Getting results from social media
You already know you’re supposed to be on Twitter (and you are), Facebook (you are), and Google+ (you are, kind of). You know your business benefits from a blog and you’ve been at it for a while, so you’re not a beginner. But now that you’re an intermediate user of social networking, you need to know how to squeeze out the most results from online marketing.
You are comfortable with etiquette and can understand basic metrics to gauge results, but you don’t know how to make more of an impact or you want more results. You’re in the right place. In part one of this series, you learned to perfect your timing and get people to buy into your brand. Below are two more testable tips for you to try out in an effort to expand your message and amplify your social media efforts.
3. Energize Evangelists and Enthusiasts
It’s weird to think of a person or company of having fans. If it helps you, instead of picturing a screaming teenage girl holding a picture of Robin Thicke, try thinking about an enthusiast, perhaps a wine lover at a tasting, or a music lover at a jazz concert.
Then think about those handful of people in the groups of enthusiasts who tells everyone they know about the latest new artist or wine they discovered. Haven’t we all been that person? Someone who experienced something so fantastic, that we told all our friends about it?
And we’ve all been on the receiving of the most energized, happiest enthusiasts. Those are called evangelists – a word I tend to dislike but absolutely captures the happily feverish way these wonderful super-fans spread the word about things they enjoy and create new fans for the product they love.
In an ideal world, you’d want to find, empower, promote and/or even befriend all your customers and clients. And in the early stages of your business, you might want to provide spectacular customer service that will not scale, so that it permeates your company culture as much as possible.
However, you’ll come to a point where you won’t be able to do that. So nail down the process of finding out who your top people are, both people who are the most active and most vocal – they may not be the same people.
Once you know who they are, you’ll want to make sure they know that you’re paying attention and that you care. You don’t have to fall in love with them, but it’s great to have supporters who will happily send out a tweet or share things on their Facebook wall just because you mentioned in your newsletter that it would be helpful.
Instead of being the person drawing the attention, or making your product or service the star of the show, make your customers stars – be the star-enabler. Your products will still get the same amount of attention, and are often more digestible as part of someone else’s success story.
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I’m not saying there need to be special mushrooms on the inside. I’m just saying first, remember the word coordinate, and second, once you have the attention of the people who love what you’re doing the most, coordinate their efforts as much as you can.
You can go after thousands of people one at a time, or you can go after 3 to 10 people who have audiences of thousands and are willing to bring them to you.
Of course, you really need to make sure your content is on point – compelling is the word I like to use the most, because it doesn’t imply perfection. If you’ve done your homework, you lose more launching nothing in a quest for perfection than sending out something imperfect and correcting as you go.
So let your small group know that you have something that’s pretty good, and you’d like them to help you get it as perfect as you can by a certain date. Then tell them what you changed, and ask them to help you spread it. Thank them within the content when you do, and in public, on your blog, on LinkedIn, where ever you can.
You have to appreciate your evangelicals if you expect to keep them.
But make it very simple, specific and idiot-proof. Work slightly below the scope of their knowledge – if you think your top commenters know how to share a link on Facebook you’re probably right.
What you may not realize is that people who love to share the most, hate to share without attribution. As such they love it when you have an Open Graph compatible site that shares the right image, title and description to Facebook if they use the Share button on your site.
They want you to know that they are in support of you, and may even realize that being able to track where the support is coming from helps. So they’d rather use the Twitter button on your site than have to cut and paste the link in to Twitter and go back and copy and paste the title, then have to see if they can find your Twitter username.
Not to mention that there are times when this is supremely inconvenient for them. Perhaps they’re on a lunch break, or on a mobile phone that’s not so smart.
Don’t assume people use technology the way you do or have more than a passing familiarity with how to use it.
Next week, I will address viral content and how to shape a community, adding some cool tools to your toolbox. Some advice will be contrary to what the gurus have told you, so stay tuned!