7 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Presence - Both Online and Off
There are so many ways to connect your target audience on and offline, and you could be overlooking some of them.
I’ve come across several brands who generate a decent amount of web or foot traffic, but with no social media accounts, or with fewer followers than I’d expect. If I see these brands at events, or walk into their brick and mortar stores, there's no sign of their social media presence, and when I circle back to their websites, again, no social media icons are present (or if there are icons, they're itty-bitty, or out of date and lost within the layout).
Being surrounded by digital marketing, it can be easy to forget that traditional forms of media are still alive and well, and provide reach to billions of people. In fact, more “traditional” forms of media can sometimes be the best avenues to kick off an organic audience that's already interested in what you have to say.
In line with this, here are a few options you can use to help grow your social media presence, outside of social platforms themselves.
1. Include visible follow buttons on your website
This one may seem a little obvious, but it’s a mistake I see often - social media follow and share buttons are an easy way to grow your social media presence.
On my website, they're placed in the upper right-hand corner, as well as on the right side of my blog, all easily accessible and visible.
Make sure these buttons are clearly defined and different from your share buttons. AddThis.com has great free tools to help you get your social links on your site.
You can be more discreet by keeping the follow buttons in the footer of your site.
Events are a brand awareness gold mine.
To grow your social media presence at events, include hashtags on all signage, and any printed materials or flyers. Use social media icons too, but remember to include “@yourhandle” or “\yourhandle” so your attendees know exactly how to find you on each platform.
And don’t just pop a hashtag on a piece of paper - use a proper call to action to encourage people to share.
There are tons of other places to promote your hashtags and social media presence at events. Get creative and have fun with this.
3. Brick and mortar locations
If you have a storefront your windows are your best advertising asset.
People have to come through your door to get in and out of your establishment, and many will likely be passing your window on the walk to work. Why not let those who are in the vicinity of your store on a regular basis know how they can find you online with some window clings?
If your business is more upscale, you can bring the awareness to custom cards, or print hashtags and handles on receipts.
Here's an example of some social media branding we had our client, Cafe Tallulah, implement.
4. Brand original content
If you made it, brand it.
You can include your hashtag, handle and website on your online images – just remember to keep them transparent and out of the way so they don’t interupt your photo.
5. On and offline ads
If you're a publication or magazine, use a page to let your subscribers know that you’re online. They're already reading your content, so these people are more likely to seek you out online.
Many brands are also taking to television ads to ask their audience to engage with them online. We don’t all have TV budgets, but luckily you can run ads online and within the networks your brand is active on to grow your social media presence.
You can run a Like campaign on Facebook or a Twitter ad for relatively low amount of money.
6. Snail mail & email
Got a newsletter that gets sent out in the mail - or, really, anything you send customers in the post? Slip a card with all your social media channel links, and ask your customers to engage with you.
You should also let them know about any promotional hashtags you're using, or you could get really crazy and provide a social media discount - let them know on the card that there will be a social media discount on your page until next week.
If you have an email list or newsletter, send an email letting your lists know where to find you online.
7. Experiential or “guerilla” marketing
If your company is already involved in using experiential events or campaigns, integrate social media.
Social media can support the campaign - you can use it to create a contest or promotion to increase the digital footprint of the campaign, or to use social media itself to surprise and delight them further than your stunt.
BONUS: Don’t forget to include links in your email signature - another super easy way to expose your social channels to people you interact with.
These are just a few ways you could be missing out on to boost both reach and awareness for your social channels. Be careful to not be obnoxious in the way that you brand and put hashtags on things, but also be conscious of every opportunity you have to let people know how to find you or join the conversation.
Traditional media has worked in the past, and it still works now. Get the best of both worlds and show your audience that you’re tech-savvy too. Again this is a great way to increase your organic growth with fans that are much more likely to engage with and share your content because they’re already interested. The rest is up to you and your content.
Article and image via Social Media Today