You have a beautiful website, amazing product, and passionate team… but no social presence. Having a strong social following is an important step in developing a credible product because many people use social when they first learn about a product to decide whether it is “trustworthy”.
If your page is inactive, has no content, or an extremely small following, then you risk losing customers. Here are our top social media strategies for growing your social following as a new brand:
Leverage Your Email List And Site Content
The lowest hanging fruit when first developing your social channels is leveraging those who are already a fan of your brand. If you have been able to grow an email list through the launch of your brand, then you have a great foundation for a social presence! Send an email to your list about your newly created social channels.
To maximize this crossover engagement, consider promoting a social only discount in your emails. You could tell your email list about the discount value but direct them to social to find the coupon code. For example: Save 30% Find the coupon code on our Instagram or Facebook page!
Related: Social Media Marketing Strategies for Lead Generation & E-Commerce
Another great opportunity to introduce your current customers to your newly created social channels is by promoting them on your website. Adding social buttons to your header and footer is the first change you should make once you’ve fully set up and optimized your channels.
You can also create a “We’re Now Social!” header photo on your homepage or your order confirmation page. Make sure you easily give your customers an opportunity to share about your brand from your website too! Add social sharing buttons to all product and content pages to get your brand more noticed on social media networks.
Run “Invite To Like” Campaigns
When it comes to Facebook and Instagram, engagement levels matter more than your following size. You could have over 100,000 fans, but if your content isn’t being interacted with, then it will not be shown. Therefore, as you’re developing your new social pages, you want to keep engagement-centric content top of mind.
Engagement content is any content that does not promote your brand/product or link back to your site (but you should still incorporate your branding!). It is strictly meant to generate engagement on your page so that your promotional content becomes more likely to be shown.
Related: 4 Social Media Posts to Boost Engagement
The best way to utilize engagement-focused content to grow your audience is with a very small boosted post budget. When you boost engagement content, even with a value as small as $10, you can expect to receive well over 50 reactions. You then can “Invite” every person who liked your content to like your page. This sends an invite directly to their notifications (i.e. “Brand XYZ has invited you to like their page).
We tend to see about a 75% page like rate from these campaigns because they are highly targeted. They also create longer lasting and more engaged fans than simply Page Likes ad strategies because these fans have already shown interest in your brand and content!
Build Relationships With Social Influencers
Instagram Influencers have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, making this a crucial part to many digital marketing campaigns. Influencer outreach is great for newer brands that have a physical product to promote. It’s an easy way to generate brand awareness and receive high-quality photographs for a relatively low cost.
These influencers will tag your brand in both the photo and the caption, introducing your brand to their thousands of followers with just one picture. You then can receive the high-resolution of their photos to use in your digital marketing campaigns and within your social content.
Related: How to Develop an Influencer Outreach Strategy That Converts
We recommend targeting smaller influencers with under 50k followers. These micro-influencers are best for small brands because they are more likely to not charge a sponsored post fee, meaning you can secure coverage with just your product alone! They also are much more trusted so they can lend credibility to your brand that large influencers might not be able to portray.
When choosing the influencers to work with for your brand, you’ll want to look at their account aesthetic and followers. You will not be able to give specific photography directions to the influencers, so you want to make sure you choose accounts that match your brand’s personality.
Additionally, be sure to pay attention to who their followers are. For example, if you are fashion brand targeting women ages 20-35, then a 22-year-old fashion model might seem like the perfect fit for your brand… however, if you find that mostly men are following her, it might not be the best fit.
Connect And Engage With Followers Of Related Accounts
The best way to find the right social customers for your site is to manually seek them out! Keyword and follower research is a high-targeted approach for finding the fight potential followers for your brand. This tactic works best on social platforms like Instagram and Twitter where you aren’t limited in connecting directly with potential customers like you would be on Facebook.
On Twitter, we recommend using a tool like TweetDeck where you can set up feeds of people mentioning a keyword that relates to their brand. For example, if you sell organic, gluten-free products then you might want to set up a feed for everyone who mentions “gluten-free” and “recipe” in their Tweet. This allows you to connect, and introduce, your brand directly to those who are showing interest in a product like yours!
Related: When to Use Hashtags (& When to Leave Them Out)
This process works well on Instagram as well to grow your following. Think about what other brands or even lifestyle accounts that your customers would follow. Go through those brands follower lists and interact with their followerscontent. This could be anything from liking a few of their follower’s posts to actually following their followers.
When an individual has a brand like a few of their posts, or follow them, the first natural instinct is to visit that brand’s Instagram page to learn more about them. Since you “handpicked” this person based on their relative interest, they’re likely to enjoy your brand and content!
Partner With A Complementary Brand
Similar to working with influencers, you can partner with a complementary brand that already has a social presence on social. Most brands are eager and happy to work with another brand when it is mutually beneficial. Since you do not yet have a following your reach will be much more limited, however, you can still provide a strong prize for the partner company to promote! This will incentivize their audience to enter, giving both brands more awareness.
We suggest running this contest on Instagram where the company you partner with can ask that their following tags two friends in the comments below (growing awareness for their brand), and follows your account (growing your following) for a chance to win! The prize should include products from both companies and be complementary.
This will assure that the people who are following your partner, would also be interested in your products. If you sell dog food or treats, then you may want to partner with a company that makes dog collars since both companies have the same target audience but are not competitors.
We understand that kick-starting your social presence can feel a bit awkward… You want an audience but you also want to look credible before you drive a large following. A great way to grow your audience while you’re still developing your full content strategy is to create 3-9 place holder graphics that are informative and let your audience know you’re on your way to developing a presence!
On Instagram, a collage is a great way to get some quick content out. Just make sure your bio, website links, and profile photo are fully optimized before you start sending any traffic to your social channels!