Are your social media followers really your target?

CULTIVATE Social Media

There’s a tendency for marketers to celebrate the number of followers they have on their social media channels. But striving for follower growth usually isn’t an effective strategy to grow your business.

Sure, you need to grow your followers and subscriptions – but they must be the right kind of people, or you’re wasting your time. Getting them to read your content is the key to social media and marketing effectiveness.

How do you make sure your followers are your target? 

  • Start by defining your target prospects. What are their browsing habits? Where do they tend to congregate online? For consumers, Facebook and Instagram are obvious choices. For businesspeople, LinkedIn and Twitter are the leading channels. Engage them there, and forget about the other social media channels – focus on one to start.
  • Research your ideal prospects and identify their pain points and problems. What competitive, industry, technology and regulatory trends are affecting them? You may want to talk with current customers to learn what worries or concerns them. Sometimes their problems are not even related to your product or service, but are issues for which they still need a solution. One such problem today is finding good employees. In a tight labor market, everyone is seeking solutions to this vexing challenge.
  • Create focused content that addresses those needs and problems. Your content will act like a magnet that will attract people who are looking for solutions to those challenges. In other words, they will self-select your valuable resources. That makes this an ideal target marketing tactic!

Feed your website

For best results, all of the updates you publish on your social media channels ought to point to specific pages on your website. There are several reasons why this works especially well:

  • You don’t own the social media channels. They can and do change their rules of engagement any time they want, usually at the expense of marketers. You need to drive prospects to web properties that you own and control – such as your website.
  • Most social media properties limit how much you can publish on their channels. In order to tell a more complete and compelling story, you must push them to your website, where you can publish what you want, in the format and length that you want.
  • Once a prospect has arrived at your website, they have an opportunity to discover other related content– especially if you provide them with links pointing to it!

Take-away:  The idea is not to attract the most followers, it is to attract your targeted audience as your followers and engage them on your website.

Be HELPFUL — Be REMEMBERED

Thirty-five-years ago, when I first started working in advertising, a talented sales trainer named Lee Neary taught me an invaluable lesson:

“You have to stay ‘top of mind’ with your customers
and consistently do helpful things that are
related to the customer’s business.”

He taught me to mail my prospects and customers interesting industry-related articles on a regular basis. Then to go a step further by using a yellow highlighter to point out the salient info on the piece for the customer. I’d go to the library and skim trade magazines related to my customers’ industries, searching for articles to copy, mail, and highlight that might help them or give them a leg up on their competition.

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Later in my career, I taught my own sales teams to flag “share dates” in their monthly planners. These were reminders for them to send something to Customers X, Y, and Z each month.

Today’s successful businesses are doing the very same thing with their customers — they just brought the communication venue online. Companies share and forward valuable tips and tricks via social networks and email instead of snail mail. It’s the same thoughtful idea, just using a newer, quicker medium.

Insider Tip: Be sure what you send is relevant; avoid Digital Pollution. And really smart businesses are also periodically sending postal letters, cards, and even packages once in a while — to keep things truly personalized and interesting!

Not only are businesses sharing articles of interest with their customers, savvy companies are harnessing the power of content marketing by creating their OWN original content.

The smart money has always been — and will continue to be — on CONTENT STRATEGY. It’s one big  “Help Festival” on the internet, with people putting all sorts of relevant and valuable information just a click or a tap away. Why not show the world your industry expertise by developing meaningful, helpful content yourself!

Your customers judge you and your business on how helpful you are in meeting their needs and solving their problems. So ask yourself:

“How are you being helpful to your customers so they
think of you the next time they need your products or services?

Keeping yourself “top of mind” with your customers is just one more reason to make content development part of your strategic marketing plan. Is your business positioning itself to be remembered?
Johnathan Crawford of Data Dog Marketing
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