In our previous post, we discussed the benefits of growing your social media followers and the pitfalls of taking both legitimate and illegitimate shortcuts in pursuit of that growth.

Social Media Marketing

Digital marketing in general and social media marketing in particular are both a relatively new and extremely powerful method for boosting the reputation of your business. Enabling the growth of businesses large and small, and even a sense of egalitarianism, exists as most social media networks offer the same infrastructure and resources to the largest corporations as to the smallest businesses. Aside from a few professionally produced copy, images, and video, there is little to distinguish the Facebook Business page of a major corporation or a small business, but for one factor: follower count. While these two pages may look the same, a difference of hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers can be a significant difference indeed.

The Value Of Your Followers

There is a very significant difference between a social media audience that has been grown organically and one that has been boosted artificially. Ten legitimate social media followers can be more valuable than a thousand “bots,” or automated accounts that just exist to boost follower counts and sometimes spam other users. What are some of the best ways to grow your follower account legitimately and organically, resulting in the strongest possible boost to your digital marketing initiatives?

The Best Audiences Are Engaged

It may sound ridiculously simple, but the single most powerful way you can organically grow your audience is to focus on posting quality content that is specifically designed to engage your target audience. Unfortunately, too many small businesses are focused on creating content that is designed to be search friendly, full of buzzwords and keywords, which can result in content that sounds stale and hollow to human readers. Other businesses, especially very small businesses, create content that is too informal and folksy, which can come across as trite and even insulting to some readers. The best way to determine if your content is engaging or not is to simply ask yourself if the content is worth your readers’ time. Is it specific to members of your target market, and will they will be interested in reading more of your posts in the future?

Leverage The Strengths Of Each Social Media Network

The next way that businesses hinder the potential of their content marketing, and subsequently fail to grow their social media followers, is by creating monolithic block of content that does not capitalize on the strengths of each individual network. For instance, it is never a good idea to post a block of content to Facebook and then just post the first sentence of that content, along with a link back to the Facebook post, on Twitter. While your Facebook followers are likely to read your content, your Twitter followers may be confused and turned off by your tweet. Instead, create a catchy tweet that entices your Twitter followers to click through to your Facebook post, or better yet, funnel your Twitter followers back to your original blog post on your website!

Pay Attention To Your Audience And Initiate Conversations

Last, but certainly not least, businesses and individuals hobble their digital and content marketing initiatives by treating blogging and social media as one-way broadcast channels for content, rather than treating the content as a jumping off point for generating dialogue and discussions with their social media followers. Engaging an audience can include asking questions of your audience and then responding to their answers in the comment section of your posts. Twitter users are very open to dialogue, and by engaging your users and responding to queries and concerns, you can attract and develop an audience that is more interested and engaged with both you and your brand.