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How to Reach a Wider Audience on Social Media

Businesses are on social media for a pretty singular reason – connect with an ever-widening audience and thus get new customers. How they do that, or rather, how well they do that is the difference between an account that sits out there with a low or static readership and one that has an ever-increasing number of visitors. And if those visitors ultimately become customers, the social media marketing campaign is obviously working.

So, exactly how do businesses grow their audience? The answer lies in two major elements:

  1. How each social media platform is utilized, and
  2. the type of content is published on those platforms

Things you'll need

  • Social Platform - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Visual Channels - Instagram and Pinterest
1

Facebook

Facebook is by far the most popular social media venue, with 1.79 billion active members worldwide.

How to Share Content on Facebook

Whatever you post – video, photos with some text, a portion of a blog post with a link – here are some solid guidelines that have worked for others.

  • Post each piece of content one time in the first 24-hours.
  • Many businesses post 2-3 times a day but always different content
  • Re-post original content in an updated form. – you can do this 3-4 times a week, as long as you can vary it. A blog post might be turned into an infographic, video, or images, for example. You then appeal to different audiences.
  • When you re-post, use a different headline
  • Each of your team members can also post the original and all variations on their pages. This boosts visibility.
2

Twitter

Twitter is a different “ballgame.” Because you will be using small chunks of text, you can

  • tweet at least 3-4 times a day., but not back-to-back.
  • Retweet content from others or other updates in between.
  • Use different hashtags each time you tweet your original content.
  • Now that you can embed videos, make use of that feature – as much as possible
  • Try to stimulate conversations with your tweets – ask questions and for opinions. Ask a survey question or post a riddle with a prize attached.
  • Tweets have a lifespan of about two hours, so you have a lot of latitude with re-tweeting the same content.

 Nathan Chan of Foundr Magazine tweets as much as 6-7 times a day. In fact, Twitter was the only social media platform he used when he launched his magazine – he tweeted as many as 12-16 times a day – all different or variations.

If you are going to use Twitter as a major marketing tool, get a theme – inspirational quotes as Chan used, a joke of the day, etc. And use great visuals as background. Followers will return to see what you have next and are far more apt to share. The point is not to be too self-promotional, other than being certain to add a link to your site. And if most of your content stays away from selling, you can post those occasional discounts and special offers in between your thematic tweets.

3

Instagram and Pinterest – The Visual Channels

These two channels are great for posting a cool blog post image. Find a relevant pinboard and post in your Instagram feed, once your blog post has been published. Two guidelines:

  • Post to Instagram if your target audience is younger
  • Post to Pinterest if your target audience is older and/or female

If you post images with the intent of driving viewers to your site, which of course is what want to do, the make your images compelling – maybe a couple of images from an explainer or how-to video on your blog. ModCloth, a women’s clothier, posts images of its customers wearing items they have purchased. These are shared a lot.

4

LinkedIn

Obviously, for professional services and B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a great place to post two types of content:

  • Post content links on your profile
  • Publish long-form posts on LinkedIn Publisher

Members of your team should also have profiles and should be posting. You can set up a schedule, and widens your reach, with multiple posters.

5

Run Your Analytics

You will not know which of your social media marketing strategies and platforms are working unless you run your analytics. If something is not working, then considering either dumping that platform or remodeling what you are doing. Better to focus on two platforms that are performing well than to try to cover all of the bases.

6

Time to Post

Knowing when and how to post on each platform is important. And trying new platforms in order to extend your audience reach is something that should certainly be explored and tested. But in the end, all of the perfect channels, times, and strategies are useless without content that compels followers and visitors to share. Fortunately, research has provided some answers to the types of content that spread.

7

Content Part

Knowing when and how to post on each platform is important. And trying new platforms in order to extend your audience reach is something that should certainly be explored and tested. But in the end, all of the perfect channels, times, and strategies are useless without content that compels followers and visitors to share. Fortunately, research has provided some answers to the types of content that spread.

8

A Unique Brand Voice

Brands cannot be bland. They have to have personality. And that personality is developed through the voices of the content marketers who are creating the content. Many businesses with a boring product or service have gathered huge followings and continual new audience members by adding humor. For example, razor blades are boring. Everyone uses them, but whoever thinks of them as fun? Dollar Shave Club does, and its social media pages are full of fun stuff, not to mention that it has one of the best websites for a boring product, beginning with the explainer video on its landing page.

Decide on a personality for your brand. Your content should all promote that personality. When you solidify that unique voice, you will have an established brand following. To get that following to spread your brand to new audiences, you must have highly engaging content that they will look “smart” sharing with others.

9

Contests

This is one of the fastest ways to gain new audience members. Promote an upcoming contest and the prizes (make them valuable); on launch day, publish several posts on all of your channels; throughout the duration of the contest, post reminders. When that contest is over, feature the winners and announce the next one.

10

Promotions with a Payback

If you have a great promotion, it is certainly something you will want to post all over your platforms. This is fine periodically, so long as you don’t overdo it. But to qualify for that huge discount, a viewer must share the post with his/her community. And if it is attractive enough, many of those community members will share too.

11

Use Social Media for Customer Service

Customers do have complaints and issues. Many of them share those on social media, so why not go where they share them, resolve them, and do it publicly? You will of course need social monitoring tools so that you are alerted whenever your brand is mentioned, and you will need to monitor your own platforms daily. While Facebook has been the primary platform for complaint posting, Twitter is becoming more popular for companies to manage fast customer service.

Further information

Especially on LinkedIn, businesses can use their presence to connect with potential customers, establish relationships, and network, in order to extend their reach.

Many businesses have products and services that new and small businesses will need and want. If, for example, a company has payroll and tax SaaS that it markets to businesses of all sizes, developing a free or low-cost product for startups is perfect. Those startups e.g. trustmypaper are all over social media marketing themselves. Find them, join in conversations, and ultimately pitch your product. As that business scales, it can stay with you, purchasing higher levels of your product as needed. If you gain solid loyalty from these small businesses, they will recommend you to others.

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Page last edited Jul 20, 2017 History

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