Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Build Your Social Media Audience

Social media plays an important role in today's world, especially in business. It's almost unfathomable to find a business that doesn't have a Facebook or Twitter account. It's easy enough to set up your online presence, but it's a little bit harder to get people to listen.

Thankfully, "a little bit harder" doesn't mean "impossible." The nature of social networks means that every follower you get can potentially lead to many more. This is because each person "liking" your page will conceivably tell his/her friends to also follow you. Sounds great, but this is all moot if you can't get many people to care about your page in the first place.

A lot of people using social networking sites tend to over-think it. They try to get too fancy and end up with few followers. In truth, the key to building an audience is to post things that are relevant and useful. What's interesting to your followers? Why not ask them? Before making the first post on your new blog, engage your supporters on what kind of stories they want to read. When you get a good enough sample of answers, start writing about those topics.

Even with brilliant content, it’s difficult to attract supporters to a site that no one else is following. Reach out to your staff and other core supporters of your organization and ask them to follow your tweets, or “like” your Facebook page --and to invite their personal friends.

Having an active community is another good way to get people to show interest. Let's face it -- nobody wants to be a part of a page that has no interaction. Try asking questions to your supporters in addition to sharing links. The whole point of social media is interaction with the audience, and there's no better way to do this than starting a discussion.

The most important thing to remember is to be honest when participating in any of these discussions. There will be things you just can't say, of course, but don't be robotic. People like to know that the individual they are talking to is an actual human being.

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