How do you grow your social media following?
The right kind that are not only your target customers but also raving, loyal fans?
You're about to find out how and see the power of a true and faithful following on social media.
Two days ago I posted one of my scented bacon necklaces on @tinyhandsjewelry Instagram account.
I know many people love bacon. But with respect, vegetarians, vegans and animal rights activists may not share that opinion:
I check in for comments an entire day later, only to find the conversation has figured itself out, without my interference.
My online friends and followers chimed in right away to support me:
When the shit hits the fan and something goes awry on social media, you can count on your brand ambassadors to help you out.
So when someone defames you publicly or trolls on your social media profiles, take a step back and don't respond.
Your raving fans, customers and loyal followers will defend your name because they support and love you.
What if you haven't gotten malicious or slanderous comments?
It's part of the package of being your own boss.
Building a loyal following on social media helps you fight off these people with ill intentions and they also help you spread the word about your shop.
So how do you go about gathering your group of raving fans?
Step 1: Be yourself
Don't try to be someone you're not.
Show off your personality, your fans want to know you.
I understand if you're cautious about putting yourself out there and I know that can feel scary.
People might judge you and you don't want to get hurt.
Building a successful creative business means polarizing the people that find you.
They are either your target customer or they're not.
You're unique and you have a voice that needs to be heard.
There are thousands of people out there waiting for you to stand up.
Putting yourself out there is like building a muscle. It requires practice and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
As a side effect, your social media engagement will increase because your fans will relate with you.
Step 2: Show vulnerability
In addition to peeling back the curtains, take it a step further and let people in your life.
You don't need to share every detail nor do you need to harp about your bad days all the time.
When done strategically, showing your vulnerability to your fans can build a stronger, more loyal following.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- If you make a mistake: fess up, apologize and provide a solution fit for royalty.
- Tell your fans a before and after story of yourself. For example, creating your art provides relief from a daily struggle.
Present and focus on the positive points so you don't sound like a whiner.
Having a loyal following requires that you build a relationship with your fans.
Be human, show expression and emotion so your fans can grow closer to you.
Step 3: Stand behind your values
Decide early on what causes and values you stand for.
Your values are what build your brand.
Don't be afraid to make a bold statement, if it means you're standing behind your beliefs.
Talk about what you value in your social media posts. You'll attract like-minded people who will appreciate your work.
Even the simplest ideas like these can help build your relationship with your fans:
- No devices during family meal times
- Recycle and use eco-friendly products to save the earth
- Justin Bieber forever
What do you value?
Share with your fans! Nothing builds camaraderie faster than finding things in common with one another.
Step 4: Give to your fans
Social media is all about giving to your fans.
The more you can give to them, the more they will trust you as their go to person for your given market.
If you're wondering what to say or what to post, I talk about this in a lot more detail in Handmade Marketing That Works.
In Dale Carnegie's best-selling book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, he talks about being interested in other people instead of trying to convince people to be interested in you.
Written almost a century ago, this rule applies to this day because it's rooted in human behavior and psychology.
So think of ways to serve your fans, give them content and information they like and enjoy.