For many a business owner, there’s far too much emphasis placed on growing fans and followers on social media, than using the real metrics for increasing your business reach.
The key to building a following is to let it happen naturally. The thing with social media is that it’s so easy to share content, but your own content should only need a jump-start. If you aren’t getting likes, shares, or retweets happening, your content isn’t engaging enough.
It’s sometimes brutal to think about your business in that way, but just consider it as reputation management. You more you business isn’t performing, the better measurements you can implement to get it performing.
Your shares need to be thought provoking and not about sitting down to tea and toast. There’s no value in sharing that and you’re bound to tick off a few of your existing followers. You aren’t going to increase your following though.
That’s going to take time for you to create real engaging content that offers value to each of your fans and followers.
Time you don’t have if you’re tucked away in the analytic laboratory, analysing all the key metrics to tally up what your cost per acquisition is when you have new fan/follower, convert them to a subscriber, and then into a loyal customer.
The metrics are there for you to get all the data you need to conduct a successful marketing campaign, but the time to engage your users can eat into your research time, required to conduct your business.
Social media brings a variety of metrics that help businesses track and measure their social media marketing, through the analytics data provided. You get to see your fan base grow for sure, but there’s time on site, click through metrics, the reach your messages has etc. All of the data you could be using, you may be missing by spending too much attention to growing your following.
5k Fans/followers are no use if you don’t know anything about those people.
The biggest mistake any business owner can make is to grow an untargeted following on social media. If that happens, you’re marketing reach is doomed before you even try to use your base for marketing purposes.
Engagement is everything on social media platforms, but you need to engage with the right people.
The only numbers you should be paying attention to are within your analytics data. Not in the amount of people, you have within your reach.
Before you attempt any engagement, you should know your audience. It’s the only way to get people’s attention in a world that’s noisy with useless information. To get your content standing out, it takes engagement.
You aren’t going to acquire a new customer in one tweet or Facebook update. It will give the opportunity for someone new to connect with you, but that’s only the start.
Two way communication is key and there’s a number of ways to do that:
• Broadcast Messages
• Private messaging or direct messaging
• Retweets for B2B social networking
In order to free up your time to pay attention the areas you need to focus on, your following can be grown from other areas off social networking platforms.
Use off media marketing for business growth, and social media for social engagement.
Here are 4 places to ensure your branding is top notch:
1. Your website first
Your online place of business is your website. That’s where you need all your connections to lead to – so brand that URL address. Have it on every social media profile, and reverse the process so that your website can drive further engagement by marketing your social media channels.
2. Your blog
This is actually different to your website, because you can use your content to market your usernames. If you’re on WordPress, you can go to your admin settings and replace the author name to show the @username after your name. It won’t hyperlink to your social media channel, but it will brand that profile on your page.
When you’re finished your blog posts, that’s where you sign off with a profile signature, signature your emails with the @.
Prospects on your email list should never be treated as prospects. They’re real people and in the process of getting to know you.
Make it easy for people by connecting your emails to your social media presence. Every email is then acting as a magnet for social shares, and that lead to further reach by expanding your followers.
Do that the same way as you can sign off on your blog posts. Include links to your social media channels.
3. Business card
This is one that so many businesses are under using. The business card is the marketing tool for drumming up business from offline meetings. It’s standard practice now to include a website URL on there, which didn’t happen a few years back. It does now though, and a few years from now it will be standard practice to have social media URLs on your business card.
You may be amazed at how many referrals this can give you. Think of the last time you met someone you thought would be a good prospect, kept their card, and never followed up. Then a friend asks about a service, and you remember you’ve that business card. You’re old prospect still got a new lead, when their old one went cold.
Small world and all that. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow your brand.
4. Link your networks together
Not everyone on Facebook will be a twitterer and likewise. We all have preferences and most have friends who are on Twitter more than Facebook, and vice versa. The only way to expand your reach to friends of friends in that situation is to link the two of them together.
Use your about page on your profiles for that and give everyone a chance to connect with you on whatever their preferred social channel is.
By adopting a wide range of places to acquire followers, you can focus more on engaging the people you are already connected with, instead of focusing on acquiring more.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net