Do you want hundreds of thousands of followers on social media?
That’s what some of the social media gurus claim is necessary. They have attained their “authority” through the high numbers of people that follow them.
That’s how they claim they achieve their sales as well. The more followers they have, the more likely they are to achieve greater sales.
It’s all a game of numbers.
But how do they interact with their followers?
It’s all very well broadcasting. However, if you really want to create relationships with your social media connections then you need to engage with them. That means having a two-way dialogue.
Interaction can be hard work. I have a much smaller online audience than the social media gurus. However, I sometimes struggle to engage with everyone as much as I should.
Remember also that many of your followers may not be engaging with you.
People have a limited attention span
Most of us follow many people on social media. But how many people do we actually spend time engaging with? How much content are we capable of consuming?
The average person will consume a maximum of 16 e-mail newsletters or content streams. Is your content stream one of them?
It’s much better to have a smaller, more engaged audience
This has three major advantages:
1. You can create targeted information and content
It is very difficult to be all things to everyone. If you want to engage your followers, it is important to provide information and resources that are directly relevant to them. This means avoiding generic print content. It means providing content specifically for a well-defined target audience.
2. You can interact properly
If you have fewer followers, you can spend more time on the ones that you do have. You have time to reach out to them. You are able to answer all their questions. You begin to create a two-way conversations. This leads to the third advantage of a smaller audience.
3. You create raving fans
Once you have social media followers who value your content, they reach out to you. When they reach out to someone and create a two-way dialogue, they begin to see the true value of you as a connection. They begin to support you and share your content. They recommend you to other people.
Often, they also become your clients.
So how do you build a social media following like this?
Firstly, decide exactly what sort of people you want to engage with on social media. Think about the ideal customers that you are trying to attract. Create a profile of this sort of customer.
Next, create or find content that will really interest them. You may not be quite sure about exactly what sort of content they want to read. So talk to your profile customers and prospects. Ask them what sort of information they would like. Twitter, for instance, now offers the ability to run polls – a great way to gauge the opinions of your audience!
Finally, make sure you get your content out to places where you ideal social media connections and prospects will find you. We’ll talk more about how to do this in my next post.
Forget about building a huge social media audience
Remember you want your social media activity to create you more customers. You want quality, not quantity. You don’t want to be a so-called social media guru.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to effectively leverage social media:
- I Have a Small Social Media Audience: How Can I Drive Sales?
- Tips for Attracting Readers to your Blog
- 4 Ways to Drive More Readers to your Newsletter
- Driving Sales with your e-Newsletter
PS: If you’d like more information on how to use social media effectively to sell printing services, download my free e-guide “Ten Social Media Rules For Print Sales People.” You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to use social media and sell print effectively.