How To Grow Your Social Media
Social media, like your business, takes time to grow. When you place your shingle on the door which reads open for business, it is only a symbol. It’s the first step toward a long road to photographic success. When you open a Twitter account, or any social media, it’s the same path. It’s the first step on a long road of hard work before your social media channel is an effective tool.
What type of tools does social media represent? For most, it’s an effective real-time communication channel. It allows you to amplify your voice. Social media is an excellent distribution channel of your work, messages and community focused content. Many channels work well as a customer service tool, which helps you understand and react to your current and potential customers. However, no matter how you use social media, you need to build the audience before you need it.
I use two concepts which help guide my social media development. One is the solar system method and the other is the snowball effect. Both are powerful tools which help to keep me on track. The solar system method helps me plan a strategy and the snowball effect gives me insight into how much work I need to do to meet my social media goals.
Solar System Method
This system helps you plan. There are multiple ways to approach the solar system method. I’ll first share my traditional explanation. After, I’ll explain how I use it to develop my YouTube channel. Actually, this plan can be adapted to any social media channel you wish to grow.
At the center of your solar system is your sun or website. This is where you sell. It’s the center point of everything you do online. For most of us, its our portfolio and contact information. Near your sun is the closest planet, which is your blog. The blog represents your personality. The next group of orbiting planets are your inner planets. These are multimedia sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, 500px, podcasts etc. Here you draw content for your outer planets. Your outer planets are where you engage and develop community.
The goal is to network and connect with people to drive interested prospects to your inner planets, blog and ultimately your sun, where you convert (or sell).
It’s good to start simply with your sun (website), a blog, one inner planet and maybe a couple outer planets. Over time you can add more planets as you are more comfortable and test additional options.
The solar system method allows you to visualize how you approach your social media or marketing strategy. I have a video on the topic below.
Solar system method: https://youtu.be/iprOeDlm_qk
I use the solar system method to organize my YouTube channel growth plan. Rather than use the website as my sun, my YouTube channel is the star. I use my blog to share relevant videos for blog posts like this one. The videos also help improve the quality of my blog posts and offer a positive SEO side benefit. I share my videos on various social media to see which ones drive traffic. To my surprise, Quora has become a new favorite place to answer questions with my videos.
Your solar system can contain more than social media platforms. You can include SEO (search engine optimization), email — which I like to call asteroids, or any tool which drives traffic to your website.
If you want to grow your social media channels, you need to look at the long view. The people who win at social media are the ones who post often, consistently, and outlast others with quality content over time.
The snowball method helps to guide you as to how much work you need to do to met your goals. Social media really does grow like a snowball or compound interest. I recommend you set a long-term goal and figure out how long it will take you to get there by compounding your new monthly followers. You can use a simple spreadsheet to figure this out. For example, if you have 100 followers and grow 20% over the next month, you will have 120 followers. Then, at the end of the next month you will have 144 followers, if you add another 20%, and so on.
If you start on January first with 100 followers and your goal is 100,000. You can figure out how much work you need to do and how long it will take to achieve it. So, if you want to reach 100,000 at 20% compounding monthly, it will take a little over 2 1/2 years.
Some months are painful with 3% growth, while other months you feel like a social media god with 35% growth. Over time you begin to understand what works, what your audience wants, platform limitations, and the posts which give you the most bang for your time. No mater the platform, I suggest you test to gauge and understand what it takes to grow a specific account.
Once you get going, you have a basic understanding how much work you need to do to meet your goals. You may find you can only grow your Facebook Page 10% per month, while your Instagram channel grows 25%. However, you may have more engagement on one platform over another, even if it grows slower.
Followers are nice, however, your goal may be leads or sales. This is why careful examination and testing is important. It gives you a sense of how many and what type of posts lead to your conversion goals.
Of course, I have a new video on this topic the social media snowball. Link: Social Media Snow Ball.
Growing Your Social Media
Throwing snowballs at the sun is a technical plan to grow your social media. Your creativity plays a big role in how well social media works for you. Branding and employing the best practices for each channel platform also plays a part in the growth of your social media.
Quality social media growth takes time. You can do it with a plan, engagement and patience.