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by Amy Mortensen on February 1, 2016

Social Media Doesn’t Work That Way


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Stop Following People to Get Noticed!

As a social media community manager for multiple clients in both B2B and B2C worlds, I’ve noticed a common tendency in the way they first start out using social media to promote their business—following everyone under the sun in the hopes of getting some attention.  Despite the fact that many people and companies use this “tactic” this is not the way to use social media successfully.

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The Flaw in Following for Attention

I understand the thought process here: “If I follow XY and Z they will see that I followed them and follow me back” but it doesn’t work like that. Think about it, if someone has 1000 or 10,000 followers do you think your one follow will even get noticed?  Even if they do happen to see you followed them, that doesn’t mean they’ll follow you back.

Let’s say you want a magazine editor to see you on Twitter. You go and follow their account and maybe they follow you back, you may think “Yay, they’ll see my awesome tweets and want to do an article on my amazing service/product.” That’s probably not gonna happen. Most likely they follow a lot of people and may not even spend that much time on Twitter. People are busy, hoping they see your posts is not enough.

As amazing as your social posts are they are probably not remarkable enough on their own to stand out in the sea of social media. To get noticed by potential customers and industry influencers you must take the extra time and make a genuine effort to establish and maintain relationships. It’s called social media for a reason; you should be social on it.

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How Social Media Marketing Does Work

Success on social media comes by creating relationships. To create and nurture relationships with your current and potential customers, you need to take the time to engage in conversation with them. This process takes time and genuine effort, with interactions tailored for each social network you are using.

Foster engagement by following these social media best practices:

Monitor & Listen

Monitor your social channels as often as you can. Use the services of apps that will notify you when interactions or conversations are taking place across the web (IFTT, Hootsuite, Mention).  Genuinely listen to what people are saying. Social listening can provide instant access to customer insights. Use it to create new relationships and foster brand advocates.

Ask for Help

As you build a community leverage their knowledge by asking for help. Once you've earned their trust by investing in the relationship, you can ask for participation in surveys, feedback on new services, or anything else you need to know. You can also be more forward when asking people to share your content once you’ve proven it’s value.

Keep it Simple

Make sure the people who are looking for you can find you. Your blog should be linked to from your social profiles. Keep all of your social names the same across all social platforms, and promote your accounts across each platform. Remember that each social network attracts a slightly different segment of your target market. Make a conscious effort to create content specific segments will value and share it across the appropriate networks.

Cross-Promote across Channels

Make sure the people who are looking for you can find you. Your blog should be linked to from your social profiles. Keep all of your social names the same across all social platforms, and promote your accounts across each platform. Remember that each social network attracts a slightly different segment of your target market. Make a conscious effort to create content specific segments will value and share it across the appropriate networks.

Gamify

People love competition and rewards for reaching achievements—look at the popularity of mobile and social games if you need proof— so adding game elements to your social marketing can help to motivate your followers. Identify ways to move your community to act in a manner that aligns with your business goals, this will make engaging with your brand more fun. Create ways for your followers to participate in your social campaigns and match-up behavior and objectives with reward systems.

Social media success will not happen for you overnight. Social media marketing is a long-term investment in building relationships and ultimately a strong and loyal community around your brand. Stay the course, and be patient—the more you invest, the more you'll get back.

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