Six Tips for Growing a Social Media Platform

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Tracey Stapleton
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Six Tips for Growing a Social Media Platform

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Top Takeaways from SocialDay 2024 by Katie Pezzack

Last week I was at SocialDay, the Social Media Marketing Event, to find out all the latest insights for our clients. With 11 talks from leading industry experts, this event offered a wide array of interesting information and inspiration.

Here is a roundup of key takeaways from the event:

  1. Build a community

Many of the different industry experts shared the same key message which was that people want to feel like they are a part of a community.  Therefore, the more you can build a community within your social channels, the more your followers, likes and interactions will grow.

Jessica Massengo from TheSoul Publishing explained that the best way to do this is through sharing experiences that your followers will be able to relate to, by giving and receiving support from your followers, and by posting consistently. Bring your followers into your brand so they feel a part of it, instead of leaving them to feel like they are watching from the outside. Some examples of doing this are replying to comments and messages, holding Instagram Lives and by asking your followers questions in the captions of posts, or on stories, to invite them to engage.  Social media is a conversation platform, don’t just talk at them.

Ultimately, the more you can engage with your audience the more a community will be built.

  1. Learn your audience

The best way to grow your following is by getting to know your audience and then steering your content to what they like. See what type of posts gets the highest amount of engagement and prioritise these. If something works once, use it again!

Your content should be highly specific and targeted towards your demographic.

Annie-Mai Hodge from Girl Power Marketing is a great example of this as she has built a large following on LinkedIn based on posting relatable memes about working in marketing. She knows that most of her followers work in this industry and so will relate to and engage with the funny posts she uploads. 

  1. Show personality

 Another big takeaway was how important it is for your brand to have a clear voice and personality. Ultimately, people are not interested in seeing pictures of your products, they want to get to know the people behind the brand. One way to do this is by showing your face as much as possible on your pages so that people get to know who they are communicating with, then they can form more of an attachment with the brand.

John Thornton, Senior Creative at Surreal, also highlighted that brands should be posting funny and relatable content, even if it has nothing to do with your products. These posts are more likely to get engagement and grow your following so that when you do post about your products more people are likely to see it. You want to make people love your brand first!

An example of this was Innocent Drinks ranking every type of potato for National Potato Day. This resulted in thousands of comments of people disagreeing with their ranking and giving their own opinions.

Additionally, Thornton found that when posting about your products, try to not make it so serious and boring. Be silly with the content you put out, particularly on platforms like Twitter and Facebook where people are likely to respond and repost. Personality makes the most boring things interesting.

  1. Use trends, don’t let trends use you

Another factor to your brand having its own voice and personality is to remember to remain in your niche. Don’t jump onto trends just because they are popular if they have nothing to do with the regular content you are putting out. Instead, make the trend relevant to you and your followers as this will get you more engagement.

For example, a plastic surgeon on TikTok who goes by ‘Dr 90210’ constantly taps into trends whilst keeping all his content about his surgeries. When a sound that says, ‘you wish that was you huh’ was trending he posted a video with his team where the caption was ‘When you work for a plastic surgeon and see patients get your dream surgery’. This is a great example of using a trending sound whilst keeping the content about your brand. Because this video was unique to them but still funny it received almost 10 million views.

Another way to do this is by involving yourself in other conversations. For example, if someone else’s video is trending, comment something funny from your brands account and people will likely engage with this comment as thousands of people will be seeing that trending video.

 There are no boring topics, only boring content

Richard Cook, Social Media Lead at Monzo Bank, highlighted how important it is to think outside the box and be funny with what you are posting, as people don’t like content that feels like an ad. Working for a bank, he initially wondered how he was going to engage an audience around a topic that is typically considered quite boring. However, he used trends and humour to make the topic interesting and relatable.

One example of this, is that at the end of the year they provided their customers with a summary of their years’ spending and called it a ‘Year of Monzo’, taking inspiration from ‘Spotify Wrapped’. This resulted in a huge response from people on social media, both people who loved the idea and also people who hated the idea of seeing how much they had spent.

Another thing Cook mentioned was that brand’s should be obsessed with their customers and make that clear on social media as it makes them feel included, but also because customers are often funny! For example, Monzo would post on their social media channels funny reviews that they had received.

  1. TikTok is only growing – it’s time to join!

James Erskine, CEO of Rocket, provided some valuable insights regarding TikTok as a platform today and how to use it to your advantage. Whilst TikTok used to be known as the dancing app that only young people were using, it is now used by 40% of the population and the demographic is nowhere near as young as it was. Thus, if you have not yet joined it might be time to start posting as it is a great platform for creating awareness around a brand or product.

Alastair Green from TikTok highlighted how TikTok is a great platform for smaller businesses as the barrier to creation is much lower. If you post something funny and relatable it is much easier to go viral.

However, an important thing to remember is to make TikToks, not ads. Your videos must be engaging and reactive and should not feel heavily promotional.

A great example of this is Ryanair who has used TikTok to create funny content which has resulted in 2.2 million followers on the app. The brand has done this by creating content making fun of itself, its customers and its competitors. For example, creating a video making fun of people who bring bags larger than the Ryanair allowance. This content has done so well because it’s funny and relatable.

Lastly, it is a fast-moving app so be quick with the trends you are jumping on!

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