Building your Twitter following takes time and consistency. Sure, you will get the people who find you and follow your updates randomly, and the spammers always seem to find you the moment your account opens on Twitter, but this doesn’t mean you have to follow their content! Follow smart people. Connect with people that are thought-leaders in their industry or in your industry for that matter. Learn from them. It isn’t always easy to get some of these influencers to follow you back, especially when you are new to Twitter and you haven’t proven that you are not one of those looky-loos who creates an account, follows a few people but then never returns. Whether you want those industry influencers to connect with you or just specific people who would be ideal potential customers of yours, you need to do a little work to increase the odds and shorten the time it takes to get them to follow you back.
Here are the 10 Tips to Get People to Follow You Back:
Make sure you have a photo loaded -preferably a headshot of YOU (Not Brad Pit or some other actor).
People have an easier time connecting with people. A picture of a flower is beautiful, but most flowers don’t engage in conversations…use your face! As a brand, you obviously will have a logo or image that represents your brand, but know that this makes it a bit harder for some to want to connect. (Check out “Tips For Great Social Media Head Shots”)
Create a great bio.
Your bio is your Twitter elevator speech. You have 160 characters to engage and show your personality…use every single character. If you want people to follow your updates, you should be able to give a small clue here as to why you are interesting enough to connect with. Don’t load it with hashtags or boring blather about your skills. And for goodness sake, don’t write it in third person because that is just weird! (Gina doesn’t like that). Be sure to add a link to your website or perhaps your LinkedIn profile if you don’t have a website. This doesn’t count as part of your 160 characters. Twitter has a spot for you to add this and if anyone is wanting to learn more about you, give them an easy way to do that. (Get examples from my list of GREAT BIOS on Twitter)
Follow the influencers FIRST!
This seems so obvious, but I run into people (and especially brands or companies) who are trying to figure out how to get more people to follow them on Twitter but they are following 12 people. Set a goal to find and follow 25 new people every day. Use hashtags (#) and keywords to search for those leaders in your industry or for those who are in your target market.
Be sure you have interesting content loaded on your Twitter feed.
I’m not talking about pithy quotes and things that other people say. I’m talking about your expertise. Your thoughts. Even if you are ReTweeting or sharing articles written by other people, mix in some original content. Sit down and write out 10 tips for your business and industry. What are the things you are asked about all the time–the FAQs for your business? Create a list of tweets and then post a couple each day mixed in with any other content you are sharing. If you are trying to attract smart people, they usually want to connect with other smart people. Be sure you are showing this.
Create a list on Twitter for INFLUENCERS and add anyone that you are wanting to connect with.
By creating lists, you are able to filter through all the noise and ensure you don’t miss the content you really want to read. Again, if you are using a social dashboard tool like SproutSocial or Hootsuite, you can pull the lists from Twitter into columns or sections that you can monitor more closely, but even on Twitter, you can go to your lists once or twice each day and be sure to listen to what your target list is talking about.
Read, Reply, and ReTweet one or two things.
As you check your Twitter lists daily, take the time to reply to something that was said by your target list and ReTweet content that you find extremely helpful and would like to share with your audience. By reading their content each day, you can also start to see how often they post, who they have conversations with and the type of content that is interesting to them and those connected with them. Take the opportunity to learn from the leaders you are wanting to connect with.
Instead of just trying to figure out how to get an influencer to follow you so they can help you spread your oh-so-important content, find ways to provide value to them FIRST! If you see them talking about heading to Napa for a holiday, send a list of top places to eat in Napa, or best wine tours to see. If you read that they are launching a new book, get an early copy and write a review (or do a video review for bonus points)! Find ways to GIVE first before you expect anyone on Twitter to help you. Most social media influencers get asked by hundreds a week to retweet or help promote causes from people they don’t even know. Take the time to build and nurture real relationships and you will find people more open to reciprocate.
Comment on their blog posts and share with your community (adding their Twitter handle to the tweet).
Of course by helping them promote or spread their message without asking for anything in return, you are endearing yourself to them. (example: Great post by @NeenJames on Staying productive while traveling: http://neenjames.com/how-to-articles/personal-productivity/stay-productive-while-traveling ) . When you leave a comment on their blog, it is taking it off of Twitter and onto their site, where they can see you are interested in their content. When you share that blog post with your community, be sure to add the person’s Twitter handle or they may not see that share.
Don’t send an invitation to your next webinar or free ebook.
Build relationships with people before offering them your “gifts.” Smart people learned early in life that they should never accept things from strangers, and really smart people know that a gift is shiny or chocolate covered! Giving the “gift” of a promotional product puts you in the same category as those “We can get you 10 million Twitter followers” people. Save it.
Many times people are getting multiple requests to connect daily and they don’t auto-follow people back, so be conversational and friendly but be patient. Relationships take time. Be consistent and genuine.
Get more tips on using Twitter for building your business in our free Ebook
I speak to groups of business owners every week and it never fails, someone will come up after and comment on how things used to be so easy before social media came on the scene. They say they don’t have time for social media marketing. I smile politely and say, “I’m sorry.” As if I, and not Al Gore, invented the Internet.
Running a business has always been hard. 20 years ago when I left corporate America to start my business it was hard trying to design and print my own brochures and business cards…I spent hours upon hours at Kinkos (now FedEx stores) pretending to be a graphic designer. It was hard making cold calls and getting past the gate keeper to get appointments….especially with a toddler running around. I had to learn to use web design tools as I created our first website to try and compete with larger firms that looked GOOD online. I remember those early days. They were not easy. They were long, grueling, and very hard.
I could have hired someone to do those things for me, but as a start up, I had more time than money (not much more…but more). Once we grew the business, I could spend money to hire help. I look back with fondness on the perseverance I had to stick it out, or the boldness I had to submit my sad looking proposals to large clients, but never do I look back remembering how easy those times were.
If you are stuck today only remembering how easy times were to build your business, you were either one of the lucky ones or you have a warped romantic view (kind of like remembering the wonderful old cabin but forgetting the outhouse). Maybe business was great the way it was, but you have a new customer to serve. They are tech-savvy and have very high expectations. It’s time to take off those rose-colored glasses, and sharpen your skills, because there is a new law in town and that law is written in 140-character tweets and has a Klout score of 85 and is kicking your butt on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
Success does not come easy, so stop looking for the easy button. It takes hard work. It takes learning new tools. And it takes time. When you complain that you are not getting the engagement on social media sites after 2 weeks of posting, just remember, you have ignored this community for 10 years, and NOW you have to do some time! If you’re not willing to do it, just know that someone else is.
Commit for the long haul. Commit to continuous improvement and life-long learning, and commit to starting today.
I’m getting kind of tired of business owners complaining about not having time for social marketing in their business and then they go home and watch 87 seasons of Game of Thrones or House of Cards in a row.
I don’t have time to do bookkeeping or draw up legal contracts but that doesn’t mean they don’t get done. I could say “I’m not a bookkeeper or an attorney. I’ve got real work to do,” but instead I either make the time or hire someone to do it.
It is unfortunate for many that it has gotten more complex to stay ahead and be successful in business. You can sit and complain about “stupid Twitter and crazy Facebook LIVE and Instagram” or you can get up and get busy. I have little patience for people who don’t make it a point to stay on top of their game and then complain about their business not doing well. Do the HUSTLE people! (I might need to put down my cup of coffee right now…you got me started!)
People say, “I can’t spend all day on social media, I have a real job to do.” I admit, there are times I want to let my inner-voice reply and say, “Luckily you won’t have a real job, or be in business for long and then you can spend all day on social media.” My friendly filter kicks in fortunately, and my mouth stays shut! People…marketing has ALWAYS taken time. It’s just new tools. Be happy you are not having to format Yellow Page ads anymore!
For others, it is a very fortunate time. This is like the days of the gold rush. There’s GOLD IN THEM THERE HILLS, but you’re going to have to pick up a shovel and start digging for it! It is a time when you can reach a greater audience than ever before. It’s a time when you can let people know what your area of expertise is without having to mail them a 5-pound packet with brochures and proposals. As a matter of fact, it’s a time when you really don’t have to mail anything at all (sorry postal workers). It’s also a time when you don’t have to spend an hour a day making cold calls. You can connect on social sites first and then schedule appointments. So grab that shovel and let’s get busy.
Here are 5 tips to become more efficient with your time and be able to get your marketing activities in without spending all day doing them:
Learn to use your smartphone
If you don’t HAVE a smart phone, get off the computer right now and march into your nearest Verizon store and tell them you’re ready to join the world. It will be the best investment in time management you will make. For those of you with a smartphone already, learn to use all of it’s features.
You cannot do all that needs to be done correctly if you are waiting until you get back to your desk. Reply to email while you are standing in line at the grocery store (a good reason to choose the long line) or while driving through the car wash. You’d be surprised how efficient you can be in those slivers of time. Be sure you have all of your contacts’ information in your phone. Whether you use Gmail or Outlook, load the apps necessary to have your world at your fingertips.
Download and use social dashboard apps like Hootsuite that allow you to monitor your brand, respond to questions and comments and schedule content to drop while you’re doing your “real job.” If you set up search queries for your industry information, you will be fed content to share, and comment on without having to go search for it.
Be sure to have Facebook PAGES app on your mobile device since you cannot do everything for a business page on the regular Facebook app, you need the PAGES.
Did you know you can go into your local Apple Store, Verizon store (or most other service providers) to take classes on how to use your device? Have them show you how to harness the power you already have to be efficient.
Spend one hour each week planning your social marketing
If you think you’ll have moments of brilliance and strategic focus throughout the week in between helping customers or answering phone calls, you’re delusional. If you take one hour of focused time to plan out your strategy, you’ll amaze yourself with the ideas you can come up with. What specials do you want to run? What theme or focus will you take with the content you share this week? Do you have the photos needed to add to the posts? What platforms will you use and what will be the goal on each? Perhaps a promotion will run on your Facebook page and you will have tweets pointing people to the post on Facebook. Maybe you need a great photo that represents your promotion to share on Instagram and you can also link that back to the post. Write up your plan and then spend 30-minutes each morning executing and tweaking the plan.
Don’t confuse business marketing time with personal time
You wouldn’t think of calling all of your best friends and family members in the middle of a busy day, so don’t get sucked into the trap of reading all of their Facebook posts. Years ago, in my early sales days, we would divide our activities based on PAY TIME and NON-PAY TIME. Calling prospects or setting up client appointments were always done during PAY TIME. Reading an article on becoming a better sales person…do that in NON-PAY TIME! Seeing what your friends are up to on Facebook… NON-PAY TIMEThe best thing to do on both Facebook and Twitter is to use lists. Create a list for family members, clients, hot target accounts, friends, and co-workers. Now when you log into Facebook, you can filter and only read content from hot target accounts or clients. You can read tweets from your lists of potential clients or thought leaders instead of every tweet that comes flying in. Read about cousin Eileen’s wedding during that Game of Thrown’s marathon. We have a template that we use for our social media managers that can help you stay focused with the many social media activities you juggle each day. Download it here.
Hire someone to help you with the social marketing activities
Of course, I would recommend this option since this is what we do, but you can hire a part time person to assist you in your efforts as well. If you are able to find a brilliant writer, hire someone who can write a blog post each week and help you source photos and content for you to read or share. Then you can focus on planning, scheduling content, and replying to comments and questions that come in.
Jump into new social tools and platforms early to play around
It is much easier to poke around Pinterest or share a Snapchat video of your dog chasing his tail for fun than it is to try and learn these tools as you figure out how to use it in your marketing strategy. Don’t stop learning. When you hear of a new tool, check it out. Don’t wait until your competition is whooping you before you explore it.
What are your favorite tips to fit your marketing into your overpacked schedule? Inquiring minds want to know! Please share your ideas with us in the comments below.
Do you still use a rotary phone? What about a Walkman? Are you still watching TV through an antenna? I would guess the answer to at least MOST of these questions is a resounding: NO!
If you are willing to evolve with technology over time, what’s your hesitation to try new social media tools? Unless you’ve been living in a cave since 2004, you’ve heard of some of the new tools: SnapChat, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest. You might be aware of other brands using these tools, but yet you wait. Is it the sheer speed in which it is coming at us today that causes hesitation?
If you are under the age of 35, you’re most likely living and breathing a world of inner connection and communication that has no boundaries. You’re connected with others across your town, state, country and perhaps even the world. Digital socialization is the world you live in.
If you are over the age of 35, you’ve either adopted the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ mentality, or you are still hoping social media will disappear into a big black hole. Here are the facts: Facebook alone has over 1.5 billion users – that’s bigger than the population of North America and Europe – COMBINED! LinkedIn has over 300 million users and 3 new people create a professional profile every second! Instagram has 200 million VERY active users, loading over 60 million photos per day, making it a platform with some of the most engaged users!
You’re probably wondering why you need social media at all, when you’ve done just fine your entire life without it. Studies show that if you spend the same amount of time online connecting with others of common interest and professions, as time spent attending a networking event, you would triple the number of connections made. From a business perspective, the stats are even more impressive. Consider this: sales people that use social media outsold those that don’t by 78.6% in 2012. While 97% of all consumers use social media to locate and target local businesses within their communities.
Let’s look at it from a personal perspective. The productivity and time saved using social media as a venue of information is worth it alone. We can sit hours upon hours in front of the news, newspaper, online publications and so forth pursing the news, industry and current events of the day, or we could generate a customized Twitter feed that would narrow down our information, bringing relevant content within mere moments. (This takes being organized and using tools to filter the information—see also 3 Time Saving Tools And Lots Of Apps To Save Time)
Instead of diving head first into all social media platforms, start small and consider the right platform for you based on their basic connection types. Knowing why you are there and how you will use each is a great place to start. It will determine the content you create and share, as well as how often you will post and the audience you will try and connect with.
Are you only wanting to connect with friends and family or will you use it for personal and professional networking? Set privacy settings accordingly and share appropriate content based on the audience you are connected with.
Are you on here to consume news and media, or to build and nurture relationships? If you are consuming content only, tools like Flipboard and Twitter Lists are helpful to sort through the content. If you are wanting to build and nurture relationships, lists on Twitter and tools like SproutSocial help you not miss a word they say so you can reply or ReTweet them more often.
Definitely the spot for professional business networking and possibly for job search. Beef up your profile on either account to ensure you can be found and that your profile stands out. Add video clips or SlideShare presentations and even short posts (with a photo) that can really set your profile apart from the masses.
This hot new tool allows brands to share 6 second videos…that’s right SIX SECONDS…to engage and draw people in wanting to learn more. The Home Depot has several brilliant Vine videos and started a campaign to get others to share what they can #FIXINSIX. Spend some time here and you will be inspired…as well as intimidated by the talent there!
Instagram, YouTube and the List Goes On…
With each profile you explore the advice is the same. See how others are using it, see if your competitors are here and what type of content are people sharing and consuming.
Now, go on…create a profile and just start surfing. Like any other transition in technology: VCR to DVD; Antenna to Cable; Walkman to iPod; it takes a little willingness and time to try it out, experiment, learn and apply. So come out of that dark cave you’re snuggled comfortably in and see what the world has to say. You may find yourself wondering why you waited so long.
I’d love to know…what is the most recent “shift” or technology adoption you have made? Share it in the comment section below.
Need a little guidance getting started on these? Here are a couple resources:
Learn How to Use Twitter to Build Your Business
What You Need To Know About Setting Up A Facebook Business Page
If you are using social media tools for your marketing, you have most likely asked, “Can I get business with social media marketing?” I get that question from folks a couple times a week. Or the complaints that people have been using social media for a year or so and have not actually gotten business from it.
Social media is one tool in your sales and marketing tool box and saying that you expect to get business from using one tool like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, is like saying you are going to build a house with nothing else but a screwdriver. It can probably be done by a very talented person, but it will take a long time and a lot more work than using a combination of tools.
Here are 12 tools that you should load into your box to get business with social media marketing or make converting social media LIKES and FOLLOWS into DOLLARS!
This is a critical power tool that will not only provide you with regular keyword rich content coming from your site for people to find, but it also gives your social media sites something to promote. If you are still putting it off because you don’t have time or you don’t know what to blog about, it might be time to hire a content creator. It is that important. If you want a few ideas of what to blog about, check out this post—> 30 Things to Write About When You Don’t Know What to Say.
You need to have things that keep your website visitors on your site and entering your sales funnel so you can work to convert them into clients and customers. Perhaps you can create an eBook (It doesn’t have to be a novel. Write about a topic you get a lot of questions on providing detailed answers in 5-10 pages.) Create a checklist of items that would be of high value to your visitors. Record a webinar or video that only these visitors can view when they provide you with their email address.
Now take those offers and create a page of content that tells about the offer and has a form that people fill out providing their name and email, or maybe a phone number (It better be HIGH value for me to give my phone number.) Have your website manager load the landing page (very simple) and connect it to your email marketing system, whether that is a custom system or one like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
Once you have people giving you their email address in exchange for something of value that you have provided, you know they have an interest in your products or services. You can segment your email lists based on what they downloaded or what information they provided so you can now follow up with more specific information that is targeting problems they might be experiencing and showing how you are providing that solution.
You can look up the people who are downloading your offers and see if you can find them on Twitter, along with anyone else you would like to target. Twitter allows you to connect with people you may not be able to reach otherwise and begin to establish a relationship. You can also target the content you send out on Twitter to address some of the same problems or challenges you know they have based on the information they have downloaded. Continue to send new connections to your landing pages to start that cycle again.
Video is king in the marketing world right now and most organizations still have not embraced it with a sense of urgency like they should. There a few things to realize. Video results will be in the top search results for almost every search. Google had posted that of the top 100 searches, video will appear 70% of the time. When you load your videos to YouTube, you are taking advantage of the second largest search engine in the world (just behind Google….and YouTube is owned by Google). If you plan your short videos to address specific questions that people are asking on Google, it will likely rank higher than a text answer on your website. If you have your video transcribed after you load it and then load the word document back into the YouTube closed caption area, you now provide a value add for your viewers as well as extra “Google Juice” for the search engines to find that content. If you don’t know how to film or edit video and you have a very limited budget, look into using Google Hangouts On Air. You can record yourself or up to 10 people having a conversation (like your own TV show) and it loads to YouTube automatically when you finish. No editing necessary most of the time and if you do need to edit a bit at the beginning or end, you can do that easily using YouTube’s editing tools that are built in.
LinkedIn bought SlideShare in May 2012 to add a more interactive and visual tool to your LinkedIn profile and this is turning out to be another power tool in your marketing tool box. Create a marketing presentation using PowerPoint, Keynote or my personal favorite, HaikuDeck and then load it to SlideShare and link it to your LinkedIn profile. Explain how something works in 10-15 slides with your contact information and more about the services your company provides on the last slide. Make the slides BEAUTIFUL. Don’t pack them with tiny font and more bullets than a Die Hard movie. Use beautiful images and colorful charts or graphs. The visuals will captivate, the information will draw them to you. If you struggle to make great presentations, check out Presentation Zen or HaikuDeck.
With over 1.4 BILLION users on Facebook, this is usually a spot you want to occupy, both to be found and to provide a place for people to post questions, discussions about your product or services, get tips and resources from you or to learn more about those offers you have created. Your goal on Facebook is to show your expertise and listening skills and then invite people to visit your website, blog or those landing pages.
Instagram is where all of our teenagers and young adults went when their parents got on Facebook and creeped them out. If your target market includes anyone under the age of 30, you should at least be checking out this visual phenom. Your brand can use this platform to allow people to peek behind the curtain of your business and see your team hard at work, or the events you attend. You can showcase your products or show how you provide great service. This platform is a bit more casual than your LinkedIn or maybe even your Facebook page. Have fun with great photos that you snap around your office. Share a graphic showing an event or promotion you are running, showcase your fans and all the fun you have with them.
Even though there has been speculation as to the future of Google Plus and the lack of participation on this platform, the content you place here is still showing up pretty high in search results. Of course if you spend time building and nurturing relationships there, you will reap the benefits of on Google Plus just like you do on any site that you spend time connecting with people.
This site continues to amaze many in marketing because of the rapid growth in users (70 Million users as of 7/10/13) as well as the amount of traffic that this site sends to websites with the intent to convert. Think of it this way, we don’t log into Facebook thinking, “I wonder what my favorite brands have to sell me today.” We log into Facebook to see what our crazy cousin Eddie is up to. But many people log into Pinterest to find great shoes (okay maybe that’s just me) or recipes for a dinner party, decor for their home and more. When done right, your Pinterest account can drive people directly to the point of purchase and if posting regularly there, you will see conversions, or at least an increase in traffic with an attempt to convert. (47% of US online shoppers have purchased something as a result of Pinterest)
A fabulous smartphone
Yes this is a necessary tool to manage all of these sites as well as taking photos that you will share on your social media sites. Today’s smart phones have incredible cameras (look for devices with 10+ megapixels if you are in the market for a new phone) and apps that allow you to manage everyone of the tools mentioned here. I live on my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my iPad and with the ability to tether my internet service through my phone to my iPad (mobile hotspot service via Verizon), there is nothing I can’t do on the road that I can while at my desk.
So what other tools are you using?
We’d love to hear about the other tools you are using to convert more of your social media efforts into paying customers.