If there is one thing everyone loves, it’s apple pie. Whether it’s the flakey crust, the gooey filling, or the melted ice cream on top, you can’t go wrong with this comfort food. So how can you become the “apple pie” of the social media world?

Getting your audience to like you as much as they like apple pie is no easy feat. It’s no longer adequate to post on social media and expect your followers to grow and, even more, actually enjoy what you have to say. To get your following to love you, you have to put in the work. Consider getting to know them on a deeper level, creating a mutually beneficial relationship, and staying consistent.

Know Your Audience

Your followers are more than just numbers on your profile. They are real, living people who may be clients or prospects. By intimately understanding your audience, you can speak more directly to them and share information that is relevant to their needs.

Think about the story that would resonate with your followers and cater to that. What do your followers respond well to? What are their main questions or concerns? Writing and sharing content that is relevant to your audience is the first step in winning them over for the long-term.

You Get What You Give

There’s a reason why Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are called social media platforms. Being social with your connections will help you foster relationships that will go beyond the screen. Interact with them regularly by responding to comments and messages, Retweeting or engaging with other professionals, and becoming involved in your social community.

In addition, try not to make your social media platforms merely an extension of your promotions. Most social media marketers suggest following the 80/20 rule — 80% of your posts should drive engagement and involvement with your followers (including automated and personal posts) and 20% should be promotional.

Consistency is Key

When building brand loyalty on social media, consistent and transparent content will help you establish a relationship that your followers can trust. Start by creating a marketing calendar to plan out your social posts for the coming weeks and months (did you catch our broadcasts about creating a content strategy and making a 2017 marketing calendar?). This will help you get a grasp on how to stay consistent without feeling too overwhelmed.

Automation is your friend when it comes to being consistent on social media. Supplement your personal posts with automated content to free up some marketing time. This consistent brand will help you put your best foot forward on social media and your followers will quickly come to anticipate and appreciate your posts.

Having followers and having a social media following that loves you are two different tasks, but with relevant, consistent content you can become the apple pie of the social media world. Engage with your followers, share content that will help them, and always ask for feedback for improvement and you will be surprised by the positive relationships you will foster.