Do you dream of having as many followers as Lady Gaga? Do you envy those approaching as many “likes” as Eminem or Coca Cola? If you’re an international celebrity with global appeal, you should rightly be chasing more followers and “likes.” All others needn’t bother.
The difference is that while these stars and brands have wide appeal to millions of fans, it’s far more likely that your business is targeting a much more niche market. What’s the point of engaging with masses of people who have no interest in your product or service, and likely never will have? Not a lot. Even if they’re a strong influencer, if they’re not interested, they won’t take time out to understand your offering’s benefits.
It’s not the “how many” that matters with followers and “likes,” it’s “who” that really counts. If you were selling double glazing, would you be better off talking to 10 people with rotting window frames or 1,000 people with newly built homes?
When you write your website’s page copy, you’ll hopefully have your typical target customer persona in mind. You’ll be writing for this “person,” understanding their pain and offering a solution tailored to their needs. When you send emails to opt-in subscribers, your email content will be designed to trigger a desired reaction from the recipient – a reaction from someone who has maybe got to know your products, how your company treats its customers, and learned to trust you to deliver what you promise.
A content marketing program or strategy needs to be consistent. Social media is about engaging with your target audience through sharing valuable content. What you have to do is to make sure that your social media engagement is with the same target audience that you are engaging with all of your other content marketing – email, website pages, and so on.
So here are some essential guidelines I’d recommend you follow:
1. Keep your target audience in mind every time you engage with social media. Make sure you feel comfortable that your output will likely be of benefit or interest to them.
2. Use the same language and voice for all your content, social media or otherwise. Be consistent. If your website’s content is deadly serious and your tweets are trivial or jokey, you will confused the message and confuse your target market.
3. Concentrate on relevancy of engagement. Think “What can I share that will be of interest to those that I engage with on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites”. Stop thinking “What will get most people to follow me”.
4. Make it easy for people to engage with you, but only if they want to. It’s ok to put “Follow us on Twitter” or “Like Us on Facebook” on your site, but don’t do it so it’s the first thing people see. Those that actually read your blogs or white papers might want to do this after they’ve read what you have to say and found it engaging. Nobody comes to your site with the primary intention of trying to follow or “like” you.
5. Measure what works, and dare to be different. Don’t feel obliged to stick with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These may not be where your audience is. Try searching for other niche social media sites in your area of business. There’s a lot out there.
6. Avoid regular “unfollows” and “unlikes.” If you’re tweeting 20 times a day to people who have no interest in what you’re saying, you’ll eventually be removed. Don’t attract these people in the first place. So never “buy” from sites that offer “likes” and followers. Eventually they won’t “like” you and they’ll unfollow you.
Remember: just write for your target audience and your following will grow from those that will make the difference to your business through social media marketing. Forget about the rest.
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