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This is a topic I’ve been meaning to get down in words for the past few months; my writer’s block has finally lifted! The recipe to grow your social media presence is actually quite simple if you use the following 5-point strategic process. First a little background on my passion project in Austin, Texas. I’m a photographer specializing in aerial, concerts, events and models actively promoting my work since the beginning of the year 2015. One of the most difficult aspects of starting a business is the patience required to build momentum and reach a critical mass. Whether you love or hate it as a “social” platform, in order to stay relevant as a business you should definitely be marketing on Facebook! No question about it. Last quarter, Facebook passed 1.19 billion monthly active users with no signs of slowing down (The Next Web)! I will show you how to grow your social media following on Facebook by over 1,000% in only 5 short steps. If you want to hire me for professional services in the future, whether it is photography or social media management, we can discuss strategy and pricing. Send me an email via the website for further discussion. This blog post is essentially an advanced course to get your toes wet in the “primordial soup”. Let the learning commence…
1. Act Local, Think Global
This is quite possibly the most important step, so please read carefully. You must first identify your target market and the best ways to reach them, whether it is via Facebook, real networking, email marketing, etc. For the purposes of this blog post and personal expertise, I will stick to Facebook marketing. As a general rule of thumb, if your goal is to market to everyone, you essentially market to no one. You must first select one thing, ideally something you’re passionate about, and then outperform your competition. This takes lots of practice in the field of your choice but it’s worth every minute of it. If you’re truly passionate about your work, doing it for free is no sweat in efforts to build your portfolio and gain name recognition. Finding your target market is critically important for the subsequent steps because it helps define your strategic keywords when promoting posts and also provides a measuring stick to track your progress. Once you’ve mastered the local market you can begin moving into other cities, but don’t put the cart before the horse. Since I’m a photographer, the best way to post fresh content is to get out there and shoot… A LOT. It doesn’t matter if it’s unpaid or trade-for; a smart artist should be mainly focused on gaining more exposure and a solid fan base! It will really pay off in the long run. Always try to have confidence that the path you’re on is the correct one…
2. Tag Your Friends
The true genius of Facebook is the ability to tag people in your posts! The multiplicative effect of tagging is building name recognition behind the scenes with very little time expenditure on your part. In the case of photography, it’s incredibly effective and the people generally appreciate the sentiment assuming it’s a flattering photo. That goes without saying. ;)
3. Publish Often During Peak Hours
In order to reach a mass audience, it is paramount to publish often and strategically. There is plenty of research out there on peak hours of Facebook usage (AdWeek). I usually prefer to drill down into my historical usage statistics to determine when the most fans are online. In order to achieve this, go to your business page and click on Insights in the menu bar. From here, go to Posts and check out the data shown for a recent week period.
There is knowledge to be gained from quickly assessing this information. It may seem dry and boring at first but it will significantly affect your bottom-line marketing efforts and increase your “like” count on any given individual post. As you can see from the above screenshot, the time when the majority of my fans are online on Tuesday of last week is 9pm, so I should do my best to post at exactly this time if possible. It is also easy to schedule posts under Publishing Tools to automate the process. This can be incredibly effective if, for example, you want to post late at night or early in the morning while in your cozy bed. The truly successful entrepreneur generates wealth or social capital while doing little to nothing. You may want to pick up a copy of The 4-Hour Work Week by the visionary author Tim Ferriss (Amazon). Work smart, not hard! Take for example Airbnb. It’s a great way to meet interesting people from around the world while making solid earnings. And those are my two endorsements in this post. Promise. ;) The photographer, writer or painter who does not display their work frequently is essentially shooting herself in the proverbial foot. I have creative friends who have this “affliction” and it’s difficult to talk straight dollars and sense into them. If you are confident in the quality of your art to stand in a league of its own, get it out there to the masses at any cost, as long as you’re not stepping on anyone, of course! If you have to promote your posts to achieve this goal, bite the cost bullet and just do it! You will learn more about this topic in the next step…
4. Promote Your Posts Frequently
If you can avoid this step by attracting substantial organic growth, by all means cease reading now and move onto Step 5. For those not familiar with the term organic growth, it refers to the natural reach of a particular post with no outside user intervention. Paying to promote your posts is incredibly effective to grow a solid fan base. Remember, many times in marketing you must spend money to ultimately profit and show positive gains! Boosting a post is very simple. Scroll down to a post you wish to promote and click the “Boost Post” button below. From here you can select your Audience, Budget and Duration. It is generally advisable to choose “People you choose through targeting” to most effectively reach the people who are interested in your content, but it’s entirely up to you. Play around with adding different keywords; watch the numbers go up and down. Just have fun with it because, remember, you’re taking positive steps to increase your business visibility!
5. Reach Out To Bloggers or Write Your Own
Another great way to grow your social media exposure is to contact local bloggers who embody your unique product-market fit. In the case of photography, it’s relatively easy since bloggers are always searching for appealing images to enhance their funky fresh content. This is less intended for Facebook marketing and more geared towards website SEO (Youtube). The process of SEO usually ranges from months to years depending on your diligence. There are dozens of factors that search engines analyze to determine a website’s ranking. Remember, slow and steady usually wins the race! If the blogger uses a photo make sure they include a link to your website! Reputable backlinks are one of the key factors in calculating your overall ranking. A great resource to determine your website listing score is MOZ. It shows which search engines you are currently listed on and suggests improvements. You can also write your own blog post to provide textual content that keep people coming back for more. Also, you should definitely be using Instagram to promote your work and tag popular users in your photos to build a solid reputation! They will often repost if it fits into their #instamood for that particular day.
Always remember to give back to the people that help you achieve success! “My karma ran over your dogma.” Please share this article if you want to pass this helpful social media guide onto friends and colleagues. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power!
**You may also be interested in my blog post: Top 10 Tips to Rank in Search Results