In some ways, it is easy to grow a social media following that doesn’t really give a hoot what you post, tweet, share, etc. But, what about that quality following? What about putting together a group of people who actually enjoy reading what you have to share? There are a couple of things we need to consider before we look at that list of four ways to grow that quality following.
Don’t Be a Narcissist
You may have truly come in first place. You may even be the best person who has ever lived and have the widest skill set and be the best at every single one of those skills. But, for pity’s sake (and I truly mean for the sake of pity on others), keep that to yourself! We don’t need to hear about it and we don’t need to hear about it in every tweet every moment of the day.
Now, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a little bragging or a shout-out that you have won an award or passed some milestone in your life. Hey, you all will probably hear about it when I finish my PhD. But, sharing about the passing of a milestone and bragging about that very thing every other moment of the day are quite different.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to fall on the other end of the scale either. One of the things that I sometimes struggle with is promoting my own articles. It is really easy to say, “Hey everyone. Check out this article by my friend so-and-so…” But, some of us are challenged when it comes to sharing something like an article we have written. Just because you share that, it doesn’t mean you have reached the level of a narcissist.
You know what the key is? The key is to find balance. Be confident in who you are, what you do, where you are going, without making everyone else gag because that is all you talk about throughout the day.
Why do I say all this? Because if you do find yourself going down the path of a narcissist, it is likely that you lack the quality following. Another thing you may find is that it is difficult to encourage people to follow you.
As I’m writing this, I’m visualizing a Twitter feed. I am thinking of Twitter as an example because it is so easy for people to review your most recent posts. If the tweets are all about you, it may be time to mix it up a bit and start promoting other people’s stuff. Check out places like Viral Content Buzz for content that may appeal to you, that you can share. This allows you to “mix it up” as I mention. And, when you do that, you don’t look so much like a narcissist 😉
Realize that This is Hard Work! It May Take Some Blood and Sweat to Get Quality!
While social media marketing may not be rocket science, there’s a little more to it than simply buying a package of fans and followers and calling it a day. Purchased followers offer little more than bragging rights about the size of your fan base. In addition to that, those purchased fan packages typically do nothing to enhance your long-term social media presence. Remember, we are talking about “Quality” followers. Ok, so for those of you who come in that package, I mean no disrespect. I am sure you are a quality person. In fact, my personal belief is to treat all people as quality people, but, we are not here to hear about Deborah’s philosophies of life.
Quality takes work whether you are growing a quality social following or growing a garden. It takes a bit of sweat. It takes a bit of actual labor. But, would it really be worth it if it didn’t? For many people, they have that sense of accomplishment when they reach that goal that they have worked so hard to reach. Also, when we are talking about quality followers, we may be thinking of those with whom we can actually have meaningful conversations about topics that we have in common, as far as interest and passion.
So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get some work done? I am and I am right there along side you.
Successful social media marketing is all about building a base of true fans and followers who will engage with your posts and share your content with friends and family. To that end, here are four tips that may help you grow that high-quality army of engaged followers, no matter what your niche or field of interest.
- Focus your efforts on the social media networks where your targeted audience is most active. Thinking in terms of business, as a business owner or freelancer, keep your resources in mind. So, for example, if your resources are limited, concentrate on those networks most used by your customers and best sales prospects. To find out where your potential followers are spending their time, you can do one or more of the following:
- Conduct a brief survey of your existing customers.
- Research your competitors to see where their content is being shared. (Sneaky, but effective!)
- Conduct keyword research of your primary search terms to determine which social networks are sharing content about your niche.
- Create useful or entertaining shareable content. This means that you need to resist the temptation to make every post a blatant sales message. (Remember the thoughts on not being a narcissist? That somewhat applies here, too, with blatant sales messages.) Remember that social media users are there to share ideas and experiences, not to be sold something. Adopt the 80/20 Rule. What that means is that about 80 percent of your content should inform or entertain. The remaining 20 percent can be used for self-promotional posts about your products or services. This may be a great way to help you to stay balanced, as we talked about earlier.
- Tell your story with as much visual content as possible. When it comes to social media engagement, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Visual content tends to have a better chance of being remembered than its pure text counterpart. Also, it is more likely to encourage engagement and sharing. Everything you publish should feature a graphic image relevant to your post topic. Do you want an example? Check out the image at the bottom of this post. Now, admittedly, it is not relevant, but I think it makes a point about being memorable, wouldn’t you say?
- Take the time to interact with your followers. Consistent monitoring of your social accounts and a timely response to comments and questions is just as important as creating exceptional content. Follow the conversations and engage with your followers as much as possible. When you demonstrate to your audience that you truly care about their opinions and ideas, you’re well on your way to building a strong and engaged fan base.
Is this easy? No. It isn’t easy from the point of view of how much time it may take. However, just like we said it isn’t rocket science. At the same time, it is something that anyone, with the right mindset, has the opportunity to accomplish. Also, if you own your own business, it is something that you may be able to teach your assistants. It is what we would call a “repeatable process.” So, are you ready to grow that quality following?
Now, here in closing, is that image I promised you: