“Amassing followers for the sake of sheer numbers is similar to the guy who talks really loud at parties and everyone rolls their eyes at.”
Don’t be that guy! As offensive as the ubiquitous party guy is, he is also just as present (and offensive) on social media. It seems that everywhere on social media are monotone shouts to follow a link or check out a website. While such sophomoric attempts succeed at pulling in the mindless and vulnerable, the savvy social media user shies away from such white noise.
Not being savvy with your use of social media is lethal to your brand image. Many wise social media marketers repeat the hallowed dictum to ‘engage’ with social media users. They say this because they understand the importance of interaction first, sales second (actually another few steps on down the chain). Perhaps a desire for sales or a lack of understanding on how social media properly works creates this lack of proper use; but one thing is for sure; many companies are missing out on the benefits of proper social media marketing.
Here are some things to do that will help you to engage properly on social media:
POST LESS – ENGAGE MORE
Don’t just post inks to your website and ask people to read your new blog post. It translates as desperate and shallow. Find people with common interests and industry and converse with them. People like to talk about themselves, so ask questions about a particular product or service, ask people their opinion on something. The point is to establish real human connections with other users of social media. That is the social aspect of social media.
SHARE GOOD CONTENT
Perhaps twenty percent of your postings should be descriptive information about your company (notice I said descriptive, not hard selling). For the rest of your postings, share valuable information that is of genuine interest to your followers. Approach this from the mindset of who your customer base is and what are their concerns and interests are. Keep the subject matter on point with your company’s products and services. If you stray too far off topic, your brand image will weaken and the more posting you do, the weaker your brand image will become.
QUALITY – NOT QUANTITY
Only young teenagers care about thousands of followers, don’t be like them (unless you’re a teenager). Try to get quality followers; do not concern yourself with huge numbers. Use hashtags to identify your posts on G+ and Twitter. Using hashtags will cause your material to be found by those who are looking specifically for it. If you regularly post quality, on topic, content with proper formatting and hashtags, you will build a steady and well-qualified follower group.
AVOID BEING A SPAMMER
Above I mentioned promoting yourself around twenty percent of the time; I would now like to expand on that thought. When you do promote yourself on social media, provide informative content and explain that they can get more info by contacting you, which should be the extent of your ‘sell’. If you are more aggressive, you will project the image of the dreaded spammer. Don’t hurt your brand by being anything but upfront with your precious followers. If you want them to sign up for a newsletter, tell them that is what it is. The old bait and switch routine is transparent and will only provide you with a poorly aligned customer base.
Your brand’s forward progression into a visible spot in your respective market is shaped by how you conduct yourself on social media. Your actions, inactions and manner of engagement will shore you up or tear you down. Most implosions of brands were done at the hands of their own marketing departments by being callous in their handling of social media.
Things always start small and evolve into larger entities over time. The time it takes to do that and the size of that entity is your responsibility.
What will you do with social media?
About the Author: Robert Waddington has been writing about marketing and business since 1999. He covers topics regarding the effect of marketing on industry segments, good management, the forces that drive commerce, and the need to be up-to-date with trends in the field. Robert will often dip into the dreaded etymological pool to flog a word for a few extra rounds or make quick digressions into sub genres of human behavior. Robert can usually be counted on for his persistent wail of white noise chatter. He drives an imaginary Winnebago across the web, delivering metaphorical donut boxes to the denizens of cyberland.
Robert is the founder of Alpha Avant. Alpha Avant is a full service, integrated marketing company that provides social media marketing, traditional marketing, and content marketing for businesses.