There are two things that often happen when you incorporate social media into your marketing strategy. The first is that you try to get as many followers as possible. The second is that the followers you get do not have a vested interest in your brand. The reality is that social media is quality versus quantity. Why get 100 new followers when 98 of them aren’t the right followers? The lesson is that social media is about quality over quantity.
Followers and Engagement
It is difficult to ignore the follower count when it is prominently displayed on your social media sites. And, although it may look like the larger the number is better; this is not always the case. In the early days of social media, users were much more active in their networks, but the concept of ‘following’ has changed. Today, only a small portion of your followers are active. Twitter has 320 million users with an estimated total number of registered users at 1.3 billion. Even so, how many of the 320 million are actually engaging with brands?
While it would be nice to create a Facebook or Twitter page and get qualified prospects to magically follow you, it does not generally work that way. Let us look at some practical and effective ways you can develop a following in social media – and more importantly, the right kind of following.
Gaining the Quality Followers by Monitoring the Competition
At its best, social media builds customer advocacy, drives traffic, and converts sales. And one way to ensure that this actually happens to you is by tapping into a fan base that is already established. The fan base of your competitors.
Leading companies succeed because they are good networkers. They take advantage of the fact that the followers of their competitors are also their target audience. So, on Twitter, you can look for conversations that are taking place with prospective buyers, and then swoop in at the most opportune time. With LinkedIn, you can engage in conversations in groups and forums (see below) and vie for the attention of potential buyers which the competition has their attention on as well.
An engagement tactic: providing social media customer service
Leading companies are providing customer service through social media. According to NM Incite, 71% of consumers who experience positive social customer care are likely to recommend the brand to others. This means that customer service is a powerful method to attract your social consumers. By using social media for customer care, you are demonstrating attentiveness while offering something of value.
The following is a list of 5 methods that will work to not only grow your audience but will also work to help you gain the right followers.
Create and join groups or forums
LinkedIn has 690+ million users, as of May 2020, and there are millions of groups to join.
By creating or joining a group relevant to your market, you can participate in discussions. You can also provide helpful and informative advice to members. But, the main reason is to get to the right followers. By ensuring that you are sharing valuable insights, you gain credibility. This will get your name out there and entice qualified followers to join your LinkedIn page.
Conduct polls and surveys
When it comes to social media, most audiences are very vocal and provide their opinion whenever they see an opportunity. This is why conducting polls and surveys is a great way for you to show that you are genuinely interested in their opinions. When others see that you are ‘rating’ a brand, some want to jump in and do the same. By finding ways to give others a voice, you will gain more followers.
Hashtags do a great job at making it easy for users to find more of what they are looking for and they are a great way to be found, based on areas of interest. Gaining genuine followers could be accomplished by getting your users to join in on conversations that are found through specific keywords and phrases on social sites like Facebook and Instagram.
Responding quickly and thoroughly
When you engage as soon as possible in the conversation, customers are more responsive because they are going through the motions at that moment. By ensuring that you respond quickly to people’s comments, you are showing others that you are available and care about your customer base. By responding thoroughly, you show audiences that you have their best interests in mind.
Choosing the right channels
Deciding on which social media network you want to grow a following in is an important part of your marketing strategy. You don’t want dedicate effort into a channel only to find out that your customers are not there. Measure efforts against each other to determine where you achieve the most success and work within the boundaries of the channels which have followers that are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Turning social media users into qualified leads
It is important to understand that users in different social networks often have different reasons for being there. That’s why sometimes followers won’t be compelled to convert on LinkedIn but will through Facebook. You have to determine which network is most likely to convert followers into qualified leads. By gathering insights and granular data on results, you can determine what kind of messages to craft across each channel.
How effective is your social media strategy? Do you have a random or dedicated following on social media? However it goes, remember social media is quality over quantity.
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