As PR professionals, we’re often tasked with helping our clients grow their social media following. Because companies vary in size, tone, and audience, it can sometimes feel like a minefield trying to navigate the right approach for each.
But five things remain the same regardless of the company in question. The content must be engaging and topical, you need to understand your audience, establish a clear tone of voice, use hashtags appropriately, and make use of high quality images.
Having grown a Marvel Fandom Twitter account from zero to 1,500 followers, and achieved a hit post with 40,000 likes, here are my top tips.
For efficiency, many organisations will have a two-week social media calendar ready in advance. Although this ensures consistency in the quality of posts, and eliminates the pressure to create and approve social content on the day, it often means content isn’t as timely as it could be.
The key to social media is being topical and on top of the trending pages. Sharing something that was news a week ago means that you’re less likely to spark conversation in your comments section – as the conversation has already moved on.
It’s okay to have some content prepared ahead of time. However, ensure that it’s still relevant or links to a hot topic online when you come to post it. The image below is an example of an instance where I jumped on a trend – The Bird Box Challenge.
2. Know who you’re talking to
The content you create should be driven by the audience you’re trying to court. Do an audit of your current audience. Are your followers part of the key demographic you want to reach? If the answer is no, then there’s something off with the content you’re currently sharing. This will need to be reevaluated and changed. Once you’ve made the pivot, some people will drop off (and that’s okay), but you’ll start to attract a new, more relevant group of people into your community.
Sometimes you might have a diverse range of people that you’re trying to attract. In which case, it’s okay to make some posts more tailored to a particular demographic. So long as there’s a mix of content and it is still within the stylistic and tonal parameters you’ve set for the account.
For example, my Marvel Twitter account only produces Marvel-related content. However, the audience is not as monolithic as you might think. There is a subset of Gen Z girls that are very active online and are fans of Tom Holland and Zendaya, but there’s also a huge gay following for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. So I’m always looking for ways to tap into the different pockets of the fandom. Image B is referencing a Mean Girls quote, which the Gen Z (Tom and Zendaya) audience would immediately recognise.
3. Establish a clear voice
An organisation’s tone of voice on social media will reflect its brand personality and values. For some, it will be humorous, while others will have a more serious edge. One mistake that brands often make is to equate ‘serious’ with ‘boring’.
Regardless of how serious the company is, you have to make your social media content as engaging and interesting as possible. If you’re sharing lots of data, perhaps think about the human impact of those data points and frame your social content around what this means for real people, while remaining true to the company’s mission and tone.
4. Don’t go hashtag crazy
We’ve all been on Instagram and seen people, and companies, use around 40 hashtags in a single post. And while this might work to an extent for Instagram’s algorithm, it’s not transferable to LinkedIn or other channels.
On LinkedIn, it reads as spammy. LinkedIn allows you to see how many people are following each hashtag. So select five hashtags with varying degrees of popularity and add them to your post. Don’t simply choose five of the most popular hashtags, as the odds are your post will get lost in the mix. Select two popular ones, two semi popular, and one that’s more niche to the target audience.
5. Make it pretty
As you would on your own personal account, attach an appealing image to the content you’re sharing. Mock something up on Canva, or use platforms like Unsplash to find beautiful and engaging pictures. LinkedIn allows people to change the cover image on news articles. So make use of this feature if the picture in the original article isn’t that interesting. Always ask yourself “what about this image would make me stop scrolling, expand the post or open the article?”
Keep these five things in mind whenever you’re building a social following and you’ll be less likely to stumble off the path to continued follower growth.
For more information on how we can help you build a corporate social media following, contact us.