To start, this article is not really just about Facebook, but it does seem to be Facebook and Twitter that makes people go nuts trying to increase the number of fans/followers they have. As someone that is a proponent of using Social Media in a business , fans and followers are important but only relevant ones that can either lead to business or help build awareness. It never ceases to amaze me seeing the companies out there that promise 20,000 Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers in a week. I am mystified why people spend money on this as in most cases they are not being liked or followed by relevant or "real" people. Many times you will find the fans and likes you get from these companies are not even people and the rest are people located in the Far East getting paid to hit Like or Follow buttons. I put people on LinkedIn that seem to want to connect to everyone no matter whether there is synergy in the same bucket. You wonder how many of those 5000 people they connected with they could truly reach out to if they wanted to help them - not many if any.
What Is Social Media About When It Comes To Business
Social Media, especially in business is about connecting, having a conversation, and sharing information with a network of people who could refer, buy , partner , or be some kind of influencer when it comes to your business. At the end of the day it is about engagement and hopefully increasing your business. In a lot of cases, I have been contacted by a visitor who may or may not have become a fan or follower which means they are still reading the content being shared.
We had a client that started a B2C business focused on children. When they started, it was obvious Facebook and Twitter were the right platforms for their business. They are a local business, so we told that that they really needed to build momentum prior to opening their business. This is a client that made Social Media pay off for his business. They had over 1000 fans and pent up demand for their business before the doors opened. They continue to communicate with their fans, clients, and prospects and they now have over 6000 "relevant" fans. If they had fans in Calgary, Alberta or Paris, France- who really cares, as the chances of that individual visiting their facility is slim to none. Most of their fans are in our local area which is where you want them to be. They also have done a great job with content, frequency, and engagement. They know how to make Social Media work for their business.
Though I like Social Media, it can be time consuming to do correctly, but at the end of the day I am looking to connect and create more clients, partnerships, and build awareness for our business. Though I would love to have Bryan Adams follow me on Twitter and would personally would make my day - it really wouldn't help my business as I doubt he would be endorsing our services. Having 20,000 irrelevant followers or fans in countries or regions outside your business area and outside your target market is not really going to help your business. You want to build your network organically and eventually it starts to take shape. I myself use all of the platforms for our business, as it is important if you are going to tell others they need to use Social Media in their business that you eat your own dog food. Though I use them all, LinkedIn and Twitter are the two that have helped provide me with true value for my business, though I have received one client through my Facebook page. Facebook is not really the platform for those looking for business consulting for their business. Understanding where your target market hangs out is the key to choosing the right platforms.
Since engaging in Social Media has a lot to do with helping increase traffic back to your website as well though developed content, the same is true. If you are doing business only in Canada, do you really care how many people in Australia or Poland visited your website. The goal is to bring in potential clients.
How to Get Relevant Followers and Fans for Your Business
There is no single magic pill that will reward you with followers and fans. You need to make sure you have a social media strategy that focuses on providing good content and interaction with your target market. Within your target market, you may even have different types of people or personas. For example, our target market is owner-operated businesses, but the platform and content that the home business owner, the high-tech or manufacturing business owner, and the retail store owner uses and wants can be very different. All are potential clients, but if provide the same content on all sites and do not provide the content that are interested in, interact, or provide some level of engagement , you will not attract the fans and followers you want.
It can sound discouraging to hear it takes time when they need more clients today, but this is not something that has a quick return on time as that is what your cost is - your time. Focus on sharing and developing relevant content on a regular basis and measuring your results. You have to engage and provide content that is of value to your target audiences/personas. If it is of value, they will reward you with following or liking you.
This is definitely a quality versus quantity situation. It is better to have a few loyal relevant followers who over time either become clients, influencers, or potential partners versus getting the 20,000 fake followers just to have this show on your page. There is no quick way to increase real engagement, it takes time.
RK Fischer & Associates