Attracting an online audience can happen faster than you realize. A viral YouTube video or an Instagram post can bring fame and awareness to a brand or influencer overnight. However, holding that audience’s attention for the long haul is the tricky part.
This is where an audience data platform comes into play. These tools help you gain an intimate understanding of your audience, allowing you to create content or take action that builds loyalty and helps in earning a larger audience.
Whether you are an up-and-coming fashionista on Instagram or the brand executive at a consumer electronics company, there are three stages to achieving success on social media. You must:
Let’s take a deeper look at all three in further detail.
You can’t grow what you haven’t planted. In other words, you will have little to no success of growing your following if you aren’t capitalizing on your current audience. You probably know by now, repeat customers spend more money and do so more frequently than non-customers. This concept is no different when it comes to building an audience on social media.
The more you engage with your existing audience on social media, the more you increase the likelihood of turning them into brand advocates. Fans and customers who become brand advocates can do much of the heavy lifting required to gain new followers, a fact that’s backed by numbers.
As you can see from these stats, advocacy is a strong component of influencer marketing. For you to turn your followers into fans, and fans into superfans, you need to give them an incentive for doing so - whether that’s by means of engaging with them directly or somehow rewarding them for being a follower in the first place.
Influencer marketing tools coupled with insight-driven audience data enables you to see who is engaging with your brand the most or who seems most likely to do so based on their behaviours. This sets the foundation for engaging and rewarding your fans.
Growing your audience involves many working parts moving in harmony, but at the heart of audience-building efforts is great content.
It’s a cliche statement but content really is king. The reason why influencers and brands acquire followers in the first place stems from generating content that resonates with their audience. This content should inspire your followers to share it with their families and friends. The only way to create content that achieves this goal is to gain an intimate understanding of your audience and potential followers.
Where an audience data platform comes into play here, is by demonstrating what your audience already has an affinity for. This extends beyond basic demographic data such as age, gender, and location (the depth at which most social media platforms reach with their analytics). An audience data platform, on the other hand, provides granular and actionable data that brands and influencers can use to inform their content creation strategy and decisions.
Affinity describes the people, places and things your audience enjoys or appreciates. Granular audience data allows you to discover the celebrities your audience follows, the brands they buy from, and the activities they enjoy most. With such data in hand, you can create content that references or incorporates these affinity categories.
With the creation of such content, you will “speak their language” so-to-speak, and forge a connection that attracts them to your channel or website. This also helps you in the aspect of content curation as well. Content curation, which is the sharing and recontextualizing of another brands’ content, is vital for today’s social marketing initiatives. With a data platform that offers granular audience data, you can see what content your audience shares and follow suit by sharing these posts on your own channels.
Growing an audience would seem like the ultimate goal of any influencer or brand. However, we say it should be the penultimate goal. Why? There is more value in keeping your followers engaged than relentlessly pursuing new ones.
The concept of retaining new followers and fans is no different than standard customer loyalty with brands. It is easier to move your followers towards certain actions (conversions) than it is to do so with followers you haven’t acquired.
But the question that remains is this: how does audience data help you keep the followers you have recently gained?
Whether you are an up-and-coming influencer or the manager of an established brand, it’s important to remember that your audience is dynamic, always in a state of flux. You need to manage your followers, grow your fanbase and most importantly, you need to keep your fans.
But doing this successfully, is both an art and science. You can’t do this with intuition alone - you need to see the numbers and details that paint the clearest picture of your audience. An audience data platform goes beyond traditional social management and analytics tools, providing you with insights that can help you build and maintain a profitable audience.
Interested in how Trufan can help you build your following? Get in touch with us so that we can help you get started today!
Swish (Manu) Goswami, 21, has built a multi-hyphenate career. He is a serial tech entrepreneur (CEO & Founder of Trufan), LinkedIn Youth Editor, three-time TEDx speaker (signed with the Speakers Spotlight & The AAT Project), and UN Youth Ambassador.