This 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?