Having more social media followers equals more business, right?
When a client of mine, or an audience member at one of my talks says to me something along the lines of “I only have 1,000 followers on Twitter – I want a million”, my heart sinks a little bit. Whilst it is great to have a million followers because it sounds good; is this really a goal you want to achieve JUST because the number looks and sounds nice?
Whilst paying attention to the analytics behind your social media activity is important to truly understand what your audience is engaging with, spending your time analysing this for the purpose of “wanting more likes, fans or followers” is not the true definition of success on social media because quantity will never outweigh quality in my opinion.
The first mistake is believing that social media is in fact just a numbers game. This is just a mindset trap that “social media experts” utilise to make social media seem easier to use, than it actually is. Believing this is actually accepting that randomly contacting people may, or may not increase sales. Why take that approach, when you can find your target audience, spend your time connecting with them and logically increase your success rate rather than wasting your time (and money) on “fans, followers and likes” just because you want your business to “look” a certain way on social media.
A farmer wouldn’t harvest a crop he doesn’t plant, and he most definitely wouldn’t expect to harvest soybeans, when he plants corn. A farmer understands that for only a few months out of a year, he can harvest, because this is the only time frame that anything is ready to be harvested. When the farmer goes out to harvest, it’s a question of how much plant there is to harvest and if he can beat the weather, not whether he will harvest the specific plant.
So, let’s look at this analogy. The first thing the farmer does is to plant the grain. Take this idea, and run with it for your business. Plant the seed of interest within your community, and reach out to your target audience. The farmer wouldn’t harvest a crop that isn’t ready… so why are you? Spend time nurturing your target audience, and don’t expect to make a sale as soon as communication starts. On average, it takes a customer 5 times to “touch” a business, before deciding to make a purchase.
Make sure you give your target audience a good reason to buy from you. Why are you different from your competitors? What is your USP, and have you fully understood the pain you are solving? Just like the farmer; if he wants soybeans, he will cast off all of the crop that isn’t soybeans.
Continue to nurture your audience, just like the farmer would with his crops. The more you nurture, the greater chance you have of a potential customer making a purchase. Whilst the farmer can’t form a relationship with his crop; you can.
Yes, social media is time consuming; but, so is marketing to “numbers” that are not going to purchase your product/service. Don’t just “hope” that someone will spend their hard earned cash with you; nurture the relationship so that you know they will when they are ready.
Moral of the story; don’t focus on the numbers… focus on nurturing your community to give you the best ROI.