Building Your Audience One Friend at a Time

Guest Post by Cassidy Perry

When you hear the words “social media marking” do you cringe? Social media marketing can feel intimidating, overwhelming, or just simply uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be any of those things. In fact, growing an authentic audience on Instagram or whatever platform you like best, requires you to stop pouring all your energy into hitting a number of likes and start making connections. Focus on the real reason people are on social media in the first place: to make authentic connections with family, friends, and people who are doing amazing things - just like you. Brands who do well online keep this in mind. Treat your fans as friends and you will create a space that invites your audience to join you in the fun.  

building your audience one friend at a time / belong magazine blog

If you are ready to invite new friends to follow you on social media, start with these three practical tips for organic social media growth! 

1. Imagine your ideal client as a friend /

Give that a friend a name. Get to know your friend. What do they like, what keeps them up at night, what makes their heart soar? Once you’ve gotten to know them, start writing posts and choosing photos that they will connect with. Before hitting “post” ask, will my friend relate to this? People will flood to things that feel personalized and speak to their heart. 

2. Keep the conversation going / 

Social media is designed to be a two way street. A way to talk with your brand’s friends, not just at them. Think of it as a conversation - leave space for response and dialogue. Respond to comments, say hello to new followers, don’t leave messages unanswered. By doing this, your audience feels heard and valued which in turn, makes them want to keep getting to your your brand. 

3. Reach out to brands with similar passions /

You don’t have to do it alone. Find a few other brands that complement your brand. Maybe your products are a natural pairing - Like a coffee shop working with a doughnut shop. Or possibly the heart behind your brands resonate with each other - A style coach who loves helping people find their true selves with a new tee-shirt designer who prides themselves in funky and personalized tees. Whatever it is, find brands to connect with and come together for give-aways, contests, specials, or just brag about each other online. The key to making this work and feel authentic is to find the right partner. It needs to be someone that naturally correlates with your brand or someone who your audience would love to get to know. Keep your audience in mind when picking out a new social media partner by asking yourself, “would my friend fall in love with this brand?” If not, keep looking. If so, reach out to them and get the party started! 

Remember, all of your followers are people too. It’s too easy to get caught up in the numbers game and forget that every number represents a complex person who has expressed interest in your brand. That is a big deal! Treat them with respect and love and they will support you. A small fanbase doesn’t mean you’ve failed just like a large number of fans doesn’t guarantee success. It is about the quality of your relationship with your fans: A small, yet loyal, group of fans can propel your brand to amazing heights.

Yes, grow and get excited to see a flood of 500 new fans, but get just as excited when you see 2 new fans. Remember, both of those numbers represent real people who want to find connection and a sense of belonging, just like you do. Welcome them into your little corner of the internet with open arms and genuine enthusiasm.

Cassidy Perry believes you can conquer the world and do good at the same time. Through her social media coaching business, Starlight Social, brands learn how to strategically approach social media while finding confidence to make a difference with their business. With each coaching package or ebook purchased, a donation is made to empower and encourage a young lady who has been rescued from human trafficking. Start learning how to stop wasting time and start pursuing things that truly matter in business and in life at StarlightSocial. 
Belong readers can use the code “I Belong” to download the “Facebook Audit” for free!
You can follow Cassidy on Instagram @CassidyPerry and on facebook.

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