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Building a Strong Social Media Community: Attracting Genuine Followers and Leveraging Sponsored Ads


A lady happy that her social media sponsored ads are performing well

One dilemma I often observe when mentoring new entrepreneurs is the dilemma of when to boost an ad, page, or post on social media. I mean, a boosted ad on social media seems the most obvious choice for the new entrepreneur as they pursue a wider audience and need to tell more people about their product, right?


Unfortunately, often most newbies end up spending precious time, money, and resources on boosted or paid ads on their favourite social media platform with nothing to show for it and truly little return on their initial investment.


And that is where I come in: as a business mentor who can help you (if you are an entrepreneur) position your brand and push your product or service profitably to the right target community, without breaking the bank.


See, over the years I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs make money online and I have made money online through my business as well. One of my top clients had an annual quarterly spend on Facebook ads of $ 1,000 at any one time but those same paid for ads would give her a resultant business of $ 120,000 annually and I have the receipts to prove it.


I have learnt a couple of lessons from my time helping people build their business online and, in this blog, I will set out to use give you all these lessons here for FREE so that you can apply the same formula to your own social media paid ad strategy. visitors through the buying process, making them feel excited and empowered to make a purchase.


First things first, the lessons:


  • Potential – when getting into social media, focus on the medium that works best for your natural gift. Some of us are writers, some singers, some dancers, some speakers, and others just come alive in front of a camera – choose a medium that best accentuates your natural talent and don’t be tempted to just go with what’s popular.


  • Presence – be on at least 4 social media platforms. There’s a reason for this and I will discuss about it later in this blog. But beyond being on these platforms, have a standard profile picture, tagline and banner that speaks credibility.


  • Posting – understand your content – the message you are trying to convey, how you are conveying it and to whom. Have a method to your communication and make sure it is not haphazard and random. Be wary of sharing posts and content that will confuse your audience and muddle your brand.


  • Purpose – know that when you are finally ready to do a paid ad on social media, that various ads have various outcomes and not all ads lead to immediate sales. Use the L.A.M.P.S principle to understand what you want your paid ad to do, meaning do you want our ad to produce greater: Leads, Awareness, Marketing, Promotions or Sales?


I will not go into all the detail here lest this post becomes a full-fledged book, but you get the idea by now, don’t you? In short, have a basic framework before just throwing money into a Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube Advertisement while hoping you will become the next Mr. Beast with minimal sweat.


At this point, let us talk about the excuses. Yes, all the 1,000,000 reasons people will have for not buying into my article at this point: this knowledge is not so obvious, I do not have time, I am unsure of myself, I do not have money, I do not have a mentor, I do not…I do not….I do not. And unfortunately, many of the Coaches and Mentors out there support these excuses even more. I much prefer telling new entrepreneurs to focus on the extent of their resources (what they have) vs focusing on what they do not have. Scarcity never made a Kingdom.


So, with that said, lets go to the next part of my article which is: the SOLUTION to creating powerful sponsored ads for your social media posts and pages.


Drumroll…...introducing: the BGS (Business Growth Solutions) Social Media Foundation Stack.


Recall the entrepreneur I helped make $ 120,000 off social media ads earlier? Well, I used this same foundation stack model for her, and I can do the same for you. It has been tried, tested and proven and after working with about 100 startups every year on the same for the last 10 years, I believe I have acquired a satisfactory proof of concept.


Here it is then, the steps you need to take to develop a kick-ass social media ad campaign.


STEP 1: HAVE A GREAT BACKSTORY

Before you start posting, selling, or putting out ads we need to know who you are and why we should buy from you. People buy people, not products - and we get attracted to the product by the latent association it has to the creator of said product. We buy from people we trust, can relate to and people we feel have overcome hardship. In short, we buy from people who have tasted success. We do not just buy from anyone looking to have a lucky break. For context, click here to read about my own backstory.


STEP 2: BE ON AT LEAST 4 SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, SERIOUSLY

Alfred Adler (1870-1937), world renowned philosopher and psychiatrist, stressed the need to understand individuals within their social context. This creates trust and social cohesion and one way of doing this is by observing people in different environments.


For you to move from stranger to my ‘friend’ online (at least perceptually) I need to see you in at least 4 different environments to feel I ‘know you’ sufficiently enough to buy your product or service fast enough: I see your pictures on Instagram, I see you in a community on Facebook, I see you professionally on LinkedIn and I may even catch you goofing off on Tik-Tok. I look at this and ‘realise’ this is someone I know; I trust and can buy from one day. It is the illusion of celebrity, but a necessary online illusion required to reduce the buyer decision journey of your customers, all the same.


STEP 3: DEVELOP A CORE MESSAGE AND BACK IT WITH CREATIVE CONTENT

But the next question then becomes: what are you hear for and how do you intend on changing our world, as customers? It is about giving as value in a way that our lives become easier and how effectively (simple + creative) you communicate this message with me, will determine the extent I respond to any of your online ads, paid or not.


Yes, many may not know where to start with regards to creating a marketing funnel or developing content. But this is a topic I have written freely on numerous times online. Here is one link of many to get you started off on this journey.


STEP 4: BUILD A COMMUNITY OF AT LEAST 10,000 FOLLOWERS IN A YEAR

This is the point where so many of my mentees get flustered. They start crying: I do not have time, I am too busy, this is too hard, can someone do it for me?, but I do not know how to start, I am..I am..I am. I totally get it, I do…. everyone wants the success without the work.


But the reality is that sponsored social media ads work best when the algorithm understands not only your audience, but you and it can only do that by observing the quantity and quality of your interactions over a specific period. And here is the magic threshold formula: 10,000 aggregate followers across four social media platforms acquired over a 1-year period by posting 1-3 times a day on each platform, daily.


The focus here is not virality or earning directly from platform pay-outs. The focus is creating a pipeline of customers who trust you enough to buy your products directly from you.


Now, I know not everyone will agree with this formula but here is the thing: you do not have to. But for those who would like to, I am more than happy to support you on his quest and help you towards your own annual $120,000. Facts.


STEP 5: WORK ON THE DELIVERABILITY OF YOUR PRODUCT

We are not out of the woods yet.


Your customers now know you, what you stand for, what you are selling and the value you creatively and freely share daily via your content. They are grateful and want to return the favour by buying your stuff BUT there are a few dilemmas: they do NOT know your range of products, where they can be viewed, how much they cost, how they are delivered, where to pay for them etc.


You will be surprised how many entrepreneurs – new and old have great products but a poor route to market strategy and so, even if customers want to buy from you – your inability to deliver the product keeps you…broke.


So, before doing a sponsored ad make sure you have your route to market strategy fully sorted. It seems obvious until it is not.


STEP 6: NOW DO YOUR SPONSORED AD!

Now we are here at last! Now you have earned the right to do a social media ad. A few notes:


  • For an ad to make sense return wise, budget for at least 1 month. Depending on the platform this will set you back at least $150. Be prepared.

  • Before posting, optimize your content for the platform in terms of length (if video or script), quality, words, hashtags, key-words etc.

  • Ensure your phone numbers and external links e.g., to the website, are working.

  • Set up the back-end demographic data relevant to your audience: sites they visit, ages, location, gender preferences.

  • Understand which part of the L.A.M.P.S outcome you are looking for and track accordingly.


If you are patient, disciplined and consistent enough to follow this formula you will not only have sponsored social media ads that generate great returns on your investment, you will also have a pipeline of brand-led customers: people who can afford your products and services and pay for them on time and in full.


Till next time, happy posting!


PS – There is no success without actionable steps. Need my personal support in crafting a powerful social media foundation stack for your business? Contact me here.


The BGS Digital marketing foundation stack model that helps you get the most out of your sponsored ads
My social media foundational stack model

About the Writer

Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.


He is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.







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