Many posts from those in the know on Twitter have underlined social media usage as not being primarily about how many followers/Likes/+1s businesses get – and I definitely endorse that to a degree. After all, it’s pointless asking people who have no interest in your services to ‘Like’ your page, or to create fake Twitter accounts to up the follower numbers – which add absolutely nothing of value to your feed and your business.
However, generally in life I believe business (and pleasure!) is largely a numbers game to an extent. If I look back at successes I’ve had both at work and play, they’ve usually come about over time, thanks to perseverance and also how much contact I’ve had and made with relevant sources.
Note the last highlighted phrase. ‘Relevant’ is the key word here.
Social media as a marketing tool is no different. If you have 10,000 irrelevant followers (meant in the nicest possible way) obviously it’s a futile game. However, if you have 1,000 relevant followers, the outlook’s very different.
When I look at social media users I most admire, they are the ones providing quality content but also regularly. They are the ones responding and engaging with followers. They create an aura around themselves through positioning themselves as a leader in their field. This ‘buzz’ is only created over time and with time comes larger amounts of online engagement and followers. This could be through blogging, Twitter, Facebook and any other networking sites if used wisely.
So, it really is a numbers game!
But how can you up the odds in your favour? It may seem straightforward, but are you really doing this?
A few tips:
- Try to set a minimum number of tweets/blog posts that you do per day/week. It doesn’t matter if it’s hard to stick to initially, just start creating the habit and getting into a good pattern.
- Make sure that you are creating conversations in the right areas with the right people. This is just about common sense. Target a significant amount of relevant networks and forums but target carefully. This is a numbers plus quality game!
- Offline networking face-to-face is in many ways more useful than online. How many times have you been to a networking event, made good connections, then added everyone on Linkedin the next day? It’s often a natural process. That transition from offline to online is key and the more you can combine the two, the better it’ll work for you. And, crucially, the more networking events you attend equals more Linkedin connections and equals more potential customers/referrals. It can be hard to build the same rapport initially online, it’s better to meet upfront first.
- Let’s face it, if you have 1,000 followers and just 200 of those are timewasters…that’s still another 800 people getting your message and passing it on! As long as the majority of your followers or contacts are relevant, that’s fine. And the more followers and contacts you have the more leads you could achieve indirectly and directly. All this through helping others and adding value to your services.
- Youtube is a BRILLIANT way to market your business (for various complex SEO reasons that I will go into in my next blog) and the more you post…the more you’re likely to get publicity, particularly if again, the videos are channelled towards the relevant crowd!