Does size matter?
The latest chatter around Twitter is that it could have been a mistake to gauge the value of accounts on the size of their follower count. With the Facebook algorithm benefitting content with high views and engagement, Instagram cracking down on accounts with fake followers and even the GDPR regulation, it’s likely that many businesses are facing the prospect that their audience may be smaller than last year. They are also finding their audience might feel far away and are having to figure out who the audience is after any shrinkage, checking if they really know their values and interests.
If your existing audience is small, you can still get great reach by creating a robust content structure appealing to them, but not only that, by encouraging engagement. Facebook’s algorithm for organic means that just a “like” won’t get you into the users’ friends and families feeds – but comments and shares will. Perhaps your messaging needs to be controversial in order to capture their attention, perhaps use competitions specially designed for your followers or champion a charitable cause that makes your followers feel proud to be a part of your tribe. Remember that somewhere along the line, they made a conscious choice to follow you and are, therefore (mostly) very high quality – ignore your loyal fans at your peril, in fact.
Grow with care
Growing your fan base on any channel can be done by engaging well with your existing audience, then going out to look for similar users – these days it’s more than likely that these new users will be found by using paid media. The immediate challenge is to engage with that new user by ensuring the targeting you use isn’t too broad – or at least by being relatively open and broad with your messaging so you don’t alienate or turn people off at the first hurdle. Once you get them, make sure the same messages you’ve been posting to the original audience are still resonating.
You could turn to influencer marketing, but just because it’s an option, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find the perfect influencer or work with them at the time that’s right for your campaigns. It’s still a great option to explore, but not one to be rushed.
Don’t expect overnight success – it’ll take time to perfect the content messages which are perfect for your audience – but if you build it, they will come!