Three rules to successful channel building

If you are a high growth business, chances are you use social media and influencers to help spread the word about your product or service. If you wish to be a high growth company, then consider the power of building social media channels. It’s true, employing popular voices for your brand is good, being the influential voice for your brand and industry is better.

The definition of a channel varies within the marketing world. For the purpose of this article, channel building represents a social media channel, such as an Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Podcast, Blog or YouTube channel. It’s a social distribution channel in your control which allows you to amplify your brand voice to a community of people who care.

There is a difference between the company social media account and channel building. Channel building is a mindset and a powerful approach to social media development. A modern channel has focus themed content. For example, review the list of options for your cable TV or satellite radio channels, and you’ll get the point.

Each social media channel has its own algorithm to share content. A series of calculations which determine how content is shared and who sees it. However, there are best practices which will increase your odds of building a successful channel.

Here are some rules you must follow to achieve success. The first is simple, yet tough to do. The good news is if you follow this rule, the social media platforms will help you meet your goals. The fact is each social media channel wants you to attract people to their platform and keep them there for as long as possible. If you can do this well, you are rewarded.

Rule number one: Keep people on and returning to the social platform.
This is the reason why an engaged community is so important. Randomly uploading stuff to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is not the path to social media success. It’s important to upload posts consistently and as often as possible. I recommend you upload to the point in which post quality or engagement with your channel drops off. The exact amount of content depends on the social channel and your audience.

The most successful channels are not generic. Channel building is not about trying to be everything to everyone. The most successful channels are highly focused with a unique angle giving the professional or brand authority over the topic or theme. Your goal is to be the go-to influencer for your specified niche. Once you achieve dominance of your target niche, you can then expand.

Rule number two: Own your niche
I’ve learned a lot creating YouTube, Podcast, Blog and Instagram channels. One lesson is the importance of sticking to your niche and make your content “bingeable.” In other words, one post leads into another. Have you ever read a blog post from an author and you immediately wanted more? After reading, watching or listening to a few more awesome pieces of content, you end up subscribing to get even more.

Yet, sometimes the next article or post on a channel is on a completely different topic. It isn’t relevant to you, you leave, and never to return. This is why a focused niche or theme is so important. Posting bingeable content satisfies the number one channel rule, keep your audience on the platform as long as possible.

Rule number three: Understand your audience and listen to what they want.
The secret to success on many of the social platforms is to earn post engagement early. When a social media platform notices that people like, share and comment on your work, the algorithm kicks in and shares your posts with more people. This gives your channel more opportunity to earn views and new followers.

Getting people to your post early requires you have engaged subscribers or followers who are notified when you publish. It also helps to let people know when you post via email and other social networks to get the momentum going. Another best practice is to post consistently so people know when to look for you.

Engagement doesn’t magically happen. One of the best ways to encourage engagement on your channel is to be real with your audience and show them you’re human. Also, take a moment to comment back to people who leave their thoughts on your pages. If you really want to build a powerful network, make the effort to comment and share posts from your community members.

Over time, as your community grows, you build authority and influence. Eventually, positive results begin to emerge in the form of increased revenue. Depending on your industry, you may not need many community members, just the right members. When colleagues and associates reference your work at meetings, conferences, and the public square—you know your channel is working.

When you have authority, you earn more opportunities through the search engines. When you have an influence on your community, they take action upon request. With influence, you may find it easier to schedule meetings, and even better, the right people seek you.

Once you successfully build one channel, it’s time to expand your niche or create another channel. You can create a new channel on the same platform to cover a different niche within your industry, or you can expand your expertise to a new social media platform.  Over time it’s important to have multiple channels because you don’t want all of your eggs in one basket.

All three rules are important to grow your social channels. If you are ready to develop more awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, improve conversions and retain your customers, consider becoming a #channelbuilder.