Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn are getting more crowded by the day. However, just because you're up against stiff competition doesn't mean you should give up yet. There are simple strategies you can implement and accounts you can follow to equip yourself with the tools needed to cut through the noise and crush it on any social media channel.
Here's where to start.
1. 'Niche Down'
Chances are, if you're trying to become the top channel on fitness on YouTube, you'll have a hard time gaining a following. Why? Well, there are an immense number of fitness channels on YouTube.
Should that stop you from creating a fitness channel? Absolutely not. By 'niching down' and narrowing your channel's focus, you can rise to the top of your specialty simply by having less competition.
A company that has 'niched down' beautifully is Nerd Fitness, which has combined the 'cult of nerd-dom' with fitness.
Be strategic and succinct about your brand and your niche. This should be something you pull out the whiteboard for, much like you would a business plan or revenue strategy.
People want personalized experiences and personalized content. Narrowing your focus can result in attracting and sustaining a much smaller, but highly engaged and loyal audience. And believe me, you don't have to have 3 million YouTube subscribers. There's nothing wrong with having 100,000.
2. Put money behind your content via boosting and social media ads
I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again: the days of highly effective, free social media marketing are behind us. And it's about time we accept it and move forward.
Unless you want to spend the next 10 years trying to reach the same number of people you'd be able to reach in one year, you need to begin investing dollars into social media.
If you're not willing to spend $10 here and there to promote your content, but are willing to spend $20 per week on your frappuccino budget, then it's time to get your priorities straight.
If you have a kick-ass YouTube video, use free tools like Online Video Converter to convert it to an mp4 file so it can run as a Facebook video ad to increase awareness for your YouTube channel. Just be sure to link up your original video within the Facebook ad.
If you're trying to build a Facebook audience, boost your top performing posts a couple of times per week for a couple bucks to increase your reach. There are plenty more insights on building a Facebook following, here.
3. Follow the right influencers and publications
There are plenty of thought leaders out there who will help you grow your following on overcrowded social media platforms. For Facebook, take a look at Mari Smith and Dennis Yu. For YouTube, check out Derral Eves. For overall social media knowledge, I highly recommend following the publication, Social Media Examiner.
No matter what channel you're trying to grow on, with a couple of Google searches and persistence, you'll be able to find terrific resources to help you meet your specific social media goals.
4. Cross promote
When you collaborate with another channel or influencer to create (and promote) a piece of content together, you'll bring awareness to both parties involved.
The key to nailing down cross promotional pieces comes down to networking, plain and simple. Attend networking events--conferences and meetups with people in your industry are a good start. More than likely, you'll meet people with sizable followings on the platform where you'd like to grow who are also interested in the same topics as you are.
Once you get to know people like this and provide them with value, you'll be able to see if you might be able to do a collaborative piece together. This could be a podcast, a vlog, an article, a song, or anything else.
Important Note: This should be an authentic, mutually beneficial relationship. Don't ask without bringing value first.
5. Of course, be consistent
Being consistent and creating loads of stellar content is a prerequisite for building a following on any platform, but it's especially important for platforms already overcrowded and saturated with material.
Lastly, if you aren't passionate enough about the niche you chose to spend every day for the next 3 years creating content about it, then you may want to rethink your decision to pursue that subject. There's no rush in selecting your niche, just be sure it's the right one when it's time to execute and get your hands dirty.
Over to you: What do you think? What other strategies have worked for you?