If you grow too quickly on social media, there is a danger that you could soon be banging your head (just like Alice in Wonderland after she ate the cake).
The best type of growth on social media is driven as much by your audience as yourself. If people are asking questions, following, commenting, engaging – even putting in requests of what they want to see from you – this is all good stuff and will help you grow and evolve in a way that is both useful and relevant to those you seek.
Beware people who approach you with an offer for ‘X’ amount of followers for ‘X’ amount of cash – it’s almost always the worst thing that you could do. There are plenty of people who have thought that the best way to get a quick return on social media is to pay for followers and they are almost all regretting it to this day.
Take, for example, the massage therapist from Derbyshire, England who paid $25 dollars for 500 followers each on Facebook and Twitter. She got exactly what she paid for. Unfortunately, most of her new followers were from the United Arab Emirates. Now I’m no accountant, but even I can see that travel costs might have a negative impact on her business. And that was just the start. Such is the sophistication of Facebook, Twitter and SEO today, that she was soon almost impossible to find – even if you lived in Derbyshire. Why? Because search algorithms in search engines and on social media saw how popular she was in the Middle East and only suggested her to people in that locality. Because her followers were in the UAE, that is where the SEO decided she was most relevant. She was no longer appearing to people in Derbyshire because local followers were such a small percentage of her following. She ended up changing her Facebook and Twitter accounts and starting again – $25 down and a few months behind where she wanted to be. Lesson learned.
Be careful also of agencies out there who promise you similar things. Sadly, the Social Media bandwagon has been well and truly jumped on and not all of your fellow passengers can be relied upon. I would always advocate getting professional help, but make your choice based on recommendations from people you know and trust, rather than cheap costs and empty promises. A good agency can be worth it’s weight in gold to a small business.
So, like our lovely friend in the picture, excessive growth can sometimes blind you to what’s in front of you, so here’s my top tips for making sure you don’t end up banging your head:
- Get professional help to devise a Marketing Strategy – and stick to it once you have it!
- Run your Social Media in-house – no-one knows your business better than you or will represent your business better than you
- Get Social Media training – your marketing strategist should be able to provide this either themselves or through a partner – or that is a red flag!
- Consistency is Key – whether it is manned 24-7 or done once a day, week or month – be consistent
- Don’t count Followers, count Actions – your number of followers may appeal to your vanity but if they aren’t interacting with you, they are just a drain on your time
- Listen to what people say – communication is a two-way process, listen hard enough and your customers will tell you how to do it even better
- Add Value – don’t just bash people over the head with how good you are because there are 10,000 others doing that – give info or advice that will have a positive impact on your audience
- Be True to Yourself – make sure that all the values you present in your business are also carried over to your Social Media channels
Follow these simple tips and your following should grow in a way that is useful, sustainable and ultimately, profitable.
If you have any of your own tips for growing your audience via social media – I’d love to hear from you @TobyHewson