In the world of digital marketing, your following or fan base determines your ability to dominate your niche.

With large companies and even start-ups having adequate funding are able to hire the best of the best in the industry to grow their social media following within months.

Which leaves us marketers in the dust especially if you are an amateur blogger starting off new.

Whatever it is you are trying to do as a blogger be it selling software, hardware or services, you need to establish a social media presence that would drive results and growth.

But how?

Follow this 4 phased approach and you will soon find your way on the top list of social media guru’s to follow on the web.

  1. Listen – Allows you to identify and tweak your goals
  2. Plan – Allows you to follow a structured approach and effectively manage your campaigns
  3. Strategy – Allows you to target focused audiences and boost engagement
  4. Tools – Just makes everything easier

Identify Goals and Objectives

Social listening is an ongoing process and you will be following this all though your social marketing campaign.

Once you have your social account set up don’t start sharing, promoting and following people right away. The first step of the social media strategy is to listen to whats going on in your niche market and who are the top players.

Use #hashtags to find out top topics and top sharers. This will give you an idea to know what sort of stuff is being shared. During the listening process you will also come to learn about the various topics being discussed and the people who are engaging.

Based on all this information that you gather, you can put together a simple set of goals and objectives.

Your goals can be to grow a following, or engagement or even simply getting RT’s for your posts. With this information on hand you can move on to the second phase of this approach. Planning.

Create a Plan and Stick to it

As the title of this article suggests we are focusing on growing your social following on the Internet. We need to set our goals to serve this purpose.

  • Step 1 – Follow all those people whom you found to be influential, engaging and the top RT’ers.
  • Step 2 – Share their material with your following as you go.
  • Step 3 – Strike up a conversation as part of something that the influencers shared and engage.
  • Step 4 – Share quality content
  • Step 5 – Repeat

This 5 step simple plan will get the job done. Within no time you will be able to generate a healthy following on social media sites.

Identify Your Audience

Digging a little deeper into actions on social platforms, you will try and identify your audience. They can be your following or just people on the social platform who have interest in what you do or what your selling.

Finding the right people to communicate is easy, conduct a social media audit for your niche, and identify relevant posts and engage.

Almost all social networks have search built in, its the easiest way you can search for people with the same interest. For example. Searching for the keyword “SEO” in the search box will show all posts or people who have used or shared something to do with SEO.

With a little further analysis of each account you can be sure that they are genuine and most likely interested in what you might have to offer.

With a clear focus on your audience you will achieve better results.

Produce Valuable Content

When you are looking to grow a following on social platforms its important that you establish yourself as an authority. In order to do this you need to share valuable content as well as create valuable content.

Ensuring that your blog has valuable posts that your readers and followers can benefit from is a plus. Quantity is not important but quality is.

Share Consistently

Maintain a sharing schedule you will be able to reach your target audience better. For example, if you are based out of US and trying to target customers in India, then you should schedule your posts and shares to go out at two timings.

One schedule should go out for the US customers and the other schedule should go out for the Indian customers which is mostly your night time because of the time difference.

Consistency is the key when it comes to social networks. Followers and fans will soon forget you because of the volume of sites and blogs they follow. Consistency will ensure that they know that your around and what you do.

Focus on Top Platforms

Do not focus on all social platforms. This will diluting your efforts across Social Media. Rather focus your efforts on creating a brand presence on the top three relevant platforms.

This helps you concentrate on your conversations with your target audience. Your followers also know where you are most accessible if they need anything.

Identify Influencers

Creating content and publishing blog posts isn’t enough. To gain credibility and visibility you need to develop a strategy to identify and reach out to key influencers in the your niche.

Leveraging tools like Klout and other social analytics tools that will help you target influencers in your industry. You can use these influencers to grow your influence and your brand’s influence on the social web.

Measure Engagement

You have followed every step of this strategy to grow and boost social following. But how do you really know that these strategies have helped you?

Its called social media analytics or simply put social performance measurement.

Setting up guidelines to manage content development, social monitoring and measurement will help you stay focused.

Creating a measurement strategy and a ROI system will help you measure progress.

For example your goal might have been – Reach 1000 followers in 30 days. With this as a measurement criteria you can say that your following has grown or has not.

This also gives you enough room to see what worked and what did not. You can tweak your strategy to improve performance and grow a steady and healthy following on social platforms.

With the right amount of preparation, outreach and action, you will be able to go from having an average social media presence to a social media expert.