In order for social media marketing to work, you need an audience. However, growing an audience is also one of the most difficult tasks for brands: you’re competing against everything from the other brands your potential customers and fans follow to posts from family and friends in their feeds.

Use the strategies in these Sprout resources to help you refine your strategy to expand your reach and successfully engage your social media audience.

Planning & strategy

Start with planning and strategizing. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the trap of aimlessly publishing content. Know who you want to reach and you can be successful in planning how you want to reach them.

Who is your target audience?

Defining your target audience sounds simple, but can be a challenge for marketers. Learn how to understand your audience better and find new opportunities on social with this guide

Who uses each network?

The first step toward building an audience on social media is simply figuring out who you want to target and what that audience consists of for your business. Is your brand’s target audience on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram? This post gives you a look at the social media demographics of each network.

How to create a content marketing strategy

If you’re not creating content people want to see, it’s difficult to convince people to follow you. That’s why you need to create a content marketing plan that outlines what type of content you will create across all your social channels as well as your blog.

How to create achievable social media goals

Setting goals for your audience growth on social media is a good way to stay on top of your progress. That way if you’re behind your goals, you can focus on ramping up your efforts and getting more followers. On the other side, if you notice an uptick or spike, you can go back and analyze what you did for the month that led to the increase.

How to grow your Facebook audience

There’s been a lot of talk about the ever-changing Facebook algorithm, but it’s still more than possible to get new fans on the network. Follow these helpful strategies to learn more.

Post the right content

Facebook feeds are packed with content from brands people follow as well as their friends, co-workers and every other connection. If you want to grow your audience, you need people to share your content. The question is, what do you need to post in order to get people to share?

Invest in Facebook ads

Facebook collects a lot of data about its users including demographics, education level, interests, hobbies and more. As an advertiser, you can use this information to target your message to your specific audience. This guide walks you through how to get setup and run your first Facebook Ad campaign.

Improve your organic reach

Your Facebook strategy doesn’t have to be completely reliant on paying for ads. Despite Facebook’s shrinking organic reach for brands, it’s still possible to get more organic reach for your content. Here are some tips to get your content in front of your audience without paying for it.

How to grow your Instagram audience

Competition for customers’ attention is fierce on Instagram. With the right strategies, you can build an engaged audience filled with advocates and future customers.

Master the art of hashtags

Hashtags are one of the most effective ways to increase visibility for your posts on Instagram. However, not all hashtags are created equal. You need to know which hashtags to use as well as how to use them strategically.

Attract the right audience

Having followers is nice, but what’s even better is getting followers that will engage with your brand. Follow this walkthrough to learn how to get Instagram followers that matter.

Spread the word about your account

It’s hard to get followers when nobody knows your brand is even on Instagram. How do you promote your Instagram account? Use the tips and tactics in this article!

How to grow your Twitter audience

Twitter’s fast pace makes it a good way to reach audiences that are checking in on the social world throughout the day. That also means there’s plenty of competition for attention, so try these strategies to stand out.

Create engaging content

Getting shares from likes and Retweets can help build your audience on Twitter. Try these tips to create more engaging Twitter content.

Use proven tactics

There really is no one secret to growing your audience on Twitter. We’ve outlined simple steps you can take to get more Twitter followers. Spoiler alert: It takes work.

Target the right followers

Just like with every other social network, the number of followers you have isn’t as important as the number of engaged followers you have. Change your mindset from “how do I get more followers?” to “how do I build a community?”

More social media growth tips

Some social media marketing tactics are universal and not specific to any one network. If your aim to improve your overall social media presence, these articles will be right up your alley.

Understand viral content

Is it realistic for every brand to aim to produce viral content? Find out how you can get started with creating super-sharable content on every social platform.

Grow your presence

The bigger your brand’s social media presence, the easier it is for you to grow your audience on different networks. Use these tips to build a recognizable social presence that can continue to attract new audiences.

Focus on engagement

One of the best ways to grow your audience on any social network is to get engagement. The more people engage with your content, the more likely social media algorithms are to recommend your account. Use these tips to engage your audience.