Thinking of growing your audience on a new social platform? There are tons of benefits to doing so—you can learn to create different types of content, deepen your relationship with your existing followers, tap into a new audience, build your brand, and protect yourself from becoming too heavily reliant on one platform.
But starting from scratch can feel daunting. We’ll cover everything you need to know and do to launch your channel so it doesn’t feel scary—and instead, it can be exciting!
Do your research beforehand
As the adage goes, “If I had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening the axe.” Do your research before diving headfirst into launching your new social account and growing your following. Here’s what you should prepare:
Research the target audience
With your new social platform, you’re likely going to be trying to reach a new audience. Perhaps you’re starting on TikTok to reach more of Gen Z. Or you’re building a new presence on LinkedIn to reach more professionals. Study your target audience by:
- Checking out what accounts people in this audience follow and what kinds of posts they like
- Seeing what type of content they post
- Reading the comments they post
- Asking them (through questions in the comments, polls, or DMs) what kinds of content they wish they had
- Reading research reports done by other companies on your target audience (if available)
- Understanding the main goals they hope to achieve through content
Research the competition
Now you know what kind of content your target audience likes to consume. Next, you need to position yourself to capture their interest, which is particularly important and challenging in this age of content abundance.
Study your competition—the other accounts, especially the most popular ones—trying to reach a similar target audience. Figure out:
- Which are the top 10 accounts people follow in the space and what they post
- Hypotheses for why these popular accounts are so popular
- What these other accounts are potentially missing that could be interesting to your target audience
- How you’ll clearly communicate your differentiated value proposition through your content (what is the special, unique thing that you will bring to the table?)
Research the trends
We all know that tapping into trends can help us a) appear more knowledgeable and up to date, b) leverage the algorithm to our benefit, and c) relate to our audience and post more engaging content.
Trends vary across time and niche. Identify what has been trending and is trending now in the worlds of your target audience.
- What are the key hashtags people use?
- What are the video formats that do well?
- What are the most popular memes?
- What are the trending sounds?
- How have trends evolved over time and how will they continue to evolve? (Creator Cocomocoe makes great content on creator industry trends—you can learn more by following creators like her!)
Prepare your workspace
So now you have an idea of who you want to reach, what they like, and what’s trending. It’s time to prepare materials you’ll need to start posting content.
Learning is always best done with intention. Don’t just blindly post content and try to figure out what you can learn from it later. Rather, have a hypothesis in mind that each piece of content works to evaluate. You’ll then have clearer questions to ask yourself after seeing the audience reception to your content.
Based on your research, list out some key questions you want to answer (and can only answer through actually testing live content) and your hypotheses on the answers to each. Keep these in mind when concepting.
Make a calendar and task board
You don’t want to be scrambling to figure out what you’ll post each day day of. You want to be prepared! The best way to prepare is to have an organized virtual workspace including a calendar and task board.
You calendar should be in true calendar format and cover what you’ll post for each day days or preferably weeks in advance. Here is an example of a great content calendar. In each card on the calendar, you can not only include the name of the content to be posted but other relevant information as well such as what time of day you’ll post it, what hypothesis you’re hoping to test with it, what hash tags you’ll use, what caption you’ll post, and more.
You should also have a task board (kanban board style) to track what you need to do to get each piece of content published. You can have different umbrella stages for tasks, such as concepting, filming, editing, and ready to be posted. Here is an example of a social media content task board.
Get any equipment you need
This may not apply to everyone but in some cases, you’ll need to get new equipment, such as a new camera, new editing app, ring light, green screen, or props. Make a list of what you anticipate needing and get your equipment. Keep track of these expenses because you may be able to write them off as part of your tax preparation process.
Block off time
It sounds like quite a small thing but blocking off time on your calendar is crucial to your success in achieving any goal. If you don’t plan to work on something, you likely never will, and you’ll end up instead spending your time embroiled in urgent but not important matters. Block off a few hours each week to prepare and post your content, interact with your followers, and follow and interact with other relevant accounts.
Grow your audience
You’ve done the research and prep! Now it’s time to launch your new channel. Below are tactics you can consider implementing to grow your following on the new platform:
- Reshare your new channel on other platforms where you already have an audience - make a new post or story about your new channel with a CTA to follow
- Reshare in existing communities - if there are groups you’re in with your target audience, share your new channel there, what you plan to be posting, and the value for the audience
- Reach out to your existing followers - consider doing individual outreach to your super fans; DM your most engaged followers about your new channel
- Follow other accounts - follow creators and companies in your space to get their attention and potentially a follow back
- Figure out the best time to post - research and experiment with the best time to post your content; timing can impact your engagement and how many people see your content (for more information, check out our blog post on the best times to post on TikTok)
- Optimize your profile - add a great profile picture, bio, and link in bio (you can use Beacons's Link in Bio of course!) so people can immediately understand your channel and its value proposition as soon as they land on your page
- Tag others - tag other accounts in your post and comments where relevant to get people more engaged in your content
- Track your posting across all your channels - now that you're posting on more than one platform, stay organized and track engagement across multiple platforms with a cross-platform activity tracking tool that can automatically sync to all of your accounts, like Beacon's Post Activity.
And 1 more bonus tip - you may have collected emails from your existing followers. You can use the Beacons Email Marketing tool to share your new platform with your existing fan base.
Continuously improve your channel
After launch, there’s more things you can do to continue to grow your audience:
- Use the right hashtags and sounds - leverage what is trending in your posts for a greater chance to go viral
- Do retros on your content - spend time each week reviewing content posted in the past week, how it has performed, how its performance compares to your expectation, and what you can learn and improve
- Collaborate with other influencers - working with other influencers on a piece of content or an event (such as a livestream or AMA) can help you grow your following through their audience as well
We’ve covered how you can research, prep, launch, and improve your channel. You’re ready to get going! You can start by:
- Defining your new target audience
- Finding followers and accounts in your new space
- And brainstorming learnings accordingly