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How To Get the Best Social Media Followers – Quality Wins Over Quantity

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Published: July 30, 2010

A common mindset associated with social media: ‘the more friends you have, the higher your status.’ Numbers can show how influential you are on the web (klout score) but numbers aren’t everything. Sure, your company page may have thousands of fans but what if they’re only there for a quick promotion just to jump ship afterwards? This is every brand’s worst nightmare: an uninterested audience. Are they really as interested as they appear? Could they even be spammers, diluting your brand’s Facebook wall with noise? These situations must be taken in to consideration as you amass Facebook Fans and Twitter followers.

If you’re looking to promote your brand on Facebook or Twitter, you probably have the notion of ‘more fans means greater success’ hammered in to your head. This is not always the case as those fans may not stick around for the long run and any tactics you use to pump up your fan count may only be a temporary means of creating interest. The easiest methods to use are giveaways and limited availability offers. As with the case of Einstein Bros.’ free bagel giveaway, it brought their number of Facebook fans from less than 5,000 to an astounding 400,000. Before you run off to put into motion a massive product giveaway, realize this: those 395,000+ fans may like free bagels, but do they like Einstein Bros. enough to pay for their bagels again? While enough of those new fans wholeheartedly enjoyed their free bagel, they may not be interested at all in buying more bagels from Einstein Bros.

Targeted Connections

The best practice is to filter your promotion. Blatantly pushing an offer will reach those who are simply not interested, putting your social network efforts at risk of being discredited as spam. Targeting those who are interested in your industry is a very powerful thing. If you’re reviewing the latest and greatest Apple product, you won’t want to promote to die-hard PC enthusiasts, but consider promoting to people interested in buying a new computer and have yet to decide which company to purchase from in addition to those who are already loyal to your brand.

Influencers

Another tip is to use influencers or those who specialize in your industry. In promoting a product or service, be sure to contact blogs and other consumer product review websites that focus on similar products or services. These influencers can be invaluable. They already have a following of consumers who trust them to provide advice and insight into their industry. Consider a unique spin, such as including benchmark tests others haven’t published or a review from the perspective of the average consumer, a professional, a graphic designer and so on.

Influencers can also be used to extend your own network, whether they be Facebook fans or Twitter followers. Perusing through your replies or posts on your wall should give you an idea of who will be a good influencer. Are they actively engaged in conversation relevant to your brand? Sending links and offers to these people is a great way to increase your brand’s presence by ensuring everyone receives some kind of benefit for following you. Creating exclusive promotions for influencers to use and spread to their network will bring in new people who would be interested in your brand, at the same time thanking existing fans for their loyalty. This method is most likely to attract the highest number of people interested in your brand. They will remain fans/followers beyond the promotional offer as they share the same interests as the influencer who referred them. Social Media Examiner recommends a digital gift card with a limited amount of uses that can be embedded on a blog or online profile. Ultimately it comes down to ease of use and how well it can be spread. Make sure your promotion is easy to fill out and doesn’t look like spam.

Customer Service, Brand Reputation

A consumer looks for company engagement beyond the occasional email discount or the opportunity to fill out a survey. As more brands compete for attention, the idea of a personalized experience is consistently lost. Social networking provides the opportunity to gauge the overall sentiment around your brand and whether or not people are satisfied with what you’re offering. If and when you find the consumer disappointed, this is the perfect opportunity to regain their loyalty. No one expects a brand or company to be perfect, but the fact that some go out of their way to engage consumers and resolve their issues is appreciated. While that person may be completely dissatisfied with the product, a representative looking to remedy the situation is impressive to the consumer and makes them feel important. The key is to really listen to the customer’s wants and needs. These efforts might regain the consumer’s favorable opinion. They are then likely to share the positive experience with their network.

Have your social media efforts been successful? Tell us your story of how your followers/fans have interacted with your brand and what you’ve done to keep them interested.