Last Updated on by Karl
Social media outlets – Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and many other sites – have given marketing new life. They enable a business to reach out to a much wider net than even just a website does. Social media lets companies attract traffic to their websites, and close sales nationally and even internationally. There are no limits to what a good social media marketing campaign can achieve.
So why do so many social media marketing strategies fail?
They fail because they don't seek out True Followers – which is precisely what needs to happen if companies want their marketing efforts to be recognized and successful.
What are True Followers?
True Followers are contacts of quality on social media. They don't just “like” or “follow” and then forget about the company they're following, they are engaged in the company and the company's persona. They interact, discuss, debate, ask questions, and, most importantly, purchase items and services based on the relationship with that company.
Companies need to build their image and reputation via social media through interaction. By getting involved with the “Internet Community,” a company can reach a much wider audience than ever before. In order to do this successfully, however, the business must decide what the goals are for having a social media page in the first place.
Quality or Quantity?
Essentially, social media comes down to choosing between quality and quantity. Quantity, of course, is having a million followers or more, where the company does little to interact – instead posting only about how great their deals are, how cute their products are, and generally giving a constant pitch to the people who subscribe or like their pages. This would be the equivalent to the old-fashioned street barker, who stands on the corner of the street peddling a product, and people walk on by, with the occasional people stopping to just watch the show. Once the sales pitch is over, they move along, having been more interested in the entertainment than the actual product or service.
The company focused on quality, however, gets into their product or service, certainly, but they also remember that they are human beings behind the corporation, and they reach out to their followers and fans, interacting with them. This would be the equivalent of meeting an acquaintance for coffee, sitting down, talking about life matters, and then, once trust is built, showing off what the company has been up to lately. This piques the interest of the fan, and they want to know more. Then, because there is so much back-and-forth, the fan typically decides that is something they could use in their own lives, and they make the company a part of their lives by becoming a consumer.
So which is better? Millions of followers or fans, and hundreds of sales, or thousands of followers and fans, and thousands of sales? For many companies, success would be measured in the latter rather than the former question.
How to Connect
There are three key components in connecting with followers and fans on a level that will close sales. It's actually quite simple, as long as the business follows the keys consistently.
- Interact! – Of course, interaction is the main word throughout this article, because interaction is the vital part of getting quality leads that close sales. Express interest in the public's opinion, and take time to care. If a fan posts on a diaper company's page that they just had a baby and are looking for a biodegradable diaper, the company should, first and foremost, congratulate them on the addition to their family, and then direct them to the eco-friendly section of the company's website. Interact. Be a part of the follower's life, and they will reciprocate through purchasing products and services.
- Be Genuine. – When asking the public for an opinion, make sure it's something that the company will utilize so that the public can see that their opinion counts. Follow through with promises and focus on being authentic.
- Avoid Spam. – Many people dislike unsolicited contact on their Facebook and Twitter, unless they have a genuine interest in the topic which the company practices. Use discretion when sending invitations to become a fan or when following someone. If the company sells banjos, don't follow a classical music lover who states that they dislike any other form of music! It will just annoy the person and tarnish the reputation of the company.
Getting followers and fans is the easy part, but keeping quality followers and fans requires consistency, and interaction. Reach out to people in a genuine way, not always barking on the street, and people will stop and really listen, reciprocate, and incorporate the brand into their lives.
Image credit: screenpunk