Getting results from your existing efforts
You’re already online with profiles all over the web from Facebook to Twitter to Google+, and you know not to spam and how to gain trust, but maybe your efforts just aren’t converting the way you had hoped, especially for the amount of time you have spent online.
There are steps to taking your social media presence to the next level. In part one of this series, we talked about perfecting your timing and telling your story, then in part two, we discussed how to energize evangelists and appreciating them so they’ll stick around.
Below are the final three steps to elevate your social media presence:
Shape a community, or become a leader in a compatible community that already exists. Start on it today, now, before you ever need them.
You never want someone who hasn’t spoken to you in years calling to ask you for money or a ride to the airport. Most of us don’t get married on the first date – and among those that do there’s some powerful connection or other reason they think the idea is a good one.
(Such as, perhaps, alcohol.)
You don’t want to be the person who hasn’t communicated with a community and shows up to ask them for help. Any time that you aren’t actively marketing for a specific event needs to be spent in part on deepening and expanding community ties – this includes peers, even if they’re competitors in the same industry.
Serve the community and when you need them, the return will be that much greater.
6. Small Bricks, Huge Castle
You can’t force something to go viral. The best you can hope for is that as you continue to learn how to make better and better content, tailored specifically to a community, that eventually the cumulative momentum will work in your favor on that unpredictable day when you strike a nerve.
To do this, stop trying to hit the ball out of the park every time.
I know that sounds counterintuitive. But you never know what people are going to find useful. Some of my most typo-ridden blog posts or articles have hundreds of replies and shares. Other things that I work really hard on only resonate with my colleagues – I’m sure part of it is that I tend to ramble or deal with ideas at a complex, philosophical level at times.
Despite how super-brilliant my community is, there are times when few people have time for those side journeys.
Instead, build several smaller projects towards a mega-action. Instead of having a one day sale, maybe you need to have a series of attention-getting events that serve the community, leading up that that.
You could start with a customer appreciation day where you just answer questions all day, then recognize people in your community the next day. You can then crowdsource ideas for improvement, and end with a three day sale with different specials each day.
You also want to keep in consistent contact like a favorite TV show. Now, blogging daily may be overkill. But keeping in some kind of consistent pattern can make you part of a prospect’s habits. Just like when they move your favorite program to Friday night, when you drop out of contact, you drop out of mind.
Again, it doesn’t have to be a full blown production every time. Just because you made a slam dunk with that last whitepaper doesn’t mean you need to pressure yourself to write a new whitepaper a day.
If you’re weary of writing, try an audio post or start a video podcast. A weekly newsletter might be enough. Blogging several times a week or a month, depending on how much more attention you’re looking to get, can help you catch different parts of your readership.
Ideally you’re doing as much as you can but you have to start somewhere.
7. Research, Survey. Rinse, Repeat
Think the web is changing faster than the speed of light? The whim of a potential customer or client can change even more frequently. Yesterday we were amazed by Facebook, today we might be bored with it.
Never stop researching or polling. Your audience will tell you what they want and how much they’ll pay for it if you’d just ask them.
Going through the motions of social media isn’t enough to get even the most basic clickthrough traffic results. Do the extra work, and you could reap tenfold the results.