For our latest installment in the “Strengthening Your Social Media Presence” series, we will be covering how to create an engaged, interested following on social media channels that you can use to leverage as email subscribers. If you’re just now joining in, we are covering the necessary steps to improve your social media in order to help your email marketing efforts. If you’ve already begun to follow the advice mentioned in our first blog in the series, you will have the content needed to lure and keep followers – Think: “If you build it, they will come.”
But, don’t think that simply posting content via social media outlets and hoping for the best will lead to an increase in subscribers, though. As noted by its name, social media is just that: Social. You need to lead discussions, interact with your audience, and prove that you are not only an industry leader, but that you’ve got some pretty clever stuff to say. To begin to build a collection of useful, connected followers, here are a few helpful steps to get you started:
Follow people that you think would like you.
Sure, this sounds a little bit like stalking…And that’s because it kind of is. Use the search functions on social networks to find people that fit the ideal demographic for your email marketing campaign. You sell shoes? Find people who like or talk about shoes. This same theory applies to B2B campaigns, as well: Follow current or potential clients to get an idea of what’s going on in their world and start interacting with them. Eventually, they are bound to notice that you follow them and post information that grabs their attention. Even if they never decide to follow you back, you will still have access to what their interests are, fads they follow, and products that they purchase.
Give them a reason to want to follow you back.
One of the first cardinal social rules you learn in real-life is “Just because you like them, it doesn’t mean they have to like you back” (anyone else just have a flashback to your first middle school dance?). This same concept applies to social networking, where you have to give your potential following a reason to want to listen to you. Post engaging content, provide advice for members within your target demographic, and become the “cool” page you would want to follow (again, flashbacks to middle school anyone?). The more they begin to enjoy your brand’s personality through social media, the more they will be motivated to learn more about you via other interactive outlets – This is a great reason why you should always provide a subscribe button or link on your social media pages.
Have meaningful interactions.
Much like respect, social networking is a two-way street. If you want your followers to continue to follow you and interact with you, you need to communicate back. Like their posts, respond to their comments, or mention them by name in one of your posts that would be of interest to them to show your audience that there is an actual human operating the account and not just a robot. This also offers a great channel to improve customer service for your company by responding to both good and bad comments. You can commiserate, commend, and connect with your following to make them feel more attached to your brand and its personality – Use this power to your advantage.
These are all recommendations that you can begin to implement across your social accounts today. Take a look at who currently follows you – How many followers have you had a meaningful interaction with via social media? If it’s only a small group of people, if any at all, maybe you need to reassess your approach. In next week’s installment, we will continue to help you grow your ROI by covering the importance of knowing proper social media etiquette and how that reflects on your brand.
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts