I totally love a good documentary. A few nights ago, I sat down and (finally) watched Blackfish for the first time on Netflix. And oh, man – did it hit me right in the heartstrings. Those orcas get my waterworks flowing every dang time!
What is it about documentaries that make them just so good? The filmmakers understand what makes their audience tick. They know what will capture their heart and their attention. Documentaries are educational. Every time I watch a killer documentary, I come away with a piece of knowledge that I’m so thankful I learned. And, of course, they’re just plain entertaining!
So, what do documentaries have to do with social media? I mean, you’ve heard it over and over again – social media is essential to running a successful blog. You have to grow your followers, you have to post x-amount of times per day, you have to share the right content, you know the spiel. But in the world can you actually see real growth?
I’m glad you asked! Like documentaries, you can up your engagement rates and experience real, significant growth by understanding, educating, and entertaining your audience.
Understand Your Audience
Gaining insight from your audience is essential to connecting with your ideal audience for your blog. The easiest way to do this? By connecting with them on social media.
Understanding your audience happens by listening to them. What questions do they have? What do they struggle with? What are their pleasure points? How can you better serve them with your products and services?
Here are a few practical ways that you can gain the answers to these questions and have access to information such as the age, gender, and interests of the those who are interacting with you:
- Examine your stats on social media and your website.
- Figure out what social media platform you receive the most engagement on.
- Read your followers’ Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook bios.
- Reply to comments, respond to emails, have real conversations.
- Survey your audience and ask them!
Educate Your Audience
Once you’ve figured out and narrowed down your niche, you should use social media to educate your audience. The goal of any blogger is to be the go-to person within their niche. In order to be an expert in your field, you need to share your knowledge with your audience.
Note: While you should constantly strive to learn more about your field, you do not have to know everything about your niche in order to be an “expert”. You just have to know enough to be able to teach people who know less than you.
Below are a few ways you can interact with your audience, educate them on information in your niche, and establish yourself as an expert:
- Post practical, educational tips on social media.
- Share relevant articles that would genuinely be helpful to your audience.
- Answer questions in Facebook groups.
- Host an informative Twitter chat.
- Actively answer any questions you receive on social media, in comments on your blog, or through email.
Entertain Your Audience
Of these three ways you can grow your blog and social media audience, this is probably my favorite. This is your opportunity to humanize and personalize your brand in the eyes of your audience.
Being approachable, authentic, and personable will allow you to build a deeper connection with your audience and customers. After all, just as people connect with people, people also buy from people they know and trust.
So, what are a few practical ways you can start entertaining your audience?
- Explore live-streaming on Facebook and Instagram
- Commit to using Instagram Stories and/or Snapchat on a regular basis
- Host a Facebook group or Twitter chat
- Start an Instagram hashtag or challenge for your audience to participate in
- Be authentic and personable – be YOU!
Growing your blog and social media channels is definitely more of an art than a science. Experiment with different types of posts, different ways of interacting with your audience, and find the perfect balance of these three pointers that work for you. And just maybe, gain a little inspiration by spending a few hours watching your favorite documentaries on Netflix!