It’s par for the course for any small business these days – we believe we must grow our social media following to be successful.
But with two million other small businesses also vying for our customers’ and prospects’ attention, asking to follow them on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram, etc, shouldn’t we give them a good reason to do so?
Before you publish that shiny new ‘Follow Us on Twitter’ badge on your homepage, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and ask: Why would I?
Here are five tips to help answer that question and grow your social media audience.
1. Tell people what to expect
Give your visitors a flavour of the type of content they’ll receive from you to whet their appetite. For example, a builder or cabinet maker might promote: “Follow us for renovation tips, unique home improvement ideas and special offers.”
2. Give something away
Reciprocity is an effective tactic to attract people to your community. Give something of value to them, e.g. free PDF whitepaper, business template or special discount, and they will be more likely to give you something in return, i.e. their Facebook “like”.
3. Mingle with your community
Responding well and promptly to your followers’ questions and comments and participating in conversations will not only engage them and prove that you are a reliable “friend”; it will also give them reason to believe that you run your business in the same way.
4. Don’t be pushy
Promoting only your business’ product or services in social media is the quickest way to turn off your audience. If your followers and customers sense a pushy sales intention behind your posts, you won’t earn their trust. Be authentic and interesting and your followers will be more likely to engage with you.
5. Mix it up
Try to avoid posting exactly the same content to all of your social network accounts. Instead, offer certain types of content on certain sites and people may be more inclined to follow you in more than one place. For example, make competitions only available to your Facebook followers or only announce exclusive sales on Twitter.
So take another look at your social media calls to action. Would you follow you?