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Create awareness

Raise awareness or post in vain

Top tips for building up a social media following. Spontaneity on social media is great, but you won’t build your audience without strategy….


In another post we discussed the importance of “raising awareness”, focusing on how to get everyone in your organisation talking about and supporting the use of social media.

Now it is time to look beyond your boundary walls. All your colleagues are converts to the cause. All social media channels are live. All you need now is an audience…

Please like me

In the early days, you probably just want to build up a following so you know your posts are being read by enough people.

Reaching out to infrequent users of social media requires a different strategy; more traditional offline marketing may be more effective. You can advertise your social media presence on posters, newsletters, municipal stationery, business cards and more. For municipalities wanting to use social media for customer services, it is probably worth running a full city-wide advertising campaign.

In Høje-Taastrup, we also use PR; the local press, with its loyal, local audience, has direct access to our target audience. So we send out press releases about the success of our social media activity – like when we reached 1000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.

We discovered that 1000 was our lucky number – this seems to be the critical mass we needed for our Facebook page to really take off. After this, enough people were seeing the page and sharing our posts that we had to do very little to grow our audience. That’s the wonderful thing about social media: people are happy to get involved and spread the word! We still use sponsored content and adverts from time to time for specific campaigns, but now we really focus on getting the content right, as well as building an audience.

Strategy, strategy, strategy

I cannot emphasise it enough. Using social media as a corporate tool – a communication channel with customers – is very different to your everyday, personal posts and photos. You need to follow a strategy. You can only post effectively if you know exactly what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.

This doesn’t preclude a place for spontaneity, but spur of the moment posts should first be tested against the strategy. Always ask “How will this post help us to achieve our aims?”

So you need to make sure you know the vision and how this will be achieved on a day to day basis:

  • Corporate strategy: what are the goals of your organisation and how will social media help to achieve them?

  • Content marketing strategy: what content will people like, what will they share, and how will this promote your social media presence?

Set targets, measure your performance, evaluate your campaigns and explore what more you can do.

“You can only post effectively if you know exactly what you want to achieve”

Next steps

  • Follow and ‘like’ organisations on social media

  • Engage in discussions and debates

  • Share other people’s content and ask them to do the same for you

  • Promote your social media presence through more traditional marketing channels, including PR

  • Play our Social Media Game

  • Read more: resources for social media training

Web links


Birgitte Städe, Communication Consultant, Høje-Taastrup Municipality, Denmark. Email:

Birgitte Städe has been leading the Opening Up project in Høje-Taastrup and has worked with colleagues to launch Høje-Taastrup on social media, primarily the municipality’s official Facebook-page.