As a small business or start-up company, it’s rare to have instant credibility or popularity that a well-known or celebrity endorsed brand would have. Therefore, it takes time and consistency to grow your communities. Luckily, there are 3 easy- to- remember steps to help grow your user base: content, engagement and follow up.
When growing your base, your focus should be on creating compelling content. This content should be relevant and relatable to your user base. Don’t try to sell your audience on your products/services or force visits to your website. You should, instead be the brand that your user base will like and appreciate. Compelling content can be anything that is unique and funny like memes, trending Youtube videos, pictures, blogs and quotes. Generally, people go to social media to not think too hard about what they are looking at and most of all have a good laugh with their friends on things that they can relate to. This is what drives virality; the more the person relates to the content, the more they will want to share it with their friends.
Virality will drive more traffic back to your social media stream (ex: Facebook page) and hence also grow your audience (ex: likes). While you grow your base with compelling content, it is also important to organically grow your base through your personal networks. Be mindful that getting friends to like your page, although easy, takes more than a mass email on your part.
Examples of Compelling Content that has grown our user base:
With over 22,000 hits, this was the second video to our series of videos depicting how we are different than our competitors. We asked friends and fans to post this video on their wall to help grow our user base. Most people were willing to as it was funny and compelling.
This Indian Dating meme was based on the trend of "memes" on various things that was exploding on the internet at the time. Going off this trend, we created something around our brand. We had 19 shares and 7% virality on Facebook.
Engagement in this instance is defined as ensuring that the copy that describes your compelling content is relevant to where it is being posted, so that the audience can relate to it. This will in turn allow for stronger interactions. Posting uniquely to each stream is recommended as timing, frequency and how the content is displayed are all important factors to consider and vary based on the social stream. On twitter, the copy should entice the user to click on the link, therefore it is best to ask a question or say something related to the post without describing it. On Facebook, that same copy should be different since Facebook usually allows a preview of the content, so an enticement statement is not required.
3> Follow up
While you build your user base through consistent compelling content and engagement, it is important to follow up with your users as well. Usually, once you hit around 1000 likes, you will see users start to engage with your content. It is crucial to ensure that your follow up with these users is always positive, friendly and neutral. This is important because comments are public for everyone to see; reflect on your brand and customer service. Overall, your marketing persona and voice should be defined prior to starting social media so that it remains consistent across social streams and amongst team members. Among the three steps, follow up is the most important as it cannot be predicted or practiced.
The framework, content, engagement and follow up can be used on any social stream and it is a sure fire way to grow your user base. Social media in a more "social" business such as TwoMangoes, is extremely important, as our conversion rates are in the high 80's.
Featured Image Courtesy- JD Hancock