The internet has created countless opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers and improve their brand presence. Websites like Twitter and Instagram provide a quick way to stay connected with your audience and keep them interested in your content.
But without a steady stream of traffic coming in consistently, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to grow your business. A lot can happen on a social media platform, and you need to be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities (and protect yourself from the pitfalls that come with them).
Here are some tactics you can use to harness the power of social media and build a strong following that will eventually lead to increased sales.
Create compelling content
When someone decides to follow you on social media, they’re doing so because they’re interested in what you have to say. When you put out compelling content that is of value to your audience, you’ll be able to build a relationship with them and convince them that your brand is worth following.
The most successful businesses on social media are the ones that consistently produce compelling content that is both informative and entertaining. If you want to learn more, here are some examples of how brands are using social media to gain popularity and grow their businesses:
The original chicken chain is now a billion-dollar company thanks in part to the success of its Twitter account. The profile boasts more than eight million followers and is frequently used to promote special offers and discounts.
The account regularly posts updates about new products and promos, such as the #EatClean campaign that encourages people to ‘go green’ by ordering a #KFC chicken bucket and using the leftover chicken for cooking lessons or taking photos with food that depicts your ingredients.
On the flip side, KFC’s Instagram account focuses mostly on food, with the majority of the content being restaurant photos with food that is both creative and Instagrammable. The average Instagram user tends to scroll past the ‘regular food’ and focus more on the dishes that are designed to be shared, liked, and commented on.
The apparel brand has a massive following on TikTok and other social media platforms due to the incredible success of its ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Started by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the campaign encourages individuals to ‘just do it,’ even if they don’t feel that they can achieve certain goals or follow a particular routine. This can inspire others to take action and believe that they can achieve their goals, even if it’s something as simple as walking down the street without holding a sign or wearing a certain brand of clothing.
Nike’s main account on TikTok is mostly dedicated to ‘Just Do It’ content, with some inspirational videos leading up to the holiday season and Christmas-themed content sprinkled in for good measure. But the majority of the content on this account is focused on inspiring people to exercise and eat healthy food, as well as stay motivated throughout their day-to-day lives. This kind of content is likely to resonate with their audience, who are mostly composed of Gen Z and millennials.
The iPhone maker has a pretty robust social media presence, with over 80 million followers across its various platforms. But it’s not all about smartphones — the company’s Apple Store is also incredibly active on TikTok, regularly posting behind-the-scenes footage of the products and processes that go into them. In other words, they’re using the platform to educate as well as entertain users.
The result is that people who follow Apple on TikTok are often curious about how their products work and how to use them, which could lead to a purchase down the line. In fact, a recent HubSpot study found that while social media users are generally more engaged with content that is educational, companies can still harness social media to promote their products.
If you want to build a following on TikTok, consider using a tool like InfluencerDB to find and follow other popular content creators, as well as potential industry leaders who you think might be interested in your product. You can then use the tool to keep an eye on your competitors and discover new potential markets that you might not have considered before.
The coffee chain is now owned by the German-based company, Starbucks. But even before the purchase, Starbucks had a pretty significant social media presence, with over 160 million followers across its various platforms. This kind of reach makes Starbucks the perfect example of a brand that can benefit greatly from the power of social media.
In 2018, Starbucks released a book called The Science of Starbucks, exploring the details of how influencers and brand ambassadors interact with their audiences on social media. It also delves into why certain tactics seem to work better for particular brands — and how you can use this to your advantage.
For instance, Starbucks’ Instagram account often posts about their coffee blends and the artistry behind them. But they’ve also posted about their collaborations and how they work with different brands to create new products. This is something that you might want to consider doing with some of your other accounts — whether it’s on TikTok or another social media platform.
The soda brand has a loyal following on TikTok, where its videos tend to trend toward the comedic and often feature popular comedians and music artists talking about the product. But even before the platform existed, Pepsi was already a well-known brand that attracted a significant following due to the creative nature of its ads and animated films. If you want to establish yourself as an industry leader by taking advantage of the popularity of memes on TikTok, consider creating humorous content that is tied to a product that your audience will appreciate. You can then use this content to gain an edge in a crowded marketplace.
Pepsi released a book in 2018 called Memoirs of a Soda Addict, revealing the company’s secret formula for ‘achieving that refreshing feeling when you drink a can of Pepsi’. Weighing in on why the brand continues to thrive, the book’s co-author, Regan Marchetti, said “Despite all the talk of sustainability, we rarely hear about the water used to make soda — a major contributor to climate change.”
The car manufacturer has been around for almost a century, but it’s only recently that they’ve really begun to take advantage of the internet and social media to gain attention and build a following. The company has a pretty minimalistic profile on TikTok, but it’s been a steady presence on the platform, regularly posting about new models and exciting offers.
In September 2018, they launched a YouTube channel, showcasing car reviews and new product unveilings. This is a great place for them to grow their audience, as there are already over 100 million car-related videos on the platform.
When you establish a mentor-student relationship with a content creator, you gain access to their audience and the ability to promote your products and services to people who are interested in what they have to say. For example, if you want to gain expertise in the field of photography, you can find a talented photographer who is willing to work with you one-on-one or in small groups, teaching you the ropes and helping you build your portfolio.
But finding a mentor is not the only way to go about establishing a relationship with a content creator. You can also reach out to them yourself, either via social media or email, and ask them if they’re interested in providing some content for your website or blog. This could lead to a more formal relationship, where you take on an apprentice to help them build their brand and get them noticed by potential employers.
The benefit of this type of relationship is that you gain not only the ability to get content for free, but you can use the content to promote their content and in turn, grow your own audience. And since they’ve given you permission to use their content for commercial purposes, they’re also helping build your brand — essentially, becoming your brand ambassador on social media. The more you post, the more they’ll post about you. It’s a win-win situation.
Just remember that these types of relationships can be beneficial for both parties — a win-win situation. If you want to convince people that you’re a trusted source of information, you can establish yourself as a leading expert in your industry and use your online reputation to negotiate more expensive deals with top-notch clients.