Be interested in other people and they’ll be interested in you. #SocialMediaClick To Tweet
Build Your Fanbase With A Social Media Followers KitDon't miss out on this awesome social media followers kit. It's made up of:
- A social media engagement checklist to help you explore new tactics that will work for your business
- An editable slide deck to present your social media persona to your team
- A loyal social media followers worksheet that will help you get to know more about your audience and goals
You Want To Build A Group Of 1,000 True FansIn Kevin Kelly’s seminal 2008 post, “1,000 True Fans,” he starts off describing “the long tail,” which is his name for what the internet did to markets as it grew in popularity. Because it removes barriers and makes things easier to find, it has led to a lengthening of the market. For example, if you like classical trombone concertos, it used to be that you’d have to scour the record store and probably buy an entire album, even though it was just one or two tracks you really wanted to listen to. Thanks to the internet, you can find as many of those as you want on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, or even YouTube. There are an increasingly infinite array of products available in a particular sector, meaning customers are split up into smaller and smaller groups. Obviously, there will be superstars—a ubiquitous product that blows up, or someone with the right combination of talent and luck that comes along at just the right time and captures a big following. Kevin’s point is that you can’t reasonably aim to replicate superstar success. What you can do, however, is figure out what level of support will work to make your success sustainable. What you want to do is work on building a group of 1,000 True Fans. Or 500. Or 3,000. Different business models will need different numbers. The key is that it’s hard, but it’s achievable. As Kevin puts it, “You can count to 1,000.” So what is a True Fan?
A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. —Mike MasnickIt’s this level of loyalty and passion that we can build with our social media following.
1. Change The Way You Think About Social MediaThe social media ground game has evolved. Back in the wild west days of social media, the only numbers that mattered were followers, likes, and shares. It didn’t matter how you got the followers, as long as that number was big. The same how-to was floating around in everyone’s heads:
- Build followers
- Get likes
2. Engage With Your Followers To Make Them Loyal FansThe biggest mistake most marketers make is thinking of social media as a broadcast channel. They think it’s about sending out your message, about repetition and variation as if it’s just another form of TV. What they don’t do enough is listen. Instead, use these tips to better engage with your followers:
- Get smaller. Instead of trying to broadcast to a large, general audience, narrow your focus to interacting with a small, specific audience. Who do you want to talk to? Focus on your customers social streams. Begin by listening. Have a conversation.
- Tell stories. Stories are what get people engaged and emotionally connected. A story is something unique, personal, and engaging. Stories let us see the people, idea, or values that you represent. Social Media Examiner has a great guide to using stories in your social media marketing.
- Show your face. Use visual content to get attention. Study after study shows that a post attached to a strong visual is more likely to get shared. More importantly, it lets us see behind the curtain. We will connect better with you as a person than a brand, so don’t be afraid to show your face. As Kevin put it very clearly: "Understand this isn’t ‘look at me, look how cool I am’ content, this is perhaps just the opposite if it is to connect. This is 'look at me, look how much I care, look how regular I am, look at why I might be the perfect person to guide you to the result you are seeking.'"
- Have conversations. Talk to people, ask questions, and find ways to get engaged. Show that you are interested in what others have to say, and not just obsessed with selling something. Shutterstock has a great guide for creatives on how to have more authentic conversations on social media.
3. A Loyal Following Comes From Being A Real PersonIn her useful guide to building a loyal following on social media, Mei Pak offers this incredibly wise piece of insight:
Building a successful creative business means polarizing the people that find you. They are either your target customer or they’re not. —Mei PakIt’s natural to be cautious about putting yourself out there because it can seem pretty risky. You might come off wrong, or miscommunicate, or make a fool of yourself. But while that’s off-putting to some people, it will make others fall in love with you. As long as you show vulnerability and admit mistakes when you make them, you have nothing to lose. Achieving this successfully requires making sure you’re clear about your values. Decide what’s important early on, and it becomes easier to know what to post about. If an event is happening nearby, you could post a shout-out, or even share a photo or video from it. Shared values are going to attract your most loyal customers. Finally, make sure that you keep upbeat. As Mei says:
Present and focus on the positive points so you don’t sound like a whiner. —Mei PakThat doesn’t mean you can’t post about something you’re struggling with, but try to stay constructive and positive to get people to root for you.
Get EngagedAll of this advice really boils down to a simple revelation: Social media is about having a conversation, not about who can yell the loudest. The same way that you approach meeting people at a party is the way you should approach your social media game. As Dale Carnegie advises, be interested in other people and they’ll be interested in you.
#SocialMedia is about having a conversation, not about who can yell the loudest.Click To Tweet