For me, social media is just what we do. It’s no longer this bright and shiny thing. The newness has faded – naturally – into the more important question: What can it do for me?
The answer? A lot.
I guess what I am trying to say is there was a time when the telephone was a novelty. People would have found delight just staring at it. But we no longer have that awe. We just want it to work.
Social media is the same. It’s time to get over it and just start using it as a tool, kind of like how we use a toothbrush. Without much thought or deliberation.
The other day I was giving a presentation on e-commerce best practices to Chamber of Commerce members. I was explaining how customers are TWICE as likely to purchase when they see social media recommendations (source: Social Commerce Recommendations).
One of the attendees asked, “How do I get more followers?”
Well, it’s easy. You just have to be sexy, famous, and/or provocative. I explained how my brother – out of fear of too much online data mining – created a fictional Facebook profile called Heidi Longfellow.
He doesn’t do anything to grow his following but he still sees a steady stream of people friending him. (As a practical joke, let’s all friend him right now. Don’t tell him I told you to do it).
My wife, who is very attractive, created a Twitter account a few years ago and instantly saw her base climb to 1,000 followers. She didn’t put any effort into soliciting interest. That’s just the way it is.
So what about the rest of us? How can we be more engaging online?
In the words of Patricia Travaline, you can start by keeping your content “searchable, snackable and sharable.” The three S’s.
On average, individuals receive more than 3,000 brand impressions per day. (Source: SmartBlogs.com)
Consumers will consult 10 online sources before making a purchase. Most people (65%) are primarily visual learners. And the average attention span of an adult online is 8 seconds. (Source: Skyward).
Offering deals and discounts helps capture fans, but it usually isn’t sufficient.
A recent study by a mobile video advertising firm, Rythm Media, shows users follow brands on Twitter and Facebook because they want to show their loyalty. (Isn’t that the same reason why people tattoo ‘Harley Davidson’ on their bodies??)
Not surprisingly, mobile is playing an increasingly important role in social engagement. Nearly 75% of Facebook access Facebook on their mobile devices several times each day. Fifty-six percent of Twitter users engage brands, with more than 60% of them using Twitter on mobile every day.
Make sure your posts include targeted keyword phrases. For example, one frustrating aspect of Craiglist is how to include video in your listing. So, if you search on something like “how to embed a video to craigslist”, you will see supergeeks.net is number 3 on Google – without even trying.
Keep it real. My eyes get glossy when I see fluff pieces. Be edgy, opiniomate, insightful, upbeat, relevant and useful. We are all experts in something. Let that thing permeate through.
Add social media buttons to everything. Studies show you can boost engagement by more than 30% if you include social media buttons in ads.
So here’s your homework: Create a quick guerrilla marketing campaign focusing on your customers. Maybe it’s an impromptu pic and a little story about the thorn you removed from the proverbial paw. Ask followers to share their pics and their mini stories. Interact with them. And make sure all of your content is mobile ready and easily sharable.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. If you are like the rest of us, it will take time to grow your following. The good news is it will all be yours.