Social media is here to stay and with good reason – it works. According to a Hubspot report, The State of Inbound Marketing 2012, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. With literally millions of users using social media platforms worldwide, it makes sense for you to have a business presence where your customers are active. Like most things, however, the idea of something is all well and good, but the tricky area is the execution. It’s one thing to say you want to use social media to garner more attention and leads for your company, and it’s quite another to actually do it.
If you’ve been considering jumping on the social media bandwagon or are just looking for better ways to leverage social media for your business, keep the following tips in mind. They will help you move in the right direction of growing your following and getting a solid return on investment of your time and energy.
#1 – Have the right mindset going in.
Many people just want to hire someone to do their social media or schedule posts so it’s not a huge hassle. If your intent is to grow a following, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You can’t hire someone to be you and spread your brand message. Like Jay Baer, author of The Now Revolution says, “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” To truly leverage these platforms you have to become part of the network, not an outsider spamming your message over and over again, hoping for a few clicks and likes. Social media has to become a part of your life, not just an action that you do a few times a day.
#2 – Use these platforms for good.
Chris Brogan, social media expert and author of Social Media 101 gives the best advice on what to post, “Things that help others get the most shares.” When you are giving advice or being helpful, people listen. When someone is searching for something, they are typically looking for help in that area. They don’t want to be sold something – they want answers. The person who provides those answers is going to be someone they will trust as a recognized resource in that area. When you keep this in mind with your social media following great things can happen. Not only will you be helping others, you will be increasing the strength of your brand image and creating a loyal fan.
#3 – Be prolific.
The more involved you are the more your following will grow. Marsha Collier, e-commerce expert, author and radio personality, says it best, “The most successful marketer becomes part of the lives of their followers.” People have a short attention span and even with the best intentions they forget about brands they love. It’s your job to keep yourself front and center in their minds. Luckily, with social media this has never been easier or more important. Let’s face it, if you’re not doing it, one of your competitors are. According to Social Media Examiner, 59% of marketers are using social media for six hours or more each week. If that seems like a lot of work, consider this fact from Hubspot: businesses that blog at least 20 times per month generate five times more traffic and four times more leads.
The people are out there waiting to follow someone, now it’s just up to you to make sure you’re the one they choose.
How have you used social media to grow your online following? Do find it worth the effort? Let's talk in the comments section below!