When it comes to social media marketing, building an engaged audience is imperative to your success. Nobody likes talking into an empty room after all.
Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to achieve success on Facebook. Algorithm changes designed to favour friends posts over businesses have tightened over the years. This can leave Facebook pages reaching less than 10 per cent of their followers on average.
This can be disheartening, especially when content creation is a time-consuming effort. Time, being the most valuable asset, a small business owner has. Juggling all the tasks required often means those seeing the immediate pay-off usually win the limited time available.
Define Your Audience
Before you set about building an audience, you have to define who that audience is. It’s vital to understand who your customers are to be able to engage them. Creating your buyer personas is the first step. Hubspot has a great guide on buyer personas, with templates.
The purpose of this exercise is to understand your potential customers. How old are they, what are their interests, what are their pain points etc.? Social media channels are not the place to be self-serving. Providing value to your followers will keep them engaged. For example, if you sell cars, your audience may be interested in maintenance advice, safety tips, advice on achieving better mileage, car insurance and so on. If all you do is share cars for sale, your audience will turn off.
How to Build a Facebook Following
Many people will invite their friends and family to follow their page. They then turn to like ladders, a reciprocal system whereby businesses like each other’s pages. While this may help get the numbers up, it may be detrimental to your page in the long run.
They can be damaging because unless people are engaging with your page, Facebook will give your posts a low relevance score. While the way social media platforms such as Facebook build their algorithms is shrouded in secrecy, there’s no disputing their existence.
If the algorithm deems your page irrelevant, it can be challenging to get your content seen by followers. This leaves you speaking into the void.
The quickest way to build an engaged following is to create a Facebook ad campaign with the objective of gaining page likes. These ads are relatively cheap if you get the targeting and message right and can be as low as 2p per page like.
You can set a small budget of just £2.50 per day, which equates to £75 per month on average. With likes at mere pennies each, you can quickly build an audience.
Once you have an audience, though, you need to ensure they are engaged. This means providing them with value.
How to Engage Your Followers
To engage your audience, you need to provide value. This can be answers to questions they have, advice and tips to help them, viral content that entertains them, etc. We always advise using a mix of content mediums. This should include your own blog posts, third-party content, videos, news articles, memes, quotes etc.
Always include a clear call to action on your posts and don’t be afraid to ask. By this, we mean to ask your audience for a comment or to tag a friend that would agree, or to share and so on.
Think outside the box, when creating your content, use language that your audience would use themselves and mix it up. Engagement can be kept up with polls, quizzes, competitions, and by asking people’s opinions on a news piece you shared.
Now that you understand all of this, you should be able to define your audience, create a page following with an advert that appeals to them and create the content that keeps them engaged. The benefit of this is that you stay in your followers’ minds, who may go on to become a customer or champion your brand to others.