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Growing Your Fanbase - Emer Kelly Digital Marketing and Graphic Design

Growing Your Fanbase: A Beginner’s Guide

Digital marketing can be a little overwhelming, especially when you’re juggling the responsibilities of running a small business. This is intended as a beginners guide, to help get you on your path to growing your fanbase. The tactics outlined below are basic ground rules that you can refer to if you’re feeling lost. Once you feel confident as a digital marketer, make sure you break out and do some experimenting. Every audience is different so in the end, it’s you who needs to figure out what makes them tick.

  • Tell your friends! Make sure they are people who will actually be interested in the product and supportive of your business. In the beginning, ask some friends if they would be happy to share the odd post to their profile. This will get you some additional exposure while you work to grow your following.
  • Run highly targeted ad campaigns. I cannot stress the words ‘Highly targeted’ enough. A lot of people have bad experiences with social media advertising because they cast too wide a net. A wide net means your ad will be shown to a lot of people who have never heard of you or what you do, which can lead to low conversion. This is fine if you have a big budget and can afford to spend over $1 per new like, but if you’re like most businesses you’ll want to be spending less. Two great ways to target people are:
  1. E-mail lists – The network will match up the e-mails with its users and show your ad to them.
  2. Website Traffic – The network will show your ad to people who visited your website.
  • You might be asking why you’d need to advertise to somebody who is already on your e-mail list, or who has already visited your website and it’s a great question. The reason you want these people to follow you on social media is that it’s a great way to build a relationship with them, and your posts will keep you at the top of their minds making them more likely to return and/or refer you to others.
  • * As of today, Facebook and Twitter offer E-mail and Website targeting.
  •  Engage with other companies. Building positive relationships with other companies can prove invaluable. These can be other local companies, or companies that share your values. The more you interact with their posts, the more likely they are to interact with yours. Having a page with a large following share one of your posts could be a great boost for you.
  •  Engage your fans. Each time a follower interacts with one of your posts (Likes, comments, or shares) it goes into their timeline, where all their friends will see it. The more people who see your posts, the more likes you will attract.
  • Use Hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to get discovered on social media. Try to select 1-3 simple, relevant hashtags for each post, particularly for Twitter and Instagram. Don’t overdo it though, too many could make you look desperate.
  •  Make sure your social buttons are in a prominent place on your website. The most common placement for social follow buttons on a website is in the header or the footer and that’s where most users will look for them. You should include them there even if you have social buttons in another place (E.g. the contact page).
  • Don’t ever buy fans. I know it can be tempting but it’s not worth it. If you buy fans the chances are they won’t be engaged with your brand which can damage your relationship with your real followers.

Need some help engaging your fan base? Check out my blog post on some do’s and don’ts of Facebook fan engagement. The same basic rules apply to all social networks.

Still need help? Get in touch with me and we’ll work together bring your business the success it deserves.

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