We work so diligently gaining our social media following it’s hard not to wince when someone unfollows or unfriends us. Of course it’s not personal. We also make similar decisions about the niche we follow. Think about it for a moment, why do you unfollow? Irrelevant posts? Boring? Too much self-promotion?
Now turn the tables and study your own posts. When people follow just to check you out and see if you’re worth the time and space you take up, it’s up to you to make yourself worth it to them.
How Do I Turn Them Into Faithful Followers?
Give them value. And what do they value? Information. We still live in the age of information and have for more than 20 years. That’s not going to change anytime soon.
In a nutshell, give them tweets that are packed with information about the things you both care about. Give them posts they can’t help but retweet.
Why Give Them So Much Information?
They aren’t here to read a bunch of ads from you. If that’s all you offer they’ll hit that unfollow button sooner than later. Customers could care less about your product. They care about what can help them. Your information must “show” them in multitudes of ways why and how your product helps them.
Everyone wants to benefit from time spent in social media, even if only to assuage the guilt of the time spent there. And everyone, no matter their niche interests, wants the benefit of information, so make sure your information comes in quantity and quickly becomes what they can’t live without.
How Can I Give Them All This Information?
When something online interests you enough to hit that Retweet button, go one step further. Add a post about it to a series that will post randomly each time (you set how often). There are many programs to accomplish this. I use the professional version of SocialOomph.
These timed and randomly revolving series of tweets are vital to storing enough information to keep followers informed and yet not keep you at the computer for hours daily.
What kind of Information Do I Post?
My revolving posts could fill reams and repeats only every few months. Over time I’ve accumulated posts about how-to articles (of course including my own), tips, instructional videos (including those I make), favorite sites, niche humor, quotes, sales and contests, etc. Whenever you find links and topics of interest take a moment to add it to this reservoir. Be sure you stick to your niche topics.
There are times when life happens. With your automated drip, consisting of what inspires you, you can take the personal time you need and still supply a steady stream of personally-picked posts to your followers at the rate of several per day.
Create information right on your blog too: a perfect way to attract traffic to come see exactly what you do. Hold contests and giveaways there, and offer free report downloads to subscribers. And you don’t have to write it all yourself. Invite guest, such as my guest post here at OrangeSoda. Give yourself a break and offer fresh viewpoints simultaneously.
Do I Have to Waste Time Posting the Same Thing at Each Social Site?
No. You can set up your system to disperse several times a day to all your social media at once, including twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Identi.ca, Plaxo Pulse. etc. using ping.fm. Automated programs, such as Socialoomph, integrate ping.fm seamlessly.
But I Hate Impersonal Automation
So do I. It can kill your marketing efforts if you let it. But in this instance you are very personally involved in gathering and dispersing your niche information. If I’m not thinking of my followers with each post, I won’t do it.
Don’t forget to spend time talking with your followers about their interests so your posts can remain relevant. It’s all about them, even if we have a little automated help to save us time. Only you can keep you in the equation. And if we’re insincere they’ll know it in a New York minute.
They’ll Never Notice Automation if You Put Them First
Conversely, if we’re putting them first by offering vital information in quantity, that converts a random follower into a faithful one. And to be sure they’ll let you know one way or the other. Ricky Russo wrote me the kindest letter at Facebook:
“I just wanted to thank you. Your postings have educated me in such a great way. Your posts are always the first that I open, and I love that you care about others so much that you share all of the knowledge with the public! Thank You SO much Aggie! I will always be a follower of you!”
Faithful by the Numbers
Similar notes filter in occasionally. And they will for you too. You’ll gain faithful followers, and they’ll prove their faithfulness by the numbers. Not by the number of followers you gain, though that will occur naturally, but by tracking your numbers with Retweet Rank. It’s a free stats program I use to track my retweet numbers which always teeter between 98th percentiles to 99th percentile. Compare your rankings when you see them start rising.
Check your numbers regularly at Retweet Rank. If they’re low rethink what you’re posting. If your posts aren’t helpful enough that your followers keep retweeting then stop and regroup.
Sure you can keep your mini-ads. After all you’re using social media as a marketing tool to benefit your business. But the nature of the social marketing beast doesn’t pivot around ROI.
Disperse lots of valuable information sprinkled with your product info and they will follow you for life. And that kind of follower ends up eventually buying or sending others to buy from you. ROI? Hmmmm.