I have been a bit remiss about doing any blogs on social media so far, and I think it is because there is simply so much to say it is impossible to know where to start!
I love social media – the impact it can have for small businesses, the way it can set the really great businesses apart from the crowd and the really great people from all over the world you can meet without having to find your passport and spend lots of money.
But having just been doing some Twitter management the decision on where to start with this huge subject has been made for me by a very, very common problem that frankly drives me up the wall!
Social Media is about having conversations – real conversations with real people.
Too many people see it as a numbers game, but you definitely loose out by seeing it this way.
Followers are important whatever platform you are on, but please don’t be the kind of person who follows others and then unfollows them as soon as you have the +1 you want – it is soooooo infuriating.
(and a quick FYI … if someone who has huge numbers of followers, is not following many and is not a celeb or influencer follows you be a little wary 🙂 )
The fact is that when it comes to social media, it’s not the numbers but the meaning behind them that counts. If social media is about building relationships, then it’s the authenticity of those relationships that will truly determine their ROI.
1. Be Real. Use social media to promote the exchange of real ideas, and participate in the conversation in an authentic way. As Seth Godin once said, networking is always important when it’s real, and it’s always a useless distraction when it’s fake.
2. Find Your Niche. Sure, having a million followers is great. But what percentage of that group really represents your target customer? It’s your core audience that is most worth engaging via social media – and they respect authentiticity and want to see the real you!
3. Create Brand Ambassadors. Once you’ve found your niche, develop it! The reality is, you don’t need to convince everyone about your brand; rather, you need to find a few people who are likely to convince others for you. To get them to do this, make sure you’re worth talking about! Take an “under-promise and over-deliver” approach to your offering, and to the service around your offering. Go out of your way to make your customers happy.
Social media has quickly become the face of your business to your consumers, so it’s important for companies to think of it like customer service on steroids. Take the opportunity to show everyone what it’s like to interact and do business with you. Don’t worry about the numbers—worry about making your numbers count!
And if someone unfollows you the minute you follow them back … consider if that is the kind of business you would consider being/ following/ using/ recommending in the future.
I know I wouldn’t and it isn’t a way I would ever dream of treating my own clients.