Are your followers the right people?
For some, accruing thousands of followers, visits (and visitors) and other indications of impressions is extremely important. But in reality it is a good idea to stop and take stock.
To me, all these figures are empty and meaningless. It's relatively easy to celebrate large numbers without understanding these do not refer to actual engagement. Whereas if you receive comments on your blog or social updates, these are real interactions from people, without being generated from algorithms and search engines.
And to put further flies into the ointment, I'm now asking if this engagement is from the right people. Sure, it's lovely to get comments (I should know!), and I gratefully welcome every one with open arms. But if you're commenting to build business relationships and attract ideal clients, perhaps you should take a closer look at your commenting streams.
Take a look at the infographic below:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Who, exactly, are the right people for you?
We live in an ever-increasing social online world. It's so easy to enter into a social platform and start chatting to people, about anything. And in a sense being sociable like this is a good thing! You are more likely to form relationships with people if you talk about what interests them rather than yourself.
However, if you have marketing objectives to achieve for your business, you could be wasting valuable time by not talking to the right people. Being sociable online is all very nice, but you will be more likely to succeed if you converse with potential and present customers, rather than everybody and anybody.
I know plenty of garrulous people who cannot stop chatting to everyone on social media. It isn't called 'social' for nothing, and a lively thread can be a joy to read. Some people say this interaction can result in connections which can benefit your business, but this would depend upon who your ideal customer is.
Are the people you are talking to now right for you?
If you are determined to make a success of your business via social media, it is a good idea to know who are the right people for you to talk to. You could cast your net as closely or as widely as you like, but be aware doing the latter will make the process more difficult for you.
It's worth doing a bit of research to work out who the right people are. Such as who would it be beneficial to engage with and get to know thoroughly, and for what purpose. Do these people match your marketing strategy? Would talking to them give you the necessary feedback you need to further your business objectives?
Look at who you engage with right now. Are these the right people? They probably are, especially if they already know your business or brand. And if you have succeeded in gaining the liking and trusting stage, they will be relaxed and comfortable enough to talk socially about many subjects which could be valuable to you.
Who do these 'right people' talk to themselves?
Now it's time to take things a stage further by opening up your borders. All these right people who you happily converse with could also have, in their friends, readership and followers, other potential customers for your business.
You could ask your existing connections to introduce you, but this could be a bit limited or time-consuming. Instead do a bit of sleuthing in people's social accounts to find out who they are talking to. Check out these new profiles, websites, blogs and social updates to see if these potential new contacts could be considered as 'right' for you.
This is such an untapped resource many people fail to realise. If these people already interact with you, and have the same mind-set, stands to reason their connections may also be of the same calibre. All you need to do is go look!
How do you research these people to see if they are also 'right'?
The best method for this sleuthing is via social listening. This is when you sit back in the shadows and watch, read or listen to what people are saying. This allows you to find out as much as you can about them, without them necessarily knowing, before you make a decision whether they are the right people for your business.
Taking time out to 'listen' first has many advantages. Not only do you learn a lot about these new people, but you could also gain feedback about your brand and even what they think about your competitors. You could even gain insights into how your products or services could be improved, as users know how things work better than you do.
Social listening is a great way to obtain the correct information you need about potential customers before you make that initial approach. Knowing what their desires, questions and problems are can be very helpful. And getting this right means you will be more likely to succeed.
What would you learn if you spoke to them?
At the most appropriate time, gently and tactfully start to engage with them. Answering their questions and solving their problems with your knowledge and expertise could be useful, but don't force this on them. Only respond if requested. The last thing you should do is talk endlessly about your business.
The whole point of engaging with potential customers is for them to get to know, like and trust you. This means talking about only what interests them, especially in a social capacity. Your conversations may easily have nothing to do with your preferred subject at first, but this doesn't matter.
You know these are the right people to chat with. The idea is once they are comfortable with you, they will be more likely to want to find out more about you. They will sense you aren't out for the 'hard sell', so will be happy to click on a relevant link, especially if this provides information which could benefit them in any way.
How could you strategically benefit from this?
Working on customer engagement via social media should not be considered as a quick fix. Accept this process will require exactly the right amount of time it needs. Some people will convert quickly, whereas others may take a bit longer.
Getting people back to your blog or website is quite an achievement. Once your potential customer has been properly introduced to your business, the next step is to capture them. Persuading them to sign up to your newsletter means you now have the opportunity to continue your relationship by communicating with them on your own terms.
And this correspondence should be regular, relevant and responsible. Introducing the right people into your sales funnel means not only more purchases, but also creating potential loyal fans and advocates which could help you in the future.
How many of the right people do you regularly communicate with?
Do you often talk to your customers socially online? How much do you know about them? Would you bother with social listening to find out more behind the scenes? Do you think their contacts have the potential to become new customers?
Is this a good way to increase the exposure of your business? Does this allow you to come across more people than you would otherwise? Have you considered which kind of language is appropriate as well as the subjects you should discuss?
This is all extra food for thought. Let us know in the comments below your experiences, stories, recommendations or whatever about engaging with the right people. We would love to hear from you.