Don’t Just Dabble into “Growth Hacks”: Build Your Online Audience With Emotional Connection by@rebeccaperes

Don’t Just Dabble into “Growth Hacks”: Build Your Online Audience With Emotional Connection

The process of building your brand online is a delicate one, and this is because you have to strike a balance between dancing to the tune of the algorithm, and genuinely making an emotional connection that strings at the heart of your target audience.
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Rebecca Peres

Journalist, Software Engineer, and avid tea drinker.

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Building a brand on social media doesn’t happen by magic, neither does it happen with a snap of the fingers. It entails a series of delicate processes.

The process of building your brand online is a delicate one, and this is because you have to strike a balance between dancing to the tune of the algorithm, and genuinely making an emotional connection that strings at the heart of your target audience. Although this balance is not out of reach, it does not happen overnight either. There’s a level of consistency you need to achieve before this happens.

Sadly, a lot of brands and influencers don’t abide by the holy grail of marketing, which can be summarily termed as ‘giving value’ to the ‘right audience’. These two things go hand-in-hand because you could give premium value to the wrong audience, and at the same time, you could give zero value to the right audience. See how that is intertwined?

The Truth About “Growth Hacks” and “Hashtag Strategies”

Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels

Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels

There’s no shortcut to growing your audience. It’s a process. Emphasis on P-R-O-C-E-S-S. Do not rely on ‘growth hacks’ and ‘secret hashtag strategies’...The reality is that hashtags and engagement groups don’t do so much other than to give you a slight boost. Also, remember that Instagram only allows thirty hashtags per post, and the smart thing to do is make use of hashtags that are relevant to your brand and content. Using random hashtags would be dangerous to your page and may lead to a shadowban, which would hinder you from growing on the platform.

Personal users (your potential audience) usually use hashtags with the intent to discover new content. So, by using relevant, targeted hashtags on your posts and stories, you get discovered by new audiences. It’s now upon you to capitalize on the opportunity and retain that audience, so it could translate into real engagement and a connection of some sort.

However, the real “secret” to growth is creating and putting out amazing content that has a message and storyline that emotionally connects with your target demographic (your audience), and then getting that content seen by them. This can happen organically through the algorithm, as you develop a library of this kind of content, which is quite visible in algorithms like TikTok, reels, and youtube shorts.

Another way to do this is through paid ads or shoutouts, from pages or profiles that have done the same, and want to extend some level of credibility towards you.

Build Emotional Connection

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Emotional connection is the ultimate sweet spot of social media marketing. According to Instagram growth expert Nick Rogers, if you plan to keep your brand alive on social media for 5-10 years from now, then you’ve got to build the audience with real emotional connection. There should be an understanding of the ‘actual’ needs of your audience before you sell any product or put your brand out there in the media.

No matter how you try, you just cannot remove the emotional connection from online marketing. And sadly, some influencers and internet personalities do not know how to sell products, nor do they even understand what the audience needs. They forget that they can’t just sell any product.

It makes some sense to ask questions like; Does my audience really need this product? Or say, even if they don’t need it now, ‘would’ they evolve to need it? Now if this is not feasible, then you may need to grow a more appropriate audience.

Similarly, the biggest influencers in the world— Garyvee, James Charles, Faze Clan, Nelk Boys, and others, all connect with their audience on a deep emotional level that is not only relatable, but that gives their audience an insight into their lives, where people live vicariously through them. In fact, emotional connection is perfectly exemplified in how the NELK Boys recently debuted Happy Dad hard seltzer, and how their audience skyrocketed.

Provide Good Content

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

Good content is like gold, and it is indeed rare.

Good content is like a well-baked cake. The ingredients have to be just right. Any slight inconsistency would lead to a cake that is simply below par. The same applies to when you’re trying to create content for your online audience.

The best-performing posts usually consist of a plain background, basic-looking edit, clickbait title, and a video/text post with a message around a relatable storyline that gets the audience thinking deeper. However, never substitute good content for good designs or pictures.

Good content is all about the message, and this message must be a relatable one. Only when content is relatable, can your audience engage and interact with your posts. Carefully analyze your target audience and understand their needs. Do you want your brand to satisfy these needs? If so, then you can make this the underlying basis of your content.

Build Loyalty From It All

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When you diligently follow all that has been discussed above, it gradually equates to loyalty.

The truth is, your brand needs engagement to build loyalty. Your audience becomes loyal to your brand when your posts are relatable, strikes emotional chords in them, and they’re able to engage with your content.

Engaging content is simple to read, easy to understand, and interesting to read. The best kind of content is the one that tells a persuasive or funny story, or that captures the imagination of the readers, or that answers the questions of the readers, or that leaves the readers thirsting for more. By doing this, you thereby establish trust and rapport between your brand and your reader— which gradually positions you as an expert in your industry.

There’s intense competition in most niches, and because of this, building brand loyalty should be part of the ultimate goals of your brand. Remember, your audience actually has endless options other than you. However, brand loyalty will help you retain them in the long run. When you provide a connection that can’t be easily found elsewhere, you keep your audience coming back for more, whilst also standing out from the rest.

Stand out with a brand that has a loyal following, and with a maximum impact in the industry.

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