Your guide to a successful online business!

What kind of followers are your small business social media profiles attracting? If they aren’t engaging with your content or showing any interest in your products or services – they are probably the wrong ones.

The quantity of followers you have is important – you are running a business, after all! But it’s the quality of your followers that is the key to your social media success. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to attract the right kind of followers to your pages so you can boost your engagement and hopefully your sales, too!

Step 1: Research

Quality vs Quantity

Numbers can be impressive to some, but it’s no good having 500 followers if none of them are engaging with your posts. 20 followers who interact with your content are much more valuable to you: that’s 20 opportunities to convert sales through social media. This is why it’s important to focus on attracting a quality audience, rather than a large number of followers who have no interest in your business. A good way to do this is to take some time to work out who your target audience is.

Identify your target audience

This is the most important step in attracting the right followers to your page. Take a moment to identify the type of customers who can benefit from whatever your business is offering. Ask yourself who will have an interest in your product or service. If you currently have a follower base, set some time aside to take a look back at your posts and the profiles of the people who regularly engage with your content in some way. Who are they? What draws them to your page? Maybe they work in a similar field, or they’re looking for a service your business provides.
Here’s an article that will help you identify your target market if you’re having trouble. It might be a good idea to create a mind map, or write a list – it will make the next step easier if you have your findings written down.

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Step 2: Planning

Segment your target audience

Now that you’ve identified the people most likely to be interested in your business, it’s time to find those people and work out a strategy to draw them in. Think about how you can divide your target audience up further –gender, age groups and lifestyles (such as where they live, work and socialise) are generally good places to start with. This is called segmenting, and it’s important because your target market is made up of individuals with different interests and personalities. Even the way they prefer to view their content will be something you need to take into consideration– some will use mobiles and tablets, some will prefer desktop – and you’ll have to tailor your posts accordingly.

Find your target audience

It’s no good posting on a Pinterest account for your business all day long if the majority of your target market are using Instagram. You need to make sure your posts are reaching the people you’ve identified in the previous steps. Think about what social media platforms they’re likely to be using – you’ll need to know this so you can make sure you choose the right platforms to host your business on, and decide where to post specific content for specific audiences.

This guide to choosing social media platforms for your business will help if you’re not sure which ones to go for. Stick to a small number of social media channels to host your business on – 2 or 3 to start with. You want to be able to deliver focused, targeted content to your followers on a regular basis – having too many social media channels will make this hard to maintain, unless you have a dedicated social media team to do it for you.

Segmenting and then locating your audience is vital if you want to complete the next step properly!

Step 3: Action!

Target campaigns to attract quality followers

So now that you know where to find followers that are likely to be interested in your business and interact with your posts, it’s time to let them know you have a product or service that they will want to purchase. You’ll want to use targeted campaigns to catch their attention, and that’s not half as hard or expensive as it sounds. Consider paid advertising – social networks such as Twitter make it easy for small businesses to run paid advertising campaigns and they don’t break the bank.

Not sure how it works? Here’s a guide on getting started with Twitter advertising. You’ve divided up your target audience up into smaller segments that you can focus on one at a time – this will help you to deliver a strong campaign tailored specifically to the interests of each group, giving you a stronger chance of converting them into followers and customers.

How? People like to feel valued. By focusing on one small group at a time, you’ll be posting content they can relate to every time– letting them know you went out of your way to tell them about something you thought they would like.
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Draw in quality followers with quality content

Going for quality followers means you’re going to have to give them some quality content to interact with! Don’t know where to start? Check out this post on finding engaging content for your page. You could create newsletters, compile articles and blog posts, host live chats or Q and A sessions using hashtags on Twitter, or even post articles and news stories written by other people that you think your audience would like.

Encourage your followers to engage – ask them to leave comments, and when they do – always respond. Social media is a great way to build relationships and convert followers into customers. Create polls and quick surveys that people can take part in, and let them know that you value their opinion. It’s also a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing and note down the type of posts that generate the most engagement for them. Chances are, your followers will have similar interests to their followers and will appreciate the same kind of content on your page. Give people what they want and they’ll keep coming back to your page – and that will help you carry out the final step with ease.

Step 4: Review

Monitor your campaigns

Having 1,000 followers is great, but if they never interact with your page, there’s no way of telling if they’re even looking at what you post. Another benefit to having quality followers is that they can give you insights into how well your posts are performing and help you improve. When people engage with your content, it makes it easier for you to tell what they’d like to see more of and where you need to improve. Once you know what people like, you can give them more of that content and hopefully turn them into customers.

That’s why it’s important to monitor and analyse the results of all your marketing campaigns, regardless of how big or small they are. Check out what’s driving traffic so you can continue to post the same. One of the most popular tools to help you do this is Google Analytics. Don’t know where to start? Take a look at our beginner’s guide to using Google Analytics.

Stay motivated

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t have many followers to start out with – remember quality over quantity. As long as the people that are following you want to engage with and share your content because they’re interested in your business and what you have to offer, you’ll see your numbers start to rise as they connect you to other people who share their interests. Follow the steps above and you’ll see how easy it can be to find people with interest in your business when you have a plan.

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