook Ads and LinkedIn for consistent lead generation, Facebook for building a following and community, Twitter for conversation with customers and prospects, and Quora and Reddit for authority building. Instagram provides a sneak peek at the ‘behind the scenes’–which turns my following into raving fans.” Rachel explains.
Rachel has been featured in top publications such as Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail, and more, expanding the reach of her content tremendously.
3) Content is still king
Eduardo Gonzalez, better known as Classysavant, is an online digital magazine focusing on the finer things in life. Eduardo curates content on his interests in homes, yachts, fashion, care, travel destinations, and much more.
Eduardo has witnessed his fair share of posts go viral, and while most people believe it’s a random shot in the dark–although sometimes it is–there is a lot more strategy involved. He states “Content is king, so first things first is knowing the message you want to send. What do you want people to see out of this? Then, brainstorming about what content will deliver that message. You create the content, and now you have a marketing strategy.”
“Time of day, day of week, knowing how to funnel traffic to that specific video/photo, working on featuring that content on other large media outlets after its creation, during a specific time,” Eduardo explains, is all key in achieving a large audience. “If done correctly, you should go viral’ still results can vary.”
4) Pick a niche and go all in
Steven Vasilev, the CEO and creator of FREofficial–a fashion brand focused on creating high-quality custom sneakers that have been making their way into the wardrobes of high- profile celebrities such as Drake and Chris Brown–but better known as Zaptio, has amassed over 1 million followers throughout both Facebook and Instagram.
Steven agrees that having original, high-quality content is important. But in order to increase the number of impressions a post makes, or grow your following, the content must appeal to a specialized section of a population. In his case, fashion followers.
“Creating content that blogs in your niche can repost will gain you a ton of organic and targeted followers that will engage with you,” Steven explains. “Even collaborating with key figures in your specific niche and influencers in your field will help you grow the number of interactive and responsive followers.”
5) The more relatable, the better chance it has to go viral
In 2016, Tonio Skits landed a huge feature as the only Latino in MTV’s hit television show “Wild N’Out” starring Nick Cannon. Tonio has also signed to Kevin Hart’s Beat Digital Productions, all while maintaining a huge social media following of over 3.3 million followers, creating videos and sharing content for his fans.
When producing original content, it is most important to keep the interest of the audience in mind. As Tonio explains, “As a creator, you film whatever comes to mind, whatever motivates you, and what you think is funny. Usually the more relatable, the better of a chance it has to go viral and hit the popular page.”
Viewing an image, or watching a video you believe relates to you or somebody you know, and taking the step to show or tell them about is a simple strategy for sharing that doesn’t require extra measures to make sure content is delivered or paying to get it sponsored.
6) Consistency is key
Jason Stone has successfully launched multiple 6- and 7-figure Instagram platforms, and is the founder of Local Door Coupons, Gentlemen’s Mafia, and Millionaire Mentor. He explains that social media is used to ensure a large variety of people see who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them with little-to-no cost.
“Your content is only as good as the people that see it, so if no one sees it you might as well go out of business,” he states. To create an association between yourself and your followers, you must ensure that what you post is actually being seen. Jason had his own plan. “My main strategy for growth was consistency, consistently putting out content on a daily basis every single day for two and a half years.”
A sporadic post may be published on a day when people don’t spend as much time on social media. It is important to take not only the quality of a post but the quantity of content into perspective.
7) Engage consumers at scale
Thinkific is a company created to help consumers make it easy to teach online. With Thinkific, you can create your own online courses and deliver or sell them under your own brand. Thinkific currently powers thousands of online courses offered by universities, global corporations, professional associations and coaches, trainers, and education entrepreneurs in over 70 countries.
For Thinkific, social media plays an enormous role in interacting with consumers. As Thinkific says, “Our biggest use of social media after someone signs up for Thinkific is engaging them in our Facebook group, as it serves so many purposes including building relationships with clients, collecting feedback on the product, resolving support issues, accepting ideas to improve, as well as serving as a great support group for like-minded people to communicate and help each other.”
Social Media provides an easy way to communicate with a customer base quickly and efficiently and to solve issues and answer questions without having to struggle to communicate through another third-party source that may be new and therefore unusable by the average consumer.
Originally published on my column on Inc. Magazine. Republished with permission.