Social media is forging a new path in 2022. You could get by with overly-templated posts in the past, ignoring how people engage on different apps. Now we have spaces with a distinct culture: TikTok. Clubhouse. Whatever the metaverse promises to be.
Now more than ever, you need a social media plan. With dozens of apps to explore, marketing a business or growing a personal brand is a slow, layered process.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada shares growth tips and strategies for building digital communities. He highlights the importance of consistency on social media and finding a niche to dominate. No matter your goals, every marketer, influencer and entrepreneur will find something valuable here.
Get started today with six tips for rapid social media growth.
1. Start with just one platform.
The first rule of social media dominance is to focus. You can’t be on every platform at once, at least not at first. Connecting with people in one place is better than splitting your attention between six different apps.
Plus, have you seen the number of apps these days? The options are overwhelming.
You can join:
Podcast networks (e.g., Spotify)
Tristan’s top five apps are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn. Millions of people engage in those spaces, so they’re perfect for attracting a large audience. Just remember that the best platform for you isn’t the most downloaded app; it’s the space where you can easily find your target audience.
2. Find your niche.
In 2022, finding your niche on social media is a must. You want to attract like-minded people, not random followers who don’t view your content or make purchases. You should spend time identifying which community you belong to, whether that’s dads looking for trail running shoes or teens who love mobile gaming.
“You’re not covering a whole world here with your message,” Ahumada says. “You’ve got to identify your audience, and you’ve got to jump into that niche, and say, ‘Hey, this is what I’m talking about.’”
When you find the right niche, stick to it. Social growth gets easier with focused content that continually speaks to your audience.
3. Get comfortable telling stories—lots of them.
Good marketing is essentially good storytelling. If you can tell a fantastical tale, one that paints your audience as heroes on a noble quest, your social media channels will grow. It’s really that simple. People connect through sharing stories and seeing themselves represented in a positive light.
“This is how growth will happen,” Ahumada says. “As you start engaging in these posts and in your feed, I want you to start thinking, ‘What can I give out to these platforms to be able to tell my story and connect with people?’ And it’s the three F’s: feelings, facts and fun.”
If you get at least two out of three in every post, you’re doing something right, Ahumada says.
4. Leverage the power of influencer marketing.
You know that one influencer you always see on your feed? The one who posts within your niche and gets mounds of engagement? Send an email to that person in 2022. Ask about their rates and whether they’ll market some of your products to their audience.
You wouldn’t be the only person reaching out, by the way. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 90% of brands believe in the power of influencer marketing.
“If you want to grow your business, find an influencer,” Ahumada says. “There’s an influencer for everything. Find one to help you grow, and not just one [person]; I would challenge you this year to say, ‘Who else can [I] hire to come in and push that product out?’”
5. Repurpose content across social media.
Posting identical content on every platform is a bad idea. Digital communities have a distinct culture, and they don’t respond to the same conversations or even the same conversation style. Transform your content to blend with any platform and the people who inhabit it.
For example, you can do a lot with one YouTube video. Eventually, that video becomes a blog post, which condenses to a Twitter thread, which shrinks to a TikTok or Instagram Reels script. Even podcast creators have a plan for their content. Full visual episodes are perfect for YouTube, while sound bites and video clips go to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
6. Build your social media team.
Lastly, don’t try to go it alone on social media. It’s like New York City: loud, crowded and up all night. You need help navigating those 24/7 spaces.
“You want to grow this? You want to make this a real business? You need a team,” Ahumada says.
By a team, Ahumada doesn’t mean a social media manager who handles every profile. Every time you join a new platform, you need someone to oversee and manage that community.
Imagine a Facebook manager having to suddenly create TikToks. That’s a major platform shift. Now that person has to track trending audio clips and muster the courage to dance for 60 seconds. You’re better off hiring someone who excels in that area.
Your social media plan for 2022 depends on your audience and what you want to accomplish overall. But for any type of goal—entertainment, marketing, selling goods—you have to build a following first.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.