One thing I often harp on is focusing on one social media network, instead of spreading yourself too thin. When you try to put little bits of time on each network, you end up seeing few results and thinking that social media doesn’t “work.” When in reality, you need a tighter strategy and more focused effort on each platform. But what small business owner has time to spend focused effort in 5 different places?
On the flip side of that coin is that social media is always changing… and what happens when you’ve put all of your eggs in one basket… all to have the rug pulled out from under you with a change that affects your reach and engagement with the fans you’ve worked hard to curate (like an algorithm).
It’s a delicate balance between spending your time wisely to preserve your sanity, and trying to diversify your traffic sources so it’s not feast or famine if and when there is a major change on your social network of choice.
Most people talk about building your email list as a way to mitigate the risk of “losing” your audience. Build your social media audiences, but continuously try to funnel them to an email list. You “own” the contacts on your email list, but you never own a follower on social media – the social media network does. This is definitely wise!
However, I think a second way to mitigate this risk is to encourage your fans to follow you on more than one platform. We should not be putting identical content on each social network, so there shouldn’t be too much overlap. We can post the same blog posts, images, updates, etc… but always optimized for the platform that you are posting on.
Last year I focused my efforts on Instagram, but in looking forward to the day that Instagram my incorporate an algorithm (which is actually happening now), I thought that I should put some effort in to growing my other social media platforms as well… but without the intense amount of effort that I was putting into my Instagram presence.
The key to encouraging fans to follow you in a second place is unique value. It’s not enough to just say, “Follow me on Pinterest,” or “Like my Facebook page for updates!” You can certainly do that from time to time, but to truly grow your other platforms out of your current audience, you need a strategy for offering unique value on those other platforms.Having fans that follow you on multiple social networks helps cement relationships. Click To Tweet
Last December, I managed to grow my Facebook page by 20%, while also getting three times the normal level of engagement… and I did it all for free! The engagement rate was exciting, because engagement is important to your page’s organic reach. The more people interact with your content, the more it is pushed out in to the news feed.
In order to get people to follow yet another Facebook page, I knew that I needed a compelling reason to click over… but also to stay. I came up with the idea for a challenge, “12 Days of Instagram Growth Hacks.” Each day I would post a simple challenge for the participants to incorporate in their Instagram strategy. Each challenge needed to be something that could be implemented in just a couple of minutes, but would deliver a noticeable payoff.
If the challenges took too much time to complete, people would drop off because of overwhelm. If the challenge didn’t deliver an immediate result, why would anyone come back for the second challenge?
I began promoting the challenge series about a week before it started. I posted it on Instagram, with a link to my Facebook page pasted in my Instagram bio. Then each day leading up to the challenge start, I would put just a one-liner at the end of each Instagram post saying, “did you see the challenge that starts next week?” I also emailed my list and scheduled a couple of tweets but my main promotional push was on Instagram.
During the promotion, I made sure to be posting high-quality content on my Facebook page so that my new followers would see that I was actively delivering value already.
When the challenge started, I posted one challenge each day. I ended each post by asking people to comment that they completed the challenge, just for accountability. However, their comments helped to make my posts look highly engaging, pushing the posts organically out to my other, existing Facebook fans as well.
Even after the challenge had started, I promoted the challenge series on Instagram to bring in any stragglers. When the challenge was over, I continued to post daily and I did not notice a spike in page unlikes.
When all was said and done, I had grown my page likes by over 20%. My engagement rate for December was well over 11%, which was 3 times my engagement rate for November. To this day, my page enjoys an above average organic reach… but it all starts with engagement! Throughout the course of the challenge series, I used several smart engagement tactics (see below to download the cheat sheet of the strategies I used to increase facebook engagement), and continued to really focus on building engagement in the time after.
Can you see how challenges and unique content can invigorate your Facebook page, bring in new fans, and boost your engagement? What are your strategies for moving your fans to your other social media platforms?
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!