TIn 2010, social media became an integral part of most businesses many of which committed to spend a significant portion of their marketing efforts on social media engagement. In 2011, this trend will only continue as businesses realize that it can naturally result in more buzz, leads and therefore, more sales! You may have already established a social media presence for your business. However, you - like many others - may be facing the challenge of getting loyal followers and fans. You want to grow your authority and influence in the social networks. You want to earn the trust and interest of your blog visitors, but where do you begin?
Okay, so now that the scene has been set, let's dive in. Listed below are 5 great tips that I have been using to grow my tribe of followers and fans. Pretty successful so far. My influence now extends beyond my blog and I am actively engaging my followers and fans on a myriad of social media platforms. How do I achieve that?
Provide Exclusive and Unique Content
The number 1 bait to attract visitors to your blog or website is to have compelling content. Personally, I spend around an hour a day to update my blog with fresh, great content. Every single day - without fail. That is the only way to satisfy my tribe which is always thirsty for knowledge. With a little creativity, you can even use premium content as a means of getting fans to "like" you on Facebook. I also use controversy to generate lots of buzz and interactions on my blog. Controversial blog posts usually get viral very rapidly. Controversy sparks emotions and makes it compelling to share that sparked emotion with others. If you can do it correctly, it will create a flood of new visitors and readers for your post. However, be mentally prepared for the backlash when people start to debate on the points you have made.
Engage the Tribe Through Interactive Sessions
This may sound overwhelming and requires a considerable amount of effort as compared to other methods, but the returns are good.Webinars, for example, are great. I was able to interact with my subscribers who asked me questions and got their answers on the fly. Such platforms are awesome in gathering valuable feedback and concerns from my tribe followers.
How about hosting a contest? People love to participate in contests. Contests with your blog audience can grow the amount of engagement you experience rather than having them simply reading, re-tweeting and sharing status updates. For example, I held a contest called "My Biggest Fan" where I had my fans tell me why they love my blog. The prize? A four hour private consultation with me. Not really that great, but it did help the contest wínner who went onto make a four figure income every month. My contest results? 2,937 comments, 5,846 re-tweets and an additional 1,547 subscribers on the day of the contest. Pretty incredible huh
The Trust Factor
Trust is the most important element in any true relationship and it is something that you need to build with your tribe. No tricks or tactics here. There's only sincerity and honesty required. So how do I build the trust between me and my subscribers? I listen to them. I empathize with the problems that they face. I provide advice and resources to help them solve their problems. Well, even if I do not have an instant solution at hand, I am able to provide a listening ear, just like a friend will if his friend is in need. Create honest relationships with your tribe and you will reap the fruits of your labor!
This point re-emphasizes what I covered earlier. A blog reader or customer may ask, "What's in it for me?" Thinking from the perspective of my blog audience, I do constantly reflect on this - on whether I am creating value for my blog audience or not. If you are an Internet marketer, you need to create value for your subscribers first before they are willing to hand you the cash from their pockets. That rule hasn't ever changed since the start of civilization. But whether that value is tangible or not, it does not really matter. It has to be there however to propel people to take any action. Most of the time, I will do my best to solve my customers' problems, to satisfy their needs or just to answer their queries. That is unless the odd demanding customer's request really ticks me off when I am out of sorts. HA! Alright, I am just joking, but I am a nice guy generally. My subscribers have always said that I have over-delivered on most occasions so I guess I am!
Discipline, Patience and Your Road to Success
There is no way (other than using some automation tools which are pretty much useless from what I see) to amass tens of thousands of followers in the space of days. Patience does go a long way. Right from the start, I pushed myself to share at least a post a day on my blog. Well, not that I was really pushing myself hard since I enjoy blogging, but as the days went by, it was really gratifying to see my subscribers growing steadily from my consistent efforts.
Fans and followers do matter. They are the ones who will be interested in what you blog about and what you pitch. Remember that they are always right. They can choose whether or not to read your blog or your messages. My fans, my followers and my customers are my bread and butter. Without them, I would not be earning a six figure income every single month.
What tips do you have to get more fans - more followers - more subscribers? I may have missed some. How are you using social media to grow your tribe? Share your thoughts - the comments are yours.