The importance of loyalty in social media marketing can’t be underestimated. It’s relatively easy to attract a bit of initial attention through the use of captivating content, but if you don’t hold your followers’ attention, you’re bound to lose them. The real secret to success is keeping your followers around for longer, giving them more opportunities to bring more people to your brand, more opportunities to engage directly with you, and of course, more opportunities to buy what you’re selling.
There are many strategies you can use to retain your followers, but here are 4 rules you should adhere to if you want to maximize your follower loyalty:
1. Differentiate Yourself.
The first crucial rule for building a loyal audience is differentiating yourself from the competition. No matter how big or how small you are, or what type of industry you’re in, you’re bound to have at least a handful of similar competitors on social media. If you’re posting the same kind of things they are, or you’re using a similar voice or style, what’s to stop them from switching over? If you want to keep your audience, you need to offer something that nobody else in your space offers, whether that’s a unique position, a unique series of content, or simply a stronger personality.
2. Post New, but Consistent Material.
Every piece of content you circulate on your social channels should be new, yet consistent to your brand. If you line up all your posts, there shouldn’t be any that stand out as being uncharacteristic of your brand persona, and there shouldn’t be many duplicates. It’s okay if a particular piece did well and you want to redistribute it for a bit of extra attention, but don’t ever let your followers go more than a day or two without something new to look at. Even if you can’t write up a new article every day, you can at least take a new picture or write a new update-style post.
3. Keep Your Followers Involved.
The engagement factor is absolutely crucial for building a loyal audience. If you want your audience to grow and stick with you for the long haul, you’ll have to create opportunities for your followers to engage with you directly. Ask your followers their opinions on various topics. Use surveys or contests to get them involved. Hold giveaways that reward your most active followers, and call special attention to members of your audience who consistently make their presence known.
4. Listen & Respond to Your Followers.
Your followers deserve to be heard, and if you don’t listen to them, they’ll find somebody who will. Whenever someone comments on one of your posts or replies to a comment you made, respond to them. Let them know that you hear what they’re saying—especially if that comment is in the form of constructive feedback. Occasionally, you’ll have people complaining to you on social media. This could be through a negative review or a comment on a post. Either way, never let a voiced concern on social media go unresolved. Try to work the problem out however you can; even if you can’t win back the irate customer, you can at least show that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the situation right, and that type of demonstration will only earn you more loyalty down the line.