Developing an Audience

Developing an Audience

It seems with each passing day, every company wants to have their own social media presence. Every company wants to have a place where their audience comes for information, engaging content, and experience. This is a positive and necessary evolution in the development of technology and the dispersion of digital information. But this causes several issues, such as: Who are you? Who cares? Why should anyone stick around?

What is Your Core Brand?

First you must clearly identify your company. Who are you, what are you all about, and what do you do? If you can’t answer this, the people you are trying to reach won’t know who you are either. Its best to have a clear established brand, name, logo, and color scheme. Once you have these things you can integrate them into your branding: website, backgrounds, landing-pages, etc. It is also very important to establish the tone of your brand. Are you up-beat, creative-artsy, professional, economical, high-brow? How you present your brand, through image and through communication is critical and it needs to be consistent.

Draw the Crowd

Many large companies will have a built-in audience simply by enlisting employees and their families. Small businesses, on the other hand, may not have anyone who currently knows or cares about them. Now because this is all about building an “audience”, this content is inherently pertinent to social media. There are many ways to attract people and most methods are very simple, and unfortunately, very repetitive. Without buying followers or paying to promote, here are some simple and proven methods for steady growth.

1. Facebook: Depending on how you set up the profile, you can friend acquaintances, or you can share the page with friends. This process needs to happen again and again. Continually widen your circle of sharing, but try to always ensure you share your page with people that you have mutual friends with so that it doesn’t come across as spamming.

2. Twitter: Follow Follow Follow! You can follow nearly 2,000 people before you hit a follow limit. Once you do hit your limit, go back to websites (such as Twitterkarma) that show which individuals follow you back. If they don’t follow you back after 48 hours, then unfollow them and try again later.

Entertain and Engage Your Audience

While you may be able to momentarily gain people’s attention, this feat is of very little value unless you can actually engage them with your content. This process of attracting and engaging must be a symbiotic relationship for it to be effective in growing your audience. Now that you have your audience, what are you going to say?

This is the never-ending process of content creation and curation. There are a million different tips and blogs about how to create and curate good content, but essentially you need to make sure you are consistent, you represent your core brand, and you don’t post offensive material. Things to think about also are what channel (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram, Myspace) you use to communicate, but also how to mix up your content with text, graphics and videos. As time goes on, try to keep a consistent flow of content and maintain your brand voice or the tone with which you communicate. When people interact, make sure you give them attention immediately. This is incredibly important in an age of real-time consumption. Got all that?

So What Did You Just Read?

This post was all about how to build and manage an audience using social media. To successfully develop an audience takes some strategy, some brainless repetition, and a lot of self-discipline. In essence, it is about attracting people, and engaging them once you have gained their interest. This is not rocket science, and once you get the hang of this process, the challenge becomes learning how to increase efficiency while maintaining consistency and quality.

Have you had any surprising challenges using a content specific channel such as Instagram?

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