Social Media Growth – Pt 1

If you are trying to grow as a content creator, an oft-neglected but crucially important part is understanding and utilizing social media. Social media is free advertising – not just for your content, but for you. You get to showcase who you are and what you have to offer as a content creator, to an audience you get to self curate and grow. When utilized properly, this allows you to expand your reach, promote yourself, and grow a community that will engage with and support your content. But how do you properly use social media to grow? I can’t claim to have ALL the answers, but I definitely can give you examples of techniques that have helped me grow my social media exponentially over the last several months. We are going to deep dive into one of these techniques today, and I will be back in a week or two with the next steps you should take to continue your social media journey!

Curating Your Audience

This step is the most time-intensive at first, but quickly grows to become automatic. What do I mean by curating your audience? I mean finding the type of people who will be most likely to enjoy and find value in your content. An often misunderstood aspect of content creation is the concept of value-driven content. When you boil it down to its simplest form, all content needs to add value in some way. This can be by simply being entertaining, by being educational, by being humorous, or some combination of these things. The content you create needs to add value for people – but it doesn’t need to add value for everyone. This is what I mean when I say we are going to curate our audience. We are going to narrow down our scope, determine exactly what kind of content creator you’re going to be, then help you find an audience that’s going to love and engage and find value in the content you’re creating. Let’s dive into it!

So the first part of this is probably the most important – we need to determine what kind of content creator you’re going to be. Pull out a piece of paper and a pen/pencil – archaic, I know. But I find when I use pen and paper, it makes it easier for me to let my thoughts flow organically. Now, start making a list – what kind of content do you personally enjoy? What content creators do you admire? What kind of content do you find the most engaging, that makes you want to share it with friends and talk about it in the comments? From here, you can boil it down to a core combination of attributes that will be YOU as a content creator. I highly, highly recommend that you make this something you do regularly, to help you reassess and determine what kind of content you should be making. Embrace it, and get fired up about it! Only after doing this should you move on to the next step I’m going to outline here.

Now let’s start curating your audience. Please, remember as you’re doing this – you are a person, and the people you’ll engage with on social media are as well. It’s not about an arbitrary number. If you have 12,000 followers, but not a single one of them connects with your content or cares what you have to say, or feels connected with you on some level, then you might as well have zero. What we are trying to do is connect with people, and find an audience that genuinely cares and enjoys you as a person. If you start following the advice I give here, without actually offering value or engaging with people, you will not experience the success that you’re capable of having. TAKE THE TIME to build relationships! Show people what you have to offer!

Now, let’s get into it! The first thing I recommend doing is pulling out that list you made earlier (you DID make a list, right? If not, start over and try again!). On that list should be a list of content creators that you connect with and admire. If these are people you connect with and admire, the likelihood their followers will connect with you as well is extremely high. So step one – engage with their followers and their content. Let me emphasize something – do not go into this only with the intention of snagging all their followers. Your goal should be to be a valuable part of their community and the conversation. Like comments that you find valuable. Respond back to people that engage with you. Follow people that add to the conversation in a way that you find meaningful. Make it your goal to engage with and follow at least 20 people a day from other communities that you genuinely like and want to engage with. X(formerly known as Twitter) is a great place to do this. 

After you follow these 20 people, they shouldn’t just be a random face on your feed that you ignore unless they engage with your content. Set aside time EVERY DAY to see what they have to say, what they’re up to, like and comment on their posts that you enjoy, and be a part of the ongoing conversation. The goal here is simple – Build relationships! Add value! To be successful as a content creator, it’s important to be someone that adds value to your audience. So add value! Be a part of the community that surrounds your chosen content. And most important – BE AUTHENTIC. I don’t do this with the sole goal of growing my audience. That’s a benefit, sure, but should never be the reason. The more invested you are, the more you actually care, and the more you’ll get back. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you want a giving, supportive community…you need to be giving and supportive as well. It’s that simple.

And that is going to be it for now. Remember – you get back what you put out into the world. Don’t do the above steps if your only goal is to have more followers. Do it because you want to be a part of a supportive, wholesome community that will grow with you as you grow as a creator. Next time, we will go over the type of content you can post to social media that will add value to your community and continue to help you grow. Until next time, stay Hype!

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