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Are you trying to build brand awareness on social media? Do you struggle to grow your followers? Does your account lack engagement? You are not alone.
It can be super frustrating to see other accounts eclipse you when you feel like you are working just as hard. Your content is good, you are using hashtags properly, you post regularly. What is missing?
What is the super magic secret sauce?
If you want to boost your brand on social media you need to start a gang.
Social Media Gangs
Social Media Gangs are groups of likeminded business owners who band together in order to cross promote and support each other.
They like, share and comment on each other’s content across a variety of social media platforms.
Social Media Gangs share their tips, tricks and best practices with each other.
Social Media Gangs make social media more social.
Benefits of Social Media Gangs
There are a number of rewarding benefits of joining a Social Media Gang.
A social media gang will help you…
…build relationships with other small business owners.
…increase your social media reach.
…improve your engagement.
…learn what is working (or not working) for your peers
…get feedback on your ideas.
…introduce your audience to cool small businesses.
Starting a Gang
There are a lot of Social Media Gangs hiding in Facebook groups, but they can be hard to find. If you are a search wizard, you might get lucky and find a good one — but you are better off starting your own, targeted and hand picked gang.
Starting a gang can be broken down into simple steps…
Make a list of possible gang members
Start with 5-10 people to start. These should be businesses that are similar to yours, but not competitive. So, if you make soap you might want to gang up with a florist, a chocolatier, a greeting card designer and a ceramic artist. They should all be businesses that are likely to share a similar clientele. They should also have similar social media follower counts. If you only have 500 followers, it might be hard to recruit someone with 10K. It is definitely worth a try, but don’t be surprised if you get turned down if you aim too high. You can add people to your gang later when your numbers improve.
Send a recruitment email
Once you’ve created your list, it’s time to send them an email inviting them to join your super special group. The letter should explain the purpose of your gang and give instructions on how to join. [I have provided a sample letter for you to steal at the end of this article]
Set up your clubhouse
You need to pick a home base where everyone can communicate. Facebook groups are the easiest because most people are already on Facebook, but you can also use a tool like SLACK. If you create your group on Facebook, make sure it is set to closed or private…otherwise you will get a whole bunch of randoms joining. You don’t want randoms.
Sharing with your gang
Once you’ve got your gang members, you need to set up some systems for sharing. The most common way of doing this is by starting a weekly thread. Your weekly thread should outline some basic rules and guidelines for participating.
Here is an example of a weekly sharing thread I use in one of my groups…
My goal with this post is to get people to share something they have created and engage with the content of their fellow members. I have quite a few rules to keep everyone accountable, but you can be less strict if your group is small and just learning the ropes.
If your group is very active and your members produce a lot of content you can do daily threads instead, breaking them up for each platform (Facebook Share Monday, Pinterest Share Tuesday, Blog Comment Wednesday…).
Instagram Sharing Threads
Instagram sharing works best if your group does it all within the Instagram App. It’s super simple…
- Start a group message on Instagram with all your members. (MAX 15 People)
- Whenever a member has a new Instagram image, they will post a <3 emoticon in the group message.
- As soon as a member posts a heart, the rest of the group will go to their profile and like and comment on the Instagram post.
It is important to like and comment quickly so that Instagram registers the engagement. This helps boost the post in the algorithm.
In order to keep things even, I recommend setting a daily maximum for members — 1 or 2 hearts per day in the group message.
Other ways to collaborate:
Although the main focus of the Social Media Gang is sharing, you can also engage with your group in other ways. Your group is a great place to ask questions and share knowledge related to your business.
If you want to take things further, you can set up a monthly group Skype call to discuss business goals. Your gang can double as your mastermind group.
Put the “social” back into social media by starting a gang. Not only will you benefit from the increased shares, likes and comments; you will make new business friends. The support alone is worth the effort!