From Followers to Fans – Boosting Your Brand With Social Media

It really isn’t surprising that both consumers and businesses are relying on digital media more now than ever before. While it’s true that 1 out of every 3 U.S. workers is considered a millennial, typically known for their tech-savvy tendencies, having grown up with the internet, cell phones, and cable tv, they aren’t the only ones relying on online connection.

According to their recent Social Media Fact Sheet, “When Pew Research Center began tracking social media adoption in 2005, just 5% of American adults used at least one of these platforms. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 72% of the public uses some type of social media.” If you’re curious about which platforms are most-widely used, here are the top 5, according to Pew’s findings:

  • YouTube: 81%

  • Facebook: 69%

  • Instagram: 40%

  • Pinterest: 31%

  • LinkedIn: 28%

Along with access to a vast majority of the population through a wide range of networks, social media provides a fantastic opportunity to harness the power of repetition – for free! And, according to the marketing rule of seven, this is everything! The basic principle here is that it takes an average of seven exposures to a brand’s message before a sale occurs. For companies actively using social media, those seven touches become much easier to accomplish. A recent Trend Report podcast titled, How Consumer Habits are Changing, reinforces the importance of a company’s digital strategy that goes well beyond the rule of seven. Mortarr CEO, Abby Murray noted that when it comes to sales, 80% of the decision-making process is over before someone even speaks to a sales rep. Mortarr is a search engine for the commercial construction and design industry that provides a platform for this type of research and inspiration, ultimately connecting dealers and brands with each other and with consumers.

Without tradeshows, events, and showrooms as accessible as they once were, the pre-sale information gathering process has become even more reliant on online resources, making an organization’s digital strategy a necessity in connecting with prospective and existing clients. An effective strategy integrates a range of resources including industry platforms (like Mortarr, MRL, Configura, Project Matrix, The KITS Collaborator, and others), a company website, and email campaigns along with social media. The beauty of digital marketing is that it provides a strategic advantage over traditional print marketing, enabling businesses to quickly gauge the success of their efforts and make immediate adjustments based on data. In terms of social media – it can be as simple as monitoring a post’s views, comments, and reactions. That said, establishing and maintaining an online profile can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to keeping up with ever-evolving trends and seemingly countless options available. I was recently reminded of a few key considerations that can help to simplify the approach to social media.

Choose the right platform for your audience It’s all about quality over quantity. In this case, it’s better to spend more time on one platform than less time on multiple platforms. The key is to know who your target audience is and which platforms they are using most frequently, making yourself visible where they are. Making one noticeable impression is far mor impactful than multiple negligible ones.

Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers While social media can sometimes feel like a popularity contest, it’s important to note that a lower number of engaged followers can actually be more significant than a higher number of overall followers. Since social media algorithms calculate a post’s relevancy, prioritizing when and where it shows up in a user’s feed, a low percentage of engagement will negatively impact your reach, making it much harder to get in front of your target audience.

Engagement is everything! Posting on your social media channels is just the first step in establishing and maintaining your presence. The key is really to engage with your followers by acknowledging their reactions to your content, responding to their comments, and following up with questions. The goal here is to build connection and, ultimately, relationships. Be consistent about monitoring your page and interacting with your followers.

Consider your content Create and share content your audience truly cares about by considering who you are trying to reach and what’s most important to them. While there isn’t a magic formula to tell you what percentage of your posts should inform, educate and entertain your audience, and how much should directly promote your business, social media analytics can be extremely helpful in identifying what resonates. When you notice your audience responding well to particular content you’ve shared, take the time to figure out why and how you can produce more like it.

At the end of the day, people want to work with businesses they know and trust. Companies that are visible to their target audience, posting meaningful content and comments with that in mind, are on a clear path to converting followers to loyal fans who ultimately become their customers and best source of referral.

This article was included in the May 2021 edition of Midpoint Magazine. View the full publication for addition content created for dealers in the commercial interiors industry.

Jill Thomas is INDEAL's Marketing Communications Manager. Jill can be reached at