We’ve moved past the point where social media is a nice-to-have addition to marketing and sales strategies. 

In 2021, if you’re not utilizing social media for growth, you’re missing out on an opportunity to speak to a whole new side of your potential business audience. Learn how to grow your social media audience by refining your current social strategy and see just how easily you can move from lurker to thought leader on every social platform. 

1. Analyze Social Media Channels 

Before you make a whole social media strategy, you need to analyze the channels your brand is using, underutilizing or neglecting completely. If your brand is only on Facebook, but all the action is on Twitter, analyzing where your efforts are best spent is the first key to unlocking a door of success online. Likewise, if your brand is fairly active on Instagram and seeing good but not great engagement, you know where to hunker down and concentrate your efforts in a more targeted manner.

2. Have Clear Goals

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Since every company’s business goals are different, their social media strategy will be too. Defining your business goals for social media early on will save you time in the long run. Is your goal to grow an audience? Become a leader within a niche social media community? What will the social media approval process look like, and how many layers will there be from ideation to publish?

Whatever your goals are, define them as a primary step in your social media strategy before wasting time exploring each platform. Once you do, learn how each platform works and do some test posts to see where and when your content gets the most engagement from your audience. From that point forward, you’ll be able to determine which channels are most lucrative for your end goals and business needs.

Remember: Not every social media strategy needs to end in financial gain or more customers for your business. Some other goals might be related to educating your audience, informing an underserved population, receiving audience feedback, or developing/changing your brand perception. If your goals are lead and prospect-focused, that’s okay, too. 

3. Identify Your Audience 

As you’re defining your social strategy goals, it’s time to identify your existing audience and your targeted audience. Whether you rely on personas or actual customer data, find out who your target audience is and curate content for them. If you’re marketing to a millennial age group, you should know that “college students” and “high schoolers” aren’t your target market – the youngest millennials are 25 in 2021. So make sure you know who you’re trying to reach in your social posts. 

Let’s say you’re a luxury pet goods brand. If your target audience is cat lovers, posting dog-centric content won’t get much engagement. Know who they are and who you want them to be. If you’re trying to branch out and move from a cats-only audience to a pet-friendly audience, you’ll want to post a variety of content featuring cats, dogs, fish, and exotic animals. But if your audience is meant to be strictly people who like cats, stick to content they’re most likely to share and don’t deviate from what works.

4. Create a Strong Brand Presence

Brand presence is key for building your social profiles and social strategy. If your company doesn’t have brand images and profile pictures that really say “this is who we are,” people will feel lost or uncertain about the brand they’re interacting with. Who are you really? Make it abundantly clear so when people see your logo, they know exactly who you are. 

On top of imagery and visuals that speak your brand persona, have a unified brand voice. Whether that’s a word, catchphrase, or exceptional dedication to keeping up with social issues and recent events, make sure your brand voice is unified and mirrored on every social platform you live on.

5. Create Delightful Content

When developing your social media workflow, make sure you know what kinds of content you want to make. Social media posts are great, but you’ll have to vary what kind of posts you publish and make that determination based on your audience per platform you use. LinkedIn content will likely be longer form, written posts. But Twitter posts are short burst tweets that may or may not contain images. Determine the content type, length, and add-ons (i.e., videos, GIFs, emojis, photos) and start from there. Below is an overview of the types of content you should post and see on each platform:

Source: Differences in social media platforms, Hearsay Social

Once you’ve done that, you can start to play with content types and get more creative. After creating one piece of content, you can repurpose it into multiple content types such as infographics, standalone images, and short-form videos. 

Infographics are great because you can take longer-form blogs or text posts and rework them into something more visually appealing and easy to disseminate. Likewise, using images and short videos is another way to bring a visual element into the mix. 

Here are a few other content types to consider: 

  • Polls and question posts: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram all have poll and question posts. People love giving their opinions and yes/no question answers. Ask people to vote for their choice or ask them to drop their opinion or recommendations for something. People love talking and even more so love sharing what they think is important. So don’t be shy to ask. 
  • Contests and incentives: User-generated content is an incredible way to ask for audience help on projects or initiatives you have while providing them with incentives for doing so. Whoever comes up with the best caption wins a free $10 gift card! People love to win. So turn some of your posts into opportunities to win whatever it is you’re willing to give away.

6. Use Hashtags Effectively 

Once you’ve solidified your brand’s social personality, you can delve into more niche parts of the internet – specifically areas where you might be able to lean on hashtags for keywords your audience is looking for. 

When brands start using keywords relevant to their audience and niche, they can reach a more hyper-specific audience and help people focus on finding information, news, and content from their brand. Sometimes brands can utilize trends if relevant to a larger brand initiative. Let’s take holidays as an example. If you’re a greeting card company, it makes sense to hop on hashtag trends like #MothersDay, #FathersDay, and #HappyGraduation for big summer events. 

If you aren’t a hyper-nuanced brand like that of a greeting card and are maybe a tech company instead, a good starting point is to check out what’s trending on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Because all three of these platforms rely heavily on hashtags as fuel for content, it’s smart to browse posts that are performing well (i.e., high-engagement, likes, and comments) to see what works and what doesn’t. 

Starting even smaller, whenever you post something on your social media accounts, try to incorporate some hashtags – even if it’s just two or three. These little signals will bring people to your social media accounts and potentially turn them into site visitors, depending on what you bring to the consumer’s table. 

7. Link Your Website with Social Media 

One of the easiest ways to boost social media visibility is by making sure you’re visible everywhere. Do your website landing pages have social media links at the bottom of them? If not, you make it that much more difficult for users to connect with you outside of your email newsletter list. Sometimes customers and prospects like browsing social platforms to gauge how active and engaged your brand is – and that could be the decision between your product and a competitor’s product. 

Make sure that you link all of your social media accounts to your website in the header, sidebar, or footer of your website – somewhere highly visibly and easily accessible. And make sure the links are accurate and open to your social profiles. See the example webpage below and how it clearly links to social media accounts in the footer of its site:

Another easy addition is adding social sharing buttons to your website content so people can share as they read. Make it super simple for people to share your blogs on their Twitter or your awesome video on their Instagram story. The easier it is to share, the more likely people will actually share your content.

8. Post Consistently 

Nothing looks worse than a brand with a social media profile that simply never posts. Having social profiles means nothing unless you actually use them, and brands with social platforms that never post are seen as out of touch or “old school.” Utilize social media monitoring software to help you keep a consistent posting schedule and build out a full social media calendar

Source: What a social media calendar looks like, Sprout Social

Whether it’s once or twice a week or something more frequent, regular, consistent posting lets your audience know you’re keeping them top of mind when thinking through your social media strategy. 

If you feel like you have nothing new to say or share, try resharing and repurposing older content types. Retweet and repost content from others – especially your customers. Even if you just post a generic “hi!” message, people will notice, and you will find yourself with a more engaged audience. 

9. Piggyback on What’s Trending 

Take advantage of national trends online. Is it National Pizza Day? Good thing you’re a pizza brand! An opportunity like this is something that our example pizza brand should do. Post photos of your product and drop your “order now” link in your post. Make it as easy as possible to follow along with a trend without completely forgetting what the point of the trend was. 

10. Humanize and Personalize 

Don’t just post into the dark and hope people will like your silly GIF or heartfelt text post. If you’re not putting a human element into the content you share, people won’t feel compelled to engage with it. Because of this, it’s important for brands to practice both reactive engagement and proactive engagement. 

When you’re reactive, you’re answering direct messages, incoming mentions, or comments. When you’re proactive, you’re the one sparking conversation with people who may be talking about you but haven’t necessarily sent messages to you directly. Being proactive on social media is one of the core principles of being successful at social selling, which is especially important for building rapport with prospects, which brings us to our next point.

11. Build Relationships, Not Just Followers

Having 100 followers who regularly engage with you and your content is infinitely more valuable than 10,000 that ignore you. You can post content endlessly, but if you don’t interact with your followers, you’ll struggle to grow your account. Engage by interacting with customers, replying to responses, and reaching out to them first. Engagement is number one in building an audience that’s worthwhile. 

12. Never, Ever Buy Followers and Fans

Lastly, never buy followers. A vanity metric like follower count might feel nice, but it’s all fake. Let your content speak for itself and reach followers without tricking the algorithm into thinking you have more followers than you do. Keep it honest and seek out a real audience. 


These 12 tips are a surefire way to grow your audience, build a presence, and acquire a more dedicated customer follower base. Even using just a few tips will take you from a blip on the radar to the first brand your customers are thinking about the next time they’re asked, “Which brand does social media well?”

Author Bio

Meenakshi Nautiyal aka Meenz is a Growth Marketer for Nextiva. She’s passionate about everything SaaS, start-ups and SEO. She has a successful track record of 10+ years scaling organic traffic and inbound leads for various startups. Bibliophile and coffee-lover who dives into art therapy during her free time.