We all know that growing our social media presence is the linchpin of increasing brand awareness, engagement, traffic, and conversion rates. And I’m sure you’ve figured out that increasing your social following and engagement takes much more work than just posting at random, tagging a few folks, and calling it a day.

But instead of obsessing about numbers, we suggest you take a “quality over quantity” approach, treating your social media engagement like you would an important dinner party. Your goal isn’t to cram your space with random people, but to offer a select audience an intimate, memorable experience with quality entertainment and engaging conversation.

But where to start?

Here are the top 10 tried and true methods to establish your brand’s social as “the place to be” that will have your customers, new and old, lining up at the door.

1. Know your Audience

If you were planning a menu to dazzle your guests, you would first need to know who your guests were. Profiling your audience is crucial to understanding what kind of content they will enjoy, the ideal time to present that content, and what ambiance you should provide with your tone and voice. Long/short, you need to know who to serve, to know what to serve.

Define your persona and you start to visualize who you are talking to and what they want.  Extremely detailed testing is necessary to identify optimal social leverage.

2. Set your Strategy

Posting content without a strategy is like trying to pull off a fancy French entree without a recipe. You need to be clear on what your brand is trying to accomplish or your efforts will fall flat. Some goals to consider might be, are you trying to change public perception of your brand, recruit new customers, collect feedback on new products, or educate your audience?

Vans footwear, for example, is going to have a very different strategy than Manolo Blahnik that drives their content. Van’s content is targeting daring, hip youth to represent their products, while Manolo Blahnik is aiming to showcase its luxury designs and artisan craftsmanship.

3. To Lead, You Must Follow

One of the first things you should do to establish your authenticity and build your presence is to follow other relevant brands and personal accounts. Many of those you follow will immediately follow you back and others will follow suit if you actively engage with their posts and comments.

Aim to comment and like pages that speak your authentic language. Consumers get a thrill out of a brand recognizing them and take interest of the curious stranger peeking into their window of life.

4. Content is King, but Connection is Key

Simply posting content and “liking” people’s comments will not bring people to your door. To attract new followers and build quality, lasting relationships with them, you need to be proactive and offer meaningful ways to connect. Take the time to personally respond to comments, and post thoughtful comments on others’ posts and stories. You can also integrate interactive polls, quizzes, and contests into your posts to further connect with followers.

5. Consistency, Always

Another proven social tactic among top-performing brands is consistency. A study by Buffer found that posting 3 times a day on Twitter drives the highest engagement, on Facebook, once a day is best, and on Instagram, 1-2 posts is ideal.

But fitting in the time to post the perfect content at the perfect time gets challenging when we are trying to run a business and juggle multiple social media channels.  This is where scheduling software like Sprout Social or Hootesuite can be a game-changer to stay on top of your posts and maximize reach.

6. Hashtags are your Superpower

If you are serious about growing your following and engagements, then you need to get serious about your hashtags. Followers engage with hashtags, plain and simple. Recent Instagram statistics reveal that posts including at least one hashtag score more engagement than those that have none.

As expected, there is a science to using hashtags as well; you want to choose ones that speak your customers’ language, are popular enough to get used, but not so popular that your posts will get lost in the shuffle. And you want to make sure you are including the right amount of hashtags to capture attention, but not too many so that you come across as spammy. (The sweet spot seems to be between 2-5 for Instagram and 1-2 for twitter)

You also want to create your own branded hashtags to attract followers and promote your brand, always including them in comments and asking others to share them when it feels organic and appropriate.

7. When in Doubt, Get Visual

No matter where you’re posting, photo and video content are killing it right now. Instagram’s image-based platform is exploding, Facebook’s live videos get 6 times the engagement than any other type of content, and tweets with video attract 10 times more engagements than Tweets without video. Enough said.

8. It Pays to Pay

If you want to amp up your social media presence, you can used paid promotions to reach a wider, more targeted audience based on location, demographics, and interests. And the best part is, paid ads are often cheaper than other types of marketing.

You can also leverage influencer marketing by collaborating with a few relevant social media influencers, an approach that is proving to have an off-the-charts ROI!

9. Safety in 3’s

Still not sure where to start? The “3x3x3 method” is a great way to start integrating quality social media time into your schedule. The approach is simple:

  • Follow 3 new accounts in your target market a day
  • Comment on 3 accounts you follow a day
  • Tag 3 relevant accounts to your daily posts

10. Monitor & Analyze your Results

Brands often skip this step, which is essential for assessing whether all your hard work is actually paying off. There are lots of analytical tools out there to help you identify your top-performing content and performance trends. This data will help you treat social media strategy more like a science and less like throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Growing your social media presence may seem daunting at first, but if you focus on putting the “social” back into your social with these 10 steps, your honored guests will be coming back for more and inviting their friends to join them.



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