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Organic Social Media

Organic SEO Social MediaThis post is not about food! 🙂 But it is about being natural in your social media efforts! Lately I have seen more and more people “gaming the system” to grow the number of followers and fans they have, and that’s OK if that is what they want to do but I would encourage people to grow their following more organically – and be patient!

To me, it is not a numbers game. I do not want to max out the number of Facebook friends (limited to 5000) and I am not in a race to have more Fan Page fans than my competition, and I learned the hard way my first go around that more followers on Twitter does not mean more business – it just means more noise.

Social media should be about connecting with people, not collecting people. Think about your “in real life” networking events. Which is more effective – going around and collecting everyone’s business cards? Or taking the time to get to know a few key people, having two-way conversations? Of course quality over quantity is what works best in “real life” and the same is true for your online presence.

Be the kind of person in your online social networking that you would in your real life networking, and people will be naturally attracted to you, will naturally refer others to you, and will naturally want to find out more about you and will naturally want to work with you.

How do you do this?

  • Show up. Every day. Maybe not on all of the social media platforms, but pick your favorite and show up every day.
  • Be of service. Put others first and freely give the information, advice, resources, and support that they need.
  • Ask questions. Get to know your friends and followers’ thoughts, feelings opinions, and needs by asking questions. Give them an opportunity to share about themselves or their businesses.
  • Be relevant. When you post, use words and phrases that people who need exactly what you have to offer would be using in the search engines. Use SEO keyword searches that will help you tweak your language if necessary. Make it easy for them to find you!
  • Be picky. Choose who you want to work with. Be proactive and seek out or accept those you feel would be complimentary to your values, goals, and ideals. You don’t have to do business with everyone who has a pulse. Remember that everyone in your social circle online can see everyone else you’re associated with and their behavior. Do you want to be associated (which is almost like an implied recommendation) with others whose values contradict your own?
  • Be social. Interact. Respond. Follow up. This is critical! At a networking event would you ignore someone’s comment, question, or request?  Would you look the other way, or start talking to someone else? Of course not! Check for comments and replies and respond – always.
  • Be patient. I don’t know if it is due to the nature of the internet and that we expect instant answers these days, but slow down – calm down – be patient! Do you want a stable, loyal, secure, and solid customer base who will be with you for years and continue referring others to you at least that long? Then be patient. Let things grow organically, develop that rapport and loyalty over time, and the trust you will build will be unshakable.

Have you tried some of the tricks or game-playing that speeds up the process of gaining fans/followers? What has your experience been with them over time? Are you ready to go organic?

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12 Comments

  1. Mary McLoughlin on July 12, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Karen,

    How do ‘lose’ the people who are not compatable? I know I can hide people and do when I find them only promoting themselves. My struggle is with all the multiple messages people send out in bulk. What constitutes spam and what is the best way to get it off your page. I have been afraid of being offensive.

    Thank you my social media guru!

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on July 12, 2010 at 4:30 am

      I just unfriend or unfollow them if it’s too much. Chances are they won’t notice since they’re mainly marketing to you one-way. If they request a connection again later I just send a message saying I’m limiting my personal profile but I’d love to stay connected on my fan page, and give them the URL. Think about how we’ve learned to shed toxic relationships. Same thing. 🙂

  2. My soup on July 13, 2010 at 8:59 am

    via Organic Social Media – Growing your network naturally….

    via Organic Social Media – Growing your network naturally….

  3. Victoria Tomlinson
    Follow me on Twitter: nlightspr
    on July 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    HI Karen
    I’ve been struggling with the same issue. I’ve recently been to a number of events with ‘experts’ showing how to get your numbers up – and it’s increasingly felt all wrong. Last week, Robert Whitehead of Shulmans Solicitors came up with a great phrase, when I voiced my concerns – he said the numbers game is ‘consensual spam’.
    I agree with you – social media should be a new way to form relationships, some with people you might never have met normally but always with people who have the same values and you could do business with some day.
    Thanks for helping crystallise my own thoughts on this!

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on July 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

      I love that – consensual spam!! Going to remember that. Thanks for sharing and for your comments on the LinkedIn posting!

  4. Sibylle on July 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Great post, Karen. 100% agree that collecting numbers and pushing out your marketing message might not work as planned.

    BTW, you might be happy to know that the “Klout” algorithm for twitter users does not seem to automatically go up with a high number of followers.

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on July 20, 2010 at 1:48 am

      Thanks Sibylle! Good to know that Klout measures what’s important! Yay!

  5. Mark Mathson on July 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Good post Karen. You bring up some useful points, particularly about increasing awareness for those who may not have thought of the term or mentality of “organic” social media/networking.

    I’ve always thought the number game was a bit tricky. On one hand its great to have a high volume of followers, following, however, it can create so much noise you miss out.

    Anyways, a month or so ago I embarked on an experiment relating to this to prove to myself social media following can be built back up: http://blog.brand-yourself.com/online-reputation/online-reputation-management-online-reputation/my-online-reputation-re-building-my-personal-network-after-resetting-it-to-zero/

    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on July 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

      Fascinating. I have thought about cleaning house myself. I have another Twitter I use for my original business and it has gotten completely overgrown because of an auto-follow I set up early on before I knew better. There’s not much other than noise there now and I don’t use it any more other than for its SEO value. Thanks for sharing your article Mark!

  6. […] I came across Karen Clark of My Business Presence in the States.  She wrote a blog which clarified my thoughts – I spotted it in a discussion group, Social Media Club, on […]

  7. […] I came across Karen Clark of My Business Presence in the States.  She wrote a blog which clarified my thoughts – I spotted it in a discussion group, Social Media Club, on […]

  8. […] I came across Karen Clark of My Business Presence in the States.  She wrote a blog which clarified my thoughts – I spotted it in a discussion group, Social Media Club, on […]

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