You Need to Have a Cultic Following
- In years past, we did not have many tools to build a following for our businesses. Businesses might had had a billboard, sent out mailers, or bought ad space in a local newspaper.Let’s not forget that pricey Yellow Pages business ad! Yuck!
- Then the Internet, Social Media, Smartphones, and Out of Home Adverting (OHM) came along and changed everything. Now, literally anyone can build an audience for business and do it a personalized way. You just need to know how to create content that draws people to your business.
- Of course, this does create a challenge for your business. It’s much harder to stand out when other businesses around you are utilizing all the outlets available today.
What Can You Do To Stand Out?
- Building and continually growing a large group of cultic followers ensures that your business will be profitable. Make it your goal to:
- Be Real
- Be Relational
- Be Engaging
- Be Interesting
- Be Consistent
Step #1: Define Your Audience
- Knowing your target audience allows you to create content that is valuable to them. If you don’t have clarity on your audience, you may end up creating irrelevant content, which will keep you from attracting followers.
- To help you define your target audience, think through these questions:
- What is their age range?
- What is their gender?
- What is there location?
- What interests them?
- What motivates them?
- What do they like?
- Who do they dislike?
- Whose opinions influence them?
- Where do they go for information?
- Facebook Audience Insights can also be useful when it comes to understanding your audience. Another way to get insights into your audience is to join relevant online groups (like Facebook groups) and pay attention to what people in the groups discuss.
Step #2: Pick Your Platform
- You may think that you should try to be present in as many places as possible, but you’ll end up getting spread too thin. Choose one or two primary platforms where you will focus the majority of your attention. The platform you choose should be in line with the type of content you produce.
- If you aren’t sure which platform to choose, think about your audience. Where do they spend most of their time?
- In addition to choosing a primary platform, choose a supporting platform where you will share smaller pieces of content. As much as possible, use your supporting platform to drive others back to your primary platform.
Step #3: Spice Up Your Social Media Profiles
- When someone visits your page, you want to give them a great first impression so that they’ll want to follow you. Here are some simple ways to make your profiles pop:
- Add a great profile picture
- Add a cover photo
- Switch over to a business account
- Craft a compelling bio
- Untag yourself from inappropriate posts
- Pin your best content
- Depending on the platforms you choose, there are some other ways you can spice up your profiles. For example, YouTube allows you to add an introductory video to your channel. Take advantage of these additional options.
Step #4: Engage With Your Audience
- Mapping out your content will help you know what to publish and when to publish it. It will also come in handy if you find yourself creatively blocked at any point.
- As you think through your content, consider your audience. Your goal is to deliver content that is valuable to your audience and allows you to show off your personality.
- Engaging simply means interacting with your followers. Businesses who engage get traction faster than those who don’t. In fact, if you’re not willing to regularly engage your audience, you’ll most likely struggle to succeed.
- Engagement allows you to build relationships with those in your audience. When you reply to comments, answer questions, and provide helpful resources, it causes your audience to trust you more.
- Additionally, almost every social media platform boosts posts that have more engagement. When they see a post with lots of comments and likes, it’s a signal to them that the content is valuable and that more people should see it.
- What’s more, comments on your posts give you more insight into how your audience thinks. You can hear what they want in their own words. You’ll understand more about what drives them and learn how you can better serve them.
- Your sample media marketing checklist:
- Give them value
- Make them feel valued and appreciated
- Make them feel like they are a part of what you are doing
- Make their life better
- Evoke them to respond and comment by asking questions / for their input
- Value their comment
- Engage with them and comment back
- Do not engage in arguments
- Entertain them
- Have fun with social media and let you and your businesses’ personality shine
Step #5: Publish Your Content
- If you want your content to be seen by as many people as possible, it’s important to post consistently. When it comes to social media, most of the platforms tend to prefer accounts that are active.
- If you’re like most people, the thought of having to log in and post multiple times per week is probably a bit overwhelming. This is where social media scheduling tools can be very helpful. They allow you to schedule your posts in advance and then automatically publish them for you.
- Optimize each of your posts for the channel on which it is being published. Ensure that it looks great on the platform where it’s published. Also, optimize your posts for mobile devices.
- Depending on the platform you’re using, you also may want to optimize your posts with hashtags. Hashtags allow your viewers to find posts related to specific subjects that they’re interested in.
Step #6: Analyze Your Results
- One of the biggest keys to succeeding is regularly analyzing your results. You’ll want to know what sorts of content resonate most with your audience and get the most interaction.
- Almost every platform offers analytics of some kind that you can use to evaluate your progress. As you evaluate your results, pay close attention to content that performs really well, as well as the comments left by your audience. This information shows you what matters most to your followers.
- If a blog post, video, podcast episode, or social media post performs really well, consider doubling down on that type of content. As you focus on producing more of the content that performs best, you’ll pick up momentum and your audience will grow faster.