By Tonilee Adamson and Bobbye Brooks
Social networking can seem overwhelming to some of us, especially when we are looking at an empty Facebook page with no friends or a Twitter page with no followers. Building a following takes time, but if we take some basic steps, we will see our social networking expand faster than one might think. Here are our Top 5 ways to attract more followers.
1. Put your social media buttons and links on your website, blogs and all other web-based pages. Make sure that your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever social networks you have are clearly placed on all of your web pages with links to your social networking pages. Functionality is key. The social media buttons need to work and the links need to connect.
2. Add your social media links at the end of your emails, electronic newsletters and all electronic media. Place a note on all of your electronic correspondence and invite people to “follow” you on Twitter or become a “fan” on Facebook. If you had a company of 100 staff members and asked each employee to close their email with a similar footnote, think how quickly your social networking sites would increase. Many times, people become followers because they are curious of what is being posted. Most people want to take advantage of the special offer or the best deal and many are just learning how to make social media work for them.
3. Use your social media to grow your followers. For example, invite people to follow you on Twitter by posting a message on your Facebook page and vice versa. On LinkedIn, make sure you add all of your social networks and links to your profile page. Your social media pages for each specific account should be customized with your logo and brand. Branding your social media links to your business is important. They need to have the same header, font, colors and content. Although it may take longer to set up the pages, the effort is well worth it and will produce more return in the long run.
4. Place your social media networks on your print materials. Add your social media to your business cards, post cards, newsletters or any form of direct mail material. Every time someone sees your social network, it reinforces the call to join you. Social media is not a fad. It is gaining momentum almost exponentially. Social media has a force to it. Many users are not only professional but also personal. Social media allows the customer to talk back, promoting conversations leading to cross networking. It is more comfortable to endorse a person behind the product. Facebook calls each other friends. Friends carry a stronger word of mouth voice, thus potential, than words like employee or client or customer. By placing your social media networks on your printed materials, you are communicating that your company has the desire to connect with others.
5. Write blogs and articles with valuable content that encourages people to respond or to share with others. We hear about the number of blog posts daily and many argue that they do not see a need to add one more blog to that 40,000 plus number. However, social media is all about engaging with others and sharing information. If you communicate consistently with your followers, they will share you with others and your social networks will grow. We need to understand that blogs do not compete in content; instead, blogging is an updated, relevant solution for clients and customers to hear directly from you and then follow you. Blogs and articles show others that you are relevant and present. Outdated blogs leave room for questions in the consumers mind. Why are there thousands of blog posts daily? Blogs get people talking and get potential clients listening. Social networking increases as you continue to put yourself on the front line with relevant and applicable information in articles and blogs. Articles and blogs are also a means of increasing your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings on the search engines. More exposure leads to more business.
Attracting followers takes some time and effort but if you apply the basic steps listed above, you will naturally develop a larger following. Most of these tips involve setting up some routines and practices to let people know how to connect with you. Once these steps are taken, the rest is fairly easy: just start posting.
Tonilee Adamson and Bobbye Brooks are co-owners of Media 4 Women Enterprises, a marketing and media company that helps people achieve entrepreneurial success. From website design, video production, book publishing and social media marketing, Tonilee and Bobbye work with individuals and businesses of every type.