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With people stuck at home under the COVID-19 Pandemic Lock-down or “Social Distancing”, social media usage is up tremendously!

No matter how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your business you…

  1. should have stopped any paid advertising especially if you were advertising a product or service you’re no longer offering. Now’s the time to use organic — non-paid — content marketing.
  2. need to evaluate how your business can help people as their situations have changed and if your target audience and/or their needs have changed.
  3. must plan for when this is over. THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS!

Here's an article on some specific things you should be doing now.

If you haven’t been active on social media, now’s the time to take advantage of its popularity.

The best way to grow a social media following has always been organically. You never want to buy followers — they are fake accounts and the networks are purging fake accounts. Moreover, it’s a waste of money.

How do you grow a social media following?

social media following

First, you need to post relevant content daily of interest to the audience you want to attract. If you don’t post, there’s no reason for someone to follow you. Before you start posting you need to ask yourself…

  • Who is your target market is and what interests them? Get a Free Define Your Target Market Workbook here. Even if you’ve defined your target market before, their needs, problems and pain points have changed!
  • What type of content are you going to create — blogs, videos (YouTube channel traffic is also up 15% on average), podcasts or graphics? Now’s the time to try something different! Lots of folks are doing videos from their living rooms and home offices.
  • Who are your trusted sources of good, quality, relevant content of interest to your target market?

How to get People to Notice you on Social Media:

Follow the people you’re targeting. This works on Twitter and Instagram. They’ll get a notification when you start following them and they’ll decide if they want to follow you back or not based on what you’ve posted. Keep posting great content and your followers will become advocates and share your content with their friends.

Twitter

On Twitter, make sure to thank people for following you, retweeting (sharing) your tweets and mentioning you via a tweet — not with a direct message (DM). Use TweetDeck to help you manage notifications and scheduled tweets. Plan ahead to take advantage of what trends on Twitter regularly. I also write an article at the end of each month with what’s going to be trending as to awareness and observance days. Search for this month’s through my search bar in the upper right.

Related: Updated Twitter Stats for 2020 on WordStream

Facebook

If you’re B2B, on Facebook, you can follow a company’s page with your page. They’ll get a notification. For B2C, you can’t reach out to individuals without doing paid ads. You can invite your friends and family to like your page. However, realize that not all of your friends may be interested in your product or service.

Facebook groups are becoming increasingly popular. Have you seen their ads on TV?

Should you start a Facebook Group?

If you want to start a group, you need a core number of people which will, in turn, invite other people. Don’t expect to start a group and it will fill with members automatically.

New! Facebook is offering workshops for Group managers!

Join Existing Groups

Search for and find groups with…

  • your target market
  • potential referral sources
  • industry peers

Share content there 2-3 times a week (and not just your stuff). Make sure you read the group’s rules and respect them. Share useful information — DON’T SELL! You can use a tool like Buffer or HootSuite to automate and schedule sharing to groups on Facebook as well as your Facebook business page.

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, users get notified when someone views their profile. But the best way to get noticed on LinkedIn is in groups. Use the same strategy as for Facebook.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy or automatic way to share to groups on LinkedIn or schedule posts. You have to log into one group at a time and copy the URL of the webpage you want to share into the post box. Read this article on LinkedIn to know which groups to join and how to maximize this tool.

Pick 5 of the most populated and active groups and once a day, share something to each group. Make sure it’s relevant!

Time-saver tip: Save the bookmark to the group’s page on your browser you can return to it quickly. Also, don’t log out of LinkedIn.

Also, like and comment on other people’s posts. They’ll notice you that way.

How often Should I Blog?

Seriously, at first, especially if you’re brand new and Google doesn’t know who you are yet, DAILY — for at least 2 weeks. Then 2-3 times a week. Once your analytics tell you that Google is the main source driving traffic to your website, they you can go down to once a week.

Share every blog post on your social networks. WordPress has a free plugin called JetPack with a feature, Publicize, that automatically shares your posts to your Facebook business page, Twitter, your personal LinkedIn and tumblr (if you determine that you want to reach millennials – they still use tumblr.) Use Dlvr.it to automate posting to your LinkedIn Business Page.

blogging

Adjusting What Type of Content You Create

  1. Put your audience first. That’s where that important research comes in. Be helpful. Be compassionate. Get on the social networks and see what people are posting. Follow your category hashtags and see what people are posting.
  2. Do a new Keyword research. Besides anything COVID-19, you’d be surprised at what people are searching for these days and your keyword phrases may have changed.
  3. Change the type of content you create. If you’ve been blogging anything less than once a week, you need to definitely increase. People are looking online for content — all types. Moreover, try another format like videos, live streaming, and/or podcasting.
  4. Connect with other colleagues and see what they’re doing. Check out your competition!
  5. It’s not a total rebranding or new launch. It’s a pivot, an adjustment of the type of content that you’re producing. Rebranding is expensive and this it not the time to do it.

Here’s a tip to help with SEO:

You need to manually share it on Pinterest and bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit.

Here’s another tip that many people forget:

social media follow buttons

Have both social media share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you and make it easy for visitors to share your content with their friends.

Social media sharing buttons

These are also legitimate links that Google notices for SEO.

How long does it take to grow a Social Media following?

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’ll happen overnight because it won’t. If starting from scratch, plan to spend at least 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days — and that’s just on social media, not blogging. Yes, it’s a little sweat equity, however, once you’ve got a following built, using the free tools, you can manage your social media marketing in 30 minutes a day. (And blog once a week.)

What if I don’t spend this time up front?

The longer you wait to build your following, the longer it’s going to take you to start seeing results.

How many is a good social media following?

In 30 days, you should have:

  • Twitter – 100 followers
  • Facebook – 100 likes
  • LinkedIn – 50 connections and 10 followers on your company page
  • Pinterest – 25 followers
  • Instagram – 50 followers
  • YouTube (if you’re planning on monetizing your channel) – 10,000 views

On most of these, you need at least 100 followers to get decent analytics. However, with the general increase in social media usage, it may not take you that long.

It’s so overwhelming! Where do I start?

  1. Clearly define your target market. This free workbook will help.
  2. Do some research and figure out what interests your target, where they hang out and what keywords they’re most likely to use when searching for what you have to offer.
  3. Create target market personas based on your research.
  4. Set Goals.
  5. Develop a strategy to reach those goals.
  6. Determine your tactical plan to implement the strategy.
  7. Set-up, brand and optimize your social media profiles.
  8. Learn how to properly and EFFECTIVELY use the tools. Here’s where my 1:1 training will come in. I can guide you through your social media accounts and help you maximize them.
  9. Just do it. Implement, connect, build relationships, create and curate content.
  10. Monitor and measure. Check your analytics every month to see what’s working and not working. Then, adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.

If you build it they will come – NOT!

 

About the Author(s)

Giselle Aguiar, Social Media Marketing Consultant, Coach & Trainer at AZ Social Media Wiz

Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, content and digital marketing consultant and trainer. She specializes in market research, strategic planning, social media and marketing automation setups, training and coaching. She's been doing Internet marketing since 1995.

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Trainer and Coach, AZ Social Media Wiz
Social Media Usage Is Up: How to Grow Your Following and Reach!