Followers. Can We Get Honest?

I know. You don't have enough followers. You have lots of followers but little engagement. You have some engagement but they don't really get it. They're not clients. That's the real point, isn't it? It's never going to be about getting 5,000 followers because, then what? Will they buy? Are they interested?

Do you remember why you're online? Who are you connecting with? Or have you lost your way? Can we just get honest about this? Let's fix it.

Social Media Community

Wherever you are in your journey to relevant, sustainable social media community, the reason you go online should never simply be "because you have to". You have to have more intrinsic business or personal reasons than that, or it won't last. Think strategically. Social media is community. What does that mean to you? Is it everyone? Is it those who 'get' you? Is it 30,000 girls ages 13-17 in Turkey that your social media manager bought for your business consulting company? (Yes, this actually happened.) You get the picture.

The sooner we, as businesses, recognize that it's about community, and less the traditional sense of 'marketing', the better we will be at forging sustainable connections online. We'll stop scaring off the very social media users we'd like to attract - once we know who those are.

Who Are You Talking To?

Social media strategy answers the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why that make it easier to develop consistent, amazing frameworks for engaging meaningfully online. This blog post examines the 'Who'. Who should follow you? Why? When it comes to sustainable community, it has to be about quality before quantity. How do you decide on your Who?

  • Who's Who in Your Business? It's all about your clients. Speaking to clients will remind them to come back, to stay on top of current projects and to share with peers. Client-focused content also triggers secondary followers, advocates and collaborators, to send others to you. You know: "Jack was looking for help with this last week. I'll pass this on."
  • Of Those, Who's Online? Focus. Focus is what saves you time while letting you be more effective on social media. All of your clients are not online. Who is? Where and when are they online? Do they use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - all day, on afternoons? The only way you'd really know is to ask - by conversation or survey. Don't speak to the wind.
  • Of Those, Who'd Really Be Engaged? How do they behave online? Are they looking for you on social media? How? Do they just search, read and act? Do they comment and share too? Both are good. Even if you get obvious engagement, track it on the back-end (e.g. HootSuite, Buffer). You'd be surprised how much happens silently.

Knowing who and how they engage helps you to determine how you can really engage. 

Social Media Strategy. Here's Why.

Are you beginning to understand the strategic importance of knowing who you're talking to? Clarity lets you make better decisions. Clear social media strategy takes you through:

  • Your Primary Audience. Envision a person. Why this person? Ideal Client?
  • What do they need from You? Of that list, what you can deliver online?
  • How do they engage online? Channels, activities, responsiveness.
  • Connect the dots. How do you deliver on their needs, given their engagement style?

Notice we spoke specifically to an individual engagement style. You're not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google Plus trying to do every activity that everyone who might ever possibly consider becoming a client might be likely to respond to. Be honest. You cannot be all things to all people. You don't want to be. You are hero to those who need, value and invest in you. Return the favour. Get clear on your real community and deliver what they need.

Streamlining is always scary, particularly if your perspective is that you're somehow "missing out on those you're not targeting". You're not. Others will still follow you. They're simply not who you're focused on. Remember, putting most of your time, energy and resources into the 20% (primary audience), who give you 80% return (need, value and invest in you most), will genuinely keep your hands full. Full of people and projects you'll actually enjoy.

Need more help on making this decision?

I've written a couple different posts around this topic, but if you'd still like to chat more, feel free to reach out here. I'll also cover this more on Successiory e-News (subscribe), Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest, this month. Stay tuned!

Crystal-Marie S

(2016-Aug-18) On paper, my career began in 2001, spans Successiory (2009), my MBA from the Schulich School of Business (2010), two countries and several industries, including business strategy, social media consulting, environmental and engineering consulting, higher education and more (see LinkedIn). 

In 2015, I was nominated for Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) Awards,Entrepreneur of the Year and became an bestseller on August 9th 2015. I spoke at 12 events in 2015 alone, including several GroYourBiz Advisory Boards, Bank of Montreal (paid), Iler Campbell’s Tools Conference and Toronto Public Libraries’ Small Business (sometimes paid) series. I think I love speaking!

On a personal note, I'm an MBA, entrepreneur, millennial, dancer, author and so much more yet, like you, I don't fit the stereotypes. After years of workaholism and the health and relationship losses that go with that lifestyle, I've stopped 'paying lip service' to terms like authenticity, self care and sustainability. My health scare pushed me into living them. Here's hoping I can inspire you to live and work better without learning the hard way. Welcome. Still curious? More here...

 Subscribe in a reader