10 Keys to Start Building your Social Media Presence TODAY!
by Russell Nohelty
We're very excited to welcome Russell Nohelty to the control centre for this guest post. This is a sneak peak from Issue 05 of Follow Magazine. Russell has a wealth of experience in the art marketing space and shares his wisdom with you no holds barred.
It’s incredibly easy to build a social media presence. It’s like stupid easy. Unfortunately, it’s only easy if you know the rules. Most people want to hide the rules behind a pay wall, but not me.
I’m going to show you the code beneath the Matrix. I’m going to unveil to you my rule book. This is not every tip, trick, and hack I’ve learned. These are just the quickest ones. The ones that can move the needle for you today. You can read this article, implement one or all of these keys, and start getting followers within an hour.
Enough of me talking. Let’s get to giving you what you need.
1. Use the Twitter Search Feature
In order to find more people in your target audience, use Twitter’s search feature to look for people that are hashtagging or mentioning things that are relevant to your target market.
For instance, if you are an artist then somebody that hashtags #art, #artist, #painting, or #drawing might be relevant to your audience. If you are more politically minded you might search for #occupy, #politics, #election, or #blacklivesmatter.
Regardless of your expertise, you can use Twitter’s search function to find people in your audience and follow them. If you are writing quality content, they will likely follow you back. If not, then you can engage with them until they do.
2. Start Using Buzzsumo
In order to find quality content to share start using Buzzsumo ASAP. Buzzsumo is an aggregator of the most shared content on the internet. They count retweets, Facebook shares, and more in every conceivable content category.
By using Buzzsumo you can find the content your audience wants, share it with them, and turn yourself into THE expert in your field. The more people that retweet or share content you post, the better chance you have of finding a new audience and growing your brand.
3. Steal Audiences from your Brand Leaders
This is an advanced move, but it’s one of the best. You need to find the people in your space who are brand leaders or influencers. These will be the people with the most followers, the best engagement, and therefore the most rabid fan base.
Finding them is easy because they are everywhere. They are probably the authors of the Buzzsumo pieces you found, and they are certainly going to show up through your other searches. You might even know who they are because you followed them when you started. Maybe you are still following them now. They have the perfect audience to target in order to build your brand.
If you are using relevant content and tagging properly, all you have to do is follow the people that follow those brand leaders and a significant percentage will follow you back. The more relevant you are to their interests, the better chance you have of gaining massive followers.
4. Start Your Website
You can’t monetize an audience with a Tumblr profile and Twitter name. You need a website that looks great. Somewhere that your followers can congregate and learn more about your brand.
You can buy a hosting package really cheap from Bluehost, which is where I host my podcast The Business of Art. They have one click Wordpress installs which I love. Remember, you are running a business and businesses need a presence online.
The side benefits to a website are that you can start collecting emails, retargeting ads to viewers, and building your SEO so that search engines find you first. None of that is possible if you don’t have a website. Leaders have their own little corner of the internet that they claim. If you want to be a leader, you need one too.
5. Choose Three Platforms to Master
Nobody trusts people with three followers on ten sites. They want to follow somebody that dominates a platform. So you need to dominate every platform you use. That means cutting down to a few platforms that are right for your audience. You don’t have to be a jack of all trades. You need to be a master of a few.
Plus, if you only have to worry about a couple platforms then you won’t get overwhelmed. One of the biggest problems I find with new entrepreneurs is marketing overwhelm by dealing with a dozen platforms at once.
The easiest way to find out where you should concentrate your efforts is to stalk your influencers and see where they are strongest and most active. At the bottom of all their articles they will tell readers where to find them. You can assume that is where they are strongest. Then you can confidently assume that is where you should spend your time too.
Because that is where their audience hangs out and it’s safe to assume that’s where your audience hangs out.
6. Buffer Your Posts
Most entrepreneurs are constantly burnt out with social media marketing. They feel it’s on them to freshly make every post in the moment, all day. That’s not true. You can schedule out all your posts for an entire week, month, or even year.
If you use something like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule your posts in advance. That way if you get busy, or you just aren’t feeling it, your social is still working for you. There’s nothing worse than a dead account. It kills business.
7. Set up Sumome on your Site
Social really isn’t about the fans who follow you. It’s about making the fans who follow you take action. It’s about driving fans somewhere.
That somewhere is your webpage.
Your webpage is home base for your fans. When you drive fans to your site, you need a way to collect their emails to keep them engaged. Email is still king when it comes to marketing.
I recommend the Welcome Mat from Sumome. I’ve tried a lot of email collection options in the past and the Welcome Mat from Sumome is 3x more effective than any other method I’ve tried.
Make sure to entice your fans with a free offer in order to supercharge your sign ups. The more relevant your free offer is to your audience, the more likely they are to sign up.
8. Start a Newsletter
Once you’ve started collecting emails, you need to do something with them. People that sign up are interested in learning more about you. They want to engage with your brand. They want to find out new information about cool offers you have.
In order for them to learn about you, you need to send them emails to build their engagement. There are lots of free newsletter creation sites, but my favorite is Mailchimp. I pay for their service, but they do offer it free for up to 2000 subscribers.
I recommend sending out an email to your fans weekly, but at least monthly. Otherwise you will fade from their memory.
If you pay, you can use their auto responder sequences which are game changing.
9. Start your Twitter and Instagram Auto responders with Crowdfire
I know it seems like a hokey thing to do, but auto responders work when you can’t. They are the way you can connect with your audience and make sure every new follower has a personal introduction.
And it’s free through Crowdfire…as long as you are okay with it saying via Crowdfire after every message. You can pay to remove that, but you absolutely do not have to do that.
10. Provide Incredible Value
At the end of the day, all of these tips are worthless if you aren’t creating value for your audience BEFORE you ask them to buy.
You have to do the work so your audience knows, likes, and trusts you. Only then will they make a buying decision. Whether it’s a blog that gives practical insights, or a web comic, or infographics, you must come from a place of service if you want to build a social media presence.
And that’s it. None of them are particularly hard, but they are time intensive. That’s what life is about though, trading time for money. If you have some dollars to spend I highly recommend using the auto responder sequences and automating as much as possible. You want to be working on your business, not in your business.
Remember, none of this is going to lead to money today. Audience building is about long term growth over time. The bigger your audience, the more you can monetize it in the future.
Russell Nohelty is a publisher, writer, and consultant. He runs the small press Wannabe Press (www.wannabepress.com) and hosts the twice weekly podcast The Business of Art (www.thebusinessofart.us). You can find him on twitter or Instagram @russellnohelty.