Building Loyal Social Media Followers for Your Brand
November 28, 2018
In 2019, the theme of social media marketing seems to be heading toward long-term goals. This includes follower loyalty rather than follower numbers. The age-old adage, “quality over quantity” comes to mind here, as more and more companies take the time to woo over real followers, instead of hoping to buy a crowd of Fairweather friends.
The foundation of these long-term follower relationships begins with trust, and you build trust through genuine content, realistic goals, and follow-through. Here are some of the best ways you can begin building loyal social media followers for your brand in 2019.
1. Beware the Cliques: Long-time followers are going to get to know one another; you’re going to get to know them. This makes it easy to fall into the bad habit of creating cliques within your follower circles. Of course, you can’t help it if groups of followers band together, but you can control the way that you interact with them.
New followers need a different kind of attention than long-time members, but you must give it in such a way that it doesn’t appear as though you favor newbies over old-faves. In the past, companies rewarded long-time customers with special rates and promotions, modern marketing does the opposite, locking in old customers with existing packages and offering new improved plans to newcomers as an incentive.
This “beware the clique” concept, suggests that you do neither of these things, but rather treat each group equally while still recognizing that new members are going to require more information, and possibly more attention and assistance than those who have been buying your products and following your social media pages for years.
2. Help Encourage Social Behavior: Your followers and group members may sometimes need a little encouragement to socialize, comment, like and share. You can help by creating members only events and promotions to spark conversations and promote sharing with non-members.
It isn’t enough to create the conversation; you should also actively take part in them. Comment back, like posts and comments, and mention specific members who ask questions or comments about the event or promotion in question. Being active yourself will increase overall activity and make your group seem more popular and welcoming to newcomers.
3. Create a List of Standards for All Users: When you use social media to interact with loyal consumers in the form of a group, it’s important that the group has a clear set of guidelines. This usually includes some of the standard, “no negative comments” rule, among others. You want to keep all of your followers getting along with each other and staying positive about your brand and the group you’ve created for them to explore your brand.
4. Reply Promptly: As a business owner you may not have all the time in the world to read every comment, but when you receive a private message or a tag in something, it’s nice to set time aside each day to read and reply when necessary. Keeping in touch with your members shows that you’re serious about the group, and that you’re a real person, not just some automated message or call center staff.
5. Create Realistic Goals: When you start a group online or a social media community, you can’t expect it to take off overnight. It takes time to build a following and create loyal members. Creating realistic goals such as, “10-members by day 3, 30 members by week 2”, will encourage you to be proactive and diligent in the management of your social media accounts and online groups.
As your group grows and flourishes, you can begin setting more advanced goals, such as, “be top 5 groups on Facebook by 2020” or “Have 20,000 members by the end of 2019”. The more members, activity, and content being posted, the more relevant your group becomes on social media.
6. Keep Your Content Relevant: One of the pitfalls group owners run into with social media is pushing content for the sake of posting daily or weekly. This can lead to negative side effects if you aren’t monitoring what you’re posting and why. Just as the content you post on your website needs to be relevant, genuine, and focused, so too does the content you post in your group. Even a small blurb about an upcoming event or promotion should be geared toward your audience, worded appropriately and met with the same enthusiasm and initiative you take for long-winded posts aimed at expanding word count and readership.
This may not be a new tip, but it’s always important, and more so in a group setting when trying to build loyalty among new members who may not be familiar with your style of writing or posting. Regular posts will add to this air of relevance, showing your followers that this social media group is important to you and that it’s here to stay and worth investing in.
7. Automated Messaging: Finally, for messages to your group consider setting up some form of automated messaging system to manage FAQs and general concerns while you’re away from your desk. This 24/7 coverage gives your members somewhere to turn for the small stuff until you return and can answer questions with more in-depth answers on topics not covered by an FAQ scenario.
Building your brand takes a bit of elbow grease, but once you’ve developed a loyal following, the rest falls into place naturally and it becomes easier to manage your group.