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The Chinese New Year (aka Spring Festival, Lunar New Year) is very important to Asian communities around the world! What can your online shop do?
A thoughtful social media strategy can really build up your loyal customer base, and consequently boost the growth rate of your business. However, just like fashion trends, the ways to build an online community change over the years. That’s why it's important to keep track of the newest and most effective methods to win over your target audience. Algorithms, contests, influencers, storytelling, content. Today, you’ll learn all about the techniques that have proven successful when it comes to expanding your reach on social media.
Here is a basic table of contents in case you want to skip ahead:
Let’s take a look at social media trends that helped businesses grow their business in 2021:
Storytelling is somewhat of a secret weapon when it comes to social media, especially on YouTube. Some of the most famous American YouTubers excel at the art of storytelling, which has immediately increased both their number of views and subscribers!
Dan Harmon, the creator of the popular TV series “Rick and Morty” and “Community”, has put forward this technique, which is commonly represented by a circle with 8 steps.
Here is how the Story Circle works:
As Dan Harmon explains, it is necessary to go or rather to make your character go through these 8 steps in order to create a scenario that your followers won’t want to miss out on.
Here's how the Story Circle works:
🔹Step 1: Come up with a relatable character. They are in their comfort zone.
🔹Step 2: This character will need to have specific needs, dreams, desires, or goals.
🔹Step 3: They then enter an unfamiliar situation, trying to achieve their dreams or goals.
🔹Step 4: The challenges begin as the character needs to adapt to this new situation.
🔹Step 5: The character reaches their goal...
🔹Step 6: ...but has to pay a heavy price for it,...
🔹Step 7: …which allows them to return to their comfort zone once again.
🔹Step 8: However, the character has changed profoundly.
💡 Interested in this topic? Dan Harmon explains the logic of the Story Circle in this video more precisely:
Source: Adult Swim
Keep this strategy in mind when creating content. Of course, your content might not be that similar to a sci-fi adult cartoon show, but the highs and lows of the protagonists as well as the challenges they face can be helpful to keep in mind when trying to create engaging content.
Think that storytelling isn’t a strategy you want to go for?
Have you already started your own business or are you working in marketing? Do you need to rearrange and redesign your website?
Have you been developing a product for months or even years and now it's finally time to launch? Tell your story!
New in e-commerce after having experienced a massive setback or change? What if that was precisely the strength of your business?
Storytelling might just do the trick and help you build a strong connection with your followers and potential customers on social media.
UGC, which is short for User-Generated Content, has become more and more important in terms of social media marketing. Some even assume this strategy might even be the future of success on social media.
If your followers comment or even share your content, this feedback will appear to be more authentic content.
According to the social content marketing platform stackla, content that was generated by other users impacts 80% of consumers in their decision to purchase.
Why is that you may wonder?
Obviously, it’s because of the content’s authenticity. No one has been paid to speak highly of your products, your brand, or online-shop!
Customer reviews are, in fact, also user-generated content.
Want to learn more about user-generated content?
Check out our free whitepaper below! 👇
Although having social media contests isn’t a relatively new strategy, it has proven successful!
Contests and challenges are always a nice way to enhance both your communication and your visibility on the platform of choice.
Brands tend to almost exclusively organise competitions on social platforms to thank their followers or subscribers (e.g. when a certain number of people follow the brand, a new partnership was obtained etc.).
Competitions and challenges will create a bond of trust and engagement among your community and towards your brand.
Your followers are no longer just a number, but rather as people that feel appreciated.
Let’s now talk about how to get visibility for your contests on social media (and with that, your brand).
What kind of rules do you need to follow in order to run a competition or challenge?
Many brands operate by getting their followers to do a couple of things in order to participate.
In order to participate, you need to...
This strategy (listing the mentioned requirements) is still the best way to carry out a contest.
It allows you to:
🔹 have the platform’s algorithm work in your favour thanks to the engagement that your competition will generate through likes, comments, and shares.
🔹 grow your community as new people follow you brand’s profile or channel
🔹 increase visibility thanks to tags and mentions in comments, as well as the sharing of your content in the Stories (or other formats) of your followers
The advantages of organising contests therefore remain undeniably lucrative for you and your business!
Which platform to choose and why?
Try to be present on as many social media as possible. However, there is no point in choosing a social network if your target audience is not on it.
If you target, for example, men aged 45-75, there is little point in investing most of your social media marketing efforts on TikTok.
There are many platforms to choose from with different target audiences:
Creating a Buyer Persona to Better Understand Your Customers
Take the time to get to know how each of these platforms work and who uses them.
Either way, you should rely on the data of your analytics. If you have already set up business accounts on different social media, you already know that the business accounts give you access to certain data that will help you in terms of marketing and promoting products and sales.
With those tools at your disposal, you can easily check optimise your posting schedule for the best day and time in order to reach as many people as possible!
Millennials: the New Consumers and How They Can be Reached
It's important to learn about the kinds of content that perform best on the different platforms.
But if there is one thing that is certain, it is that nobody likes to see content that is impersonal and has no “realness”.
This already applies on Facebook and has even greater importance on Instagram.
To sum it up:
🔹 Facebook is an ideal channel when it comes to "classic" promotion and communication about your offers. Posts require less coordination and storytelling. Engagement among your community is created through discussions in the comment section.
🔹 On Instagram, the best way to promote your brand is to express your creativity. Work on the aesthetics of your posts and feed to create a nice channel for sharing content with your community. It's the perfect platform to improve your brand image.
🔹On TikTok, you mainly reach Millennials or users from Generation Z. Try, for example, to come up with challenges or other creative ideas that will make your content go viral (the reach is still high there!)
🔹On Twitter, hashtags are your friends and it's important to learn how to use them well to succeed on this platform.
While tailoring your content to the platform of choice is essential, it's also important to get on the radar of the algorithms.
Post as much as possible- aim for posts on a daily basis!
However, if you want to post several times in one day, especially on Instagram, don't do it one right after another.
Algorithms prefer content that is regular, but well spread out over the day. This rule also applies to the posting of content in your Story on Instagram (however to a lesser extent).
Also, keep in mind, that if you post content at different times during the same day, you will regularly reappear at the top of your followers' feed and thus increase your visibility.
The level of engagement (likes, comments, sharing of posts etc.) is important when it comes to promoting your brand’s profile on social media. The more engagement you create, the more often your post will appear in other people’s feeds.
You can for example:
🔹 Ask your followers questions under your posts to encourage them to comment. On Instagram, you can also offer little polls in your Stories.
🔹Repost the posts in which you have been tagged in order to encourage your followers to continue talking about you.
🔹Organise contests or challenges.
15 Content Ideas for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
This is very important in order to grow your audience on social media.
Invite your followers to follow you on your other networks as well!
How can you do that? Just use the platform that you’re already quite popular on. Include teasers in the content you post that will link to your other business profiles.
🔹Make YouTube videos. You have just released a video about the 3 main features of your flagship product. Promote your YouTube video on Instagram by shortly addressing these 3 features, but without going much into detail. The idea behind this is to be informative without going into detail, leaving your followers wanting to know more. Include a link to the actual YouTube video, so that your community on other platforms will also watch your YouTube videos.
🔹 If you are on TikTok and want to let people know you there, post your TikTok content on Instagram, as a Story or via the Instagram Reels format!
These are just some examples of what you can do in order to connect all of your social media business profiles and therefore grow your community.
If you follow the trends of the moment, you may find yourself building a community quickly, especially on TikTok.
However, a big social media community doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your followers will immediately want to become your customers.
🔺Note: Don’t confuse "community" with "number of followers”.
You need to create a community that resembles your company and its values. Never rely solely on trendy content. This applies for companies, but also for influencers.
If you’re following the current TikTok challenges, for example, you will certainly gain followers quickly. However, this just won’t make you stand out from your competitors in the long run.
💡If you want to use influencers to get your sales up and work on your brand image, the idea of working with influencers is still great. Just be careful and learn how to choose the right ones to promote your business!
Recommended Reading: How to Use Micro-targeting in E‑commerce
Be a niche-business.
What do we mean by niche? As you might expect, in order to stand out from other online businesses, we recommend you not to offer products that are “mainstream” or already oversold by competitors.
Ideally, refine your offer to one that will make you a niche in your market.
This will make it much easier for you to grow your community, as followers (and potential customers) will come to you.
Once again, it is your creativity and uniqueness that will make you stand out on social media.
Let’s assume you sell pet supplies and accessories. You might want to focus on one kind of pet, like dogs. Taking it a step further, you could focus on one breed of dogs (e.g. French Bulldog). If you produce great content around that breed, Bulldog-lovers will find you!
If you already sell unique products in a niche market, make sure that your offer isn’t too broad and that it remains consistent.
Beware of the risk of losing your brand’s purpose and identity by trying to offer more and more products to your customers.
So there you have it, you know all about the best techniques for growing your community on social media in a sustainable way.
Have you checked out our Instagram Whitepaper yet? Download it for free by clicking below!
This article was originally published and adapted from our French blog: 5 conseils pour créer une communauté sur les réseaux sociaux en 202120/05/21