Most of our social media clients have been “all new” in the social media marketplace. Our services include both audience building and posting content. But lately, we have seen a number of clients who have had a go of it on their own but aren’t having much success. After all, it is a tough row to hoe when you have -0- followers. And it can be downright depressing, when after 3 months you only have a few more than that! It’s much easier and a lot more fun to find quirky bits and bytes of information to share. But that’s the rub. Who exactly are you sharing this info with? Is this the best use of your time?
Once we relieve a client of what has become day to day drudgery in the social trenches, we have one main goal; build up the audience. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend much time posting to such a limited audience. What’s worse, it sometimes comes as a surprise when the client learns they have been shouting out to only 38 people all this time… and 29 of them are family!
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great if you can run your social media marketing campaign in-house. But bear in mind, like anything, there is a learning curve to this strategy. And if you don’t have a planned strategy to work SMM, chances are very good you are wasting precious time… either yours, or heaven forbid, a paid employee.
Building an audience on Twitter is easier than on Facebook. The little blue bird represents the wild west of communication. But isn’t it powerful? Yes! It seems to be able to facilitate revolutions in countries! But whoa-nellie – you are just a small business with a unknown brand to people who don’t know you. So, the number of followers on Twitter is totally irrelevant. Do a test. Tweet to your hearts content for a week. If you had less than 10% of your tweets retweeted guess what? You have no audience. Facebook is even tougher to build an audience from. To gain fans, people have to literally find you! But again, the method is the same. When someone shares one of your Facebook posts, their friends see it. Some of those will “like” your site and thus begins the making of an audience.
I have found in starting many SMM accounts that the first 200 followers is the hardest part of the game. If you have a somewhat obscure business it could take a year to gain 200 followers organically. Be careful if you are tempted to “buy 1000 followers for $100″. I don’t know the exact way these companies operate but I am betting it is some sort of “pay to follow” scheme or something like that. This method does not create any sort of engaged audience. Your follower numbers may look impressive but that isn’t going to pay the bills.
So, like all things internet, patience and perseverance, coupled with testing, trying and gauging will create success. Not a quick fix or a band-aid… but the long, slow burn of success. Whatever you do after reading this, make building your audience the effort you spend 80% of your time on when working in the social world. It’s not particularly sexy or fun but it does get the job done over the long haul!