One of the great — and most frustrating — characteristics of social media is that it’s entirely permission based. We only have to follow those from whom we want to receive information, messages, and offers. Like wise (and this is the frustrating part), everyone else has the same option.
How, then, can you build your list of followers if they can choose whether or not they want to be there (sheesh!)?
Ready for it? Be the Twitter account, Facebook friend, (insert social media site here) user they want to hear from.
Yep. It’s entirely possible and here’s how to do it:
- Give ‘Em Quality: It’s true that nobody wants to follow people who post, “Had lunch. Yum,” but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to hear about your day. Try, “Had best caesar salad ever @UrbanGate with @AmyWilliamsFoto. Planning new WordPress site for her sports portfolio. Launches June 15.” Wow! That’s better. Followers are also interested in resources such as good articles, tips to make life and business easier, and the heads up on interesting events. The best information is often re-distributed to their networks, which shows their readers that you may be worth following.
- Be Consistent: I feel like a broken record on this one, but it’s true. You don’t have to post ten times per day; just be regular with your posts. If you’re a once per week updater, great. Once a day? Fine. Just stay on schedule. People like to attach themselves to other active people and will self-select those whose posting rhythm best suits their schedule.
- Engage: Remember that social media is networking over the computer. Would you stand in front of someone you’re networking with and tell them snippets of information without asking a question or allowing them to slip in a sentence or two? I hope not. Social media is the same. Those (non-celebrities) with the most followers are those who engage with their followers. Ask a question. Share some of the best answers.
One last thing and it seems silly to even need to say this, but be sure to tell people where you are on the social media sites. Make sure your “handles” are in conspicuous places such as your email signature, on your website (home and contact pages at least), and even in handouts, ads, and business cards. I was thinking of not adding this section into this blog post when I received a re-Tweet on Twitter asking people to please add their phone numbers into their email signatures. So, here it is!