Article 1 (Introduction),
article 2 (Why Some People Think SoMe Doesn’t Work),
article 3 (Funneling SoMe to Your Site) and
article 4 (Social Media Goals).
The series is focused on getting lots of traffic through judicious use of social media, but that’s not the most important part of the strategy. The most important part is building a relationship with people in your niche and making more sales than you’re making right now. You have to keep your eye on the prize: more sales, which equals more fame, and furthermore, more fortune. If you put in effort over the long term—consistently providing value to your fans—you’ll see much better results.
As mentioned in a previous article, it’s far better to have 100 targeted visitors than it is to have several thousand untargeted visitors. It’s not all about getting great traffic on SoMe, it’s also about knowing what to do with it. The two can’t be separated—if they could, buying leads and hits to your website would work like gangbusters. (We’ve all gotten that spam on Twitter: “10,000 followers for just $3.99!”) Those things don’t work. So let’s talk about relationships.
Understanding the Needs and Wants of Your Market
You need to think about what people need and want before you start to drive traffic.
Consider the people and businesses you follow on SoMe. You follow people because you are interested in what they have to say, or you already have a relationship with them, like colleagues and sports teams. You follow businesses because they are sharing things with you, giving you advice, entertaining you, or are intriguing to you in some other way. Maybe you just like what they stand for or the cute pictures of kittens they share.
For the most part, you don’t follow companies just because they sell things. (Well, maybe if they sell shoes.) Generally, it’s not worth your limited time to waste energy that way. It’s about give and take. You are getting something (either tangible or not) in exchange for following them.
What Makes You Worth Following?
Why should people follow you? You’re a little bit biased, but try to put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Try this test. Set your timer to ten minutes. Start typing out all the benefits a fan might get for following you. Are the results surprising? Maybe you’ll learn that you could be offering more value to your fans, or more value than your competition. We’re a community, yes, but readers only have so many dollars to spend, so in many ways, it’s a competition, too.
People will follow you because you share information, give them something, are entertaining, or are interesting in some way—the same reasons you follow the companies you follow!
Building relationships means saying more than “buy my book.” It involves giving something away, sometimes, making yourself a little more accessible and more real to your fans, offering value that they can’t get somewhere else. Your SoMe needs to reflect this or it won’t be worth the effort.
(By the way, I’m still working on all of this. The class was eye-opening, but you really have to sit down and think through your goals and process carefully.)
Next Wednesday, I’ll share some information on how to set up your social media (not the bare bones, click this button and fill out this form stuff) and the importance of “value-added” offers.