When I go to work through the train, it’s very difficult to find someone who doesn’t have a smartphone glued to their hands, swiping their fingers up and down or talking during their entire trip, like the above image.
People are connected to a vast amount of reasons on their social media accounts and remain connected for long periods.
Many of them intended to be for businesses only but when the potential to attract all sorts of users became worth exploring, we got ourselves a brand new world unlocked.
What used to take minutes, hours, days and a few bucks, is now done instantly and for free.
Talking to someone on the opposite side of the planet only requires you to connect with the said person and presto! Even if one of them isn’t online, you can always drop them a message.
How convenient, huh?
From individuals to businesses
In the same manner that a person will want to communicate with their loved ones, a corporate entity might want to try a closer approach with its customers and backers.
There are multiple approaches to reach that goal, such as telemarketing, if the intention is selling and direct mailing, to provide generic information, apart from already existing contact options where the client or supporter takes the initiative. But those two are becoming deadbeat horses. Not to mention people, in a general sense, don’t like receiving junk mail or being phoned all the time.
If such a company wants to get close enough, without spending a fortune for the same effect, the solution is using the same platform as their users: Social Media.
How effective is that?
An interesting story about that came from the official World of Tanks Forum.
I couldn’t find the thread but it was concerning a user being upset about an email he considered misleading and pondered about why a company would send such emails in the first place.
Note that he had left the community for some time.
Another one explained to him that, out of the emails sent, if some returned as paying customers, the company would have not only recovered some of their lost users but also made a profit, which would justify the effort.
Despite this example is referring to Email Marketing, which we will thoroughly cover in the future, the principle is the same for social network marketing.
Putting it all together
Now let’s delve back to websites bearing what was said in mind.
We have established that:
Plenty of people use Social Media
People who use Social Media tend to use it for extended periods of time
Businesses can advertise themselves in social media for free due to the above conditions
What about webmasters? They can capitalize that traffic pool just as efficiently.
If any given website doesn’t drive enough organic traffic, it will surely benefit from a fan page based on an active social network. If the fan page or even the main account is already active that’s a major plus for the site.
It becomes a matter of simply dropping a link to a blog post or a relevant page of your site.
But I don’t have any followers. What do I do?
If you don’t already have a fan page or your main account is not very active, then you got work to do. This means your attention must be divided to the site and whatever networks you intend to use. However, this must be conducted in harmony and not place more effort in one in detriment of the other.
I’ve compiled below a few tips that will help you increase the interaction with your fan page. More may be added in the future as well.
1 – Invite your friends
The first thing you should do is follow your own pages yourself. After that, recommend it to people on your circles or friend’s list to join. Word of the mouth is often the best place to start with.
2 – Synchronize the pages
When it comes to blogging, bringing something new to the table on a daily or weekly basis has to be the standard. On fan pages, the same applies. Every time something new is added to the site, schedule a fan page post with a summary of the new post or page with a link to it and then share it.
Since we’re talking about a fan page with little or no followers, that won’t have a big effect, but newcomers will see past and present updates in a way that suggests your site is active.
3 – Start Contests
Contests are a sure-fire way of having people joining in. One of the main contest requirements is usually something that benefits the site, such as liking/following the page or inviting other friends. Facebook gift cards, raffles and other freebies get people interested because they will get something for free and normally without having too much legwork but any reward that gives them a return on the same level tends to work out just nicely.
On the TRI we have some ideas for contests ourselves. We will post them on the main site and update this part of the thread when it goes live, to further exemplify and help you put into action some of these ideas.
4 – Connect with others
Posting as a page is an important aspect as well. Keeping your page on par with your site is only half of the battle and shutting oneself in a hermetic posting pattern only on the fan page itself limits your interaction with those who already follow you.
You want to keep those and provide new content, however, cultivating a relationship with businesses, consumers or readers from outside your immediate chain can give you plenty of other benefits that will contribute to the increase of interaction with your page and later, your site:
- Ideas for new blog posts
- What your competitors may be up to
- How do you fare in comparison to others
- New ways to advertise yourself
- Finding more readers to your own site
In other words, don’t isolate yourself!
Which Social Media Networks should I use?
Number one? Facebook. Should go without saying, really.
Discovering someone who doesn’t have an account in it should be one tricky challenge.
Apart from Facebook, things aren’t as straightforward and will depend on what type of media you provide…
Success in YouTube/Twitch depends on you making videos and streams.
Twitter will require you to do the same as what we’ve seen in the previous chapter of this post: grow an audience.
Pinterest and Instagram are good for Photo or Infographics posts but will suffer from the problems we’ve already covered.
One link in Reddit brings you thousands of hits but people frown upon users who do nothing but advertise themselves.
StumbleUpon is good for creating lists of articles to condense several related topics in a single place so, it’s gonna pan out for posts alone or a combination of all of the above.
And it’s even more powerful than Reddit.
Not using Social Media – The Conclusion
It’s dumb not to. Sorry to put it so bluntly but it’s true. How many Social Networks do you use? I’m willing to bet it’s more than just one. Then why not use your account to advertise your site or even create a full-blown fan page?
Sure, it’s another site to work on and ideally, webmasters would only have to care for their own. But the diversity it creates opens the door for plenty of opportunities. Who knows which one will bring the more benefits to you?
Let us know how is it going for you. Have you seen success in capitalizing the potential hidden in Social Networks? Have you just began your first steps on it? Or you don’t use them at all? Why?