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Developing an online brand, or a presence for your business seems like an easy task. You create a profile, fill in a few text boxes, upload a photo, and you're golden, right?
It can be easy to fall into posting-patterns or take the simple route with reposting other brands material. Once you start losing followers, you can quickly descend into a downward fan-based spiral.
The below are a few tips and tricks in order to keep your brand unique and your content relevant to your followers.
1. Post as much original content as possible.
It's important to understand the reasons someone might choose to follow your account. If you post your own original content, create material, or offer your take on news or events, then people who engage with you will have to follow your account as it's the only source of the material.
If you are constantly reposting or re-sharing other user's material, whilst it may prove popular by the amount of likes, you will gain very little traction with your user base. They might as well follow the creator directly, rather than you.
As a rule, try to ensure that at least 50 percent of what you post is your own content, or that you have at least added some value to the original posts.
The exception to this rule is if you are defining a profile which is solely there to curate collections—if you only post images and videos of close-up flowers, resharing others posts shouldn't be an issue as long as they are consistent with your theme.
2. Interact with your followers.
One of the defining aspects of social media, and a considerable reason for its success, is the ability for businesses and brands to engage directly with their followers.
This can be through tagging accounts, or hash tagging, competitions and, of course, comments.
Ensure you respond to any interaction people have with your account in a professional way that is representative of your brand.
If someone takes the time to follow your account, it can be a good idea to follow them back. Mutual engagement with each other's content will drive a longer, more in-depth relationship between you and your fans.
3. Grow your presence.
The use of hashtags can rapidly expand your online reach, but where used incorrectly can frustrate and alienate your followers.
Ensure the hashtags you use are relevant to the image you are posting. For example, don't just have a pre-written list of hashtags that you copy in to the description of every image. Take the time to write unique hashtags for each post, ensuring that each of your updates reaches the most relevant audience.
This will encourage users to engage with your post, and interact with the other content across your profile, including links and products driving the potential to start generating revenue from your online presence.
4. Stay genuine.
No one likes a sell-out. If you are going to talk about products, services, events or other influencers make sure that you stay true to your own opinion. If people have chosen to follow you, it's because they are interested in hearing what you have to say.
If you are reviewing products, offer your honest opinion, don't just use it as an opportunity to suck up to the brand or manufacturer. Brands don't want to see people posting fake or over-the-top content. They want to see people talking about the real reasons they use their product or service. This is much more believable to your followers and therefore much more relevant to your sponsors.
5. Stay consistent.
When people choose to follow or engage with a business or brand online, it's because they identify with it. This is why it's crucially important to define a theme and stick with it.
Some businesses go as far as to use the same filter on every photograph or to post in groups of three. Some brands are starting to use an entire Instagram feed as the equivalent of a magazine page, using multiple images to form one larger post.
Whatever you are doing, keep doing it, regularly. This will keep your followers engaged, and always on the look-out for your new material.
By following these five pointers, you will grow a strong follower base and unlock the earning potential of social media!
Let us know how you get on!