“How do I get more people to…
…join my Constant Contact email list?
…follow me on Twitter?
…subscribe to my WordPress blog?”
This is a question I get in nearly every workshop, webinar and consultation on social media. I was reminded of this common marketing concern yesterday, when I saw an emphatic post in my Facebook feed demanding that I like a friend’s fan page. My first thought was:
What’s in it for ME?
So you set up your fan page and your family and close friends are happy to join in your little social media experiment, so you have your first 25 fans – enough to get your own custom Facebook username! After a time of networking, posting a few things, maybe even creating an event or two, other business friends and acquaintances become fans and you break the 100 mark. At some point you reach the plateau of people willing to join the cause just because they know you, and this is where it gets challenging. You see, at this point you actually have to show your value! That page, post and tweet have to start earning their keep and providing your audience with something they need. If it doesn’t, there is nothing in it for them and they will not join or will quickly leave.
I recently saw a list of the top 10 reasons people like a business fan page. Potential discounts, brand loyalty and new product information were among the top reasons in the study. Here are some ways we guide small businesses to add value for their audience:
Use a 30/30/30 Content Mix
If your goal is to just repeat your advertising copy into your Facebook business posts, don’t expect a huge return on the time invested! My recommendation to most clients is that less than 30% of social media posts be straight advertising promotion. Another 30% should be industry news, product tips, research and other information that establishes your company as credible experts. The third 30% should be less business focused and can consist of community news, promoting charity events or entertainment. For all those keeping score at home, use that last 10% however you like!
Make it Shareable
You know those posts that you can’t wait to comment on and share with your friends? Try to be the person who makes that post! Think through your media calendar and post schedule from your audience’s point of view. Are the things you post something they will want to see and share with their friends? When you are not only valuable, but also shareable, your fan base will grow quickly.
My Facebook friend base combined with the business pages I like totals about 300. Not a large number, pretty average in fact. But, for me to see one day’s worth of posts I have to scroll back through about 8 screens – and I hide Farmville posts! That means if you are a business posting once or twice a week in the morning, it’s likely I won’t even see your posts for months at a time. Social Media is more tolerant of short, valuable posts multiple times a day than email. In fact, if you are on Twitter and only tweeting a couple times a day, most people who follow over 500 people (not uncommon) will forget they are following you.
Social Media Calendar
It’s tough to sit down and in the moment you have to post, think of something creative and valuable to say. Create a social media calendar to help organize, schedule and mix your post content. My social medial calendar includes Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blog posts and Constant Contact email marketing. This provides an integrated, consistent approach to my online marketing (when I have the time to implement!)
Having trouble with your social media or email marketing? Sigma College of Small Business has business classes, webinars and services to help you get started and be more effective.
Would you like a Social Media Planning Calendar? We developed an Excel spreadsheet that we use at Sigma College. Use the comments below to let me know if you are interested.