No kidding! Who doesn’t know that?
Okay…so maybe it’s not just one simple thing. In fact, there isn’t one single magic button that accomplishes many worthwhile things for you. There are, however many strategies that the best players in this field do differently. These are the things that make them household names. Organizations like these: Grub Hub, Tasty, NetFlix, BuzzFeed, Bodybuilding.com, The Verge, Mashable, Wired, etc.
You need to know exactly how to build an audience, gain their loyalty and keep them coming back.
While the big boys (and girls) of social media may also have the advantage of having built up their names over a few years along with having some money to pour into their efforts, it’s still really their strategy that is the biggest difference between them and the average Joe. (No offense if your name is Joe. Or if you are average.)
It takes some work to be good at anything worthwhile. But it also requires a blueprint, planning and precision. This is contrary to the popular message from so-called gurus that earning money online is easy. As I’ve said before and mentioned a few times in my book The Snowball Factor, it’s not easy…but it is simple.
Here are FIVE simply great strategies you can easily implement today for social media domination:
1. Don’t Promote Your Product
What? Can that be right? I know it seems strange to not promote your product, service or brand when that is really the underlying point of all this social media interaction. But the problem is, social media is relational. It doesn’t work like television, radio, newspapers or magazines. Advertising has changed in this millennium. People want a relationship and valuable information and relationships require some insight, grace and diplomacy as you interact with people.
This kind of marketing is a little bit like dating. It takes time to create trust and you don’t rush into anything too quickly.
This kind of marketing is a little bit like dating. It takes time to create trust and you don’t rush into anything too quickly. There is a bit of a dance. You need your audience to first like you, trust you and believe you before they buy from you.
This brings us back to the idea of providing something of value for them. And what is the polar opposite of providing value? The answer is simply this: promoting your business.
Yet this is what too many misguided small businesses actually use their social media to do. These tend to be the kinds of companies that seem a little out of touch with their audience. Local service businesses like plumbers, chiropractors, auto mechanics, accountants, etc. will often use their social media for posting things like ‘Visit our site and see why we’re the best at what we do!’. Or, ‘Our solutions are second to none!’.
This is literally just advertising and promotion and it completely misses the point of social media.
Don’t do it!
This is literally just advertising and promotion…and it completely misses the point of social media.
2. Post What YOU Would Want to Read
No one wants to go out of their way to be advertised to and they don’t want advertisements showing up in their feeds alongside posts from their friends and family. It looks out of context and often comes off as obnoxious. This will only demonstrate a lack of understanding of your audience and will frustrate your visitors, likely motivating them to simply unsubscribe, ignore you and leave.
Besides, can you imagine anyone actually clicking on a post about why you’re the best accounting company in town? Probably not.
The first step in getting a good idea of whether or not your posts are effective is simply to ask yourself: would you read it?
If this came up on your feed, how would you feel? If you’d be pleased and then go on to read it and possibly share it, then it’s an ideal choice for your own social media channel.
But if you’d ignore it, or worse yet feel frustrated, then that’s a clear sign you shouldn’t do the same.
Look at your own history on these sites and ask yourself why you clicked on the links you did and shared the things you did. What are the best posts you’ve seen in your niche lately? Why? What can you do to emulate their success?
The key here is to remember that your audience are real people who have the ability and will to follow whatever they want and leave when they want. That is why you need to get inside their heads. Often that just means putting yourself in their shoes.
Another option is to create your fictional persona or customer profile. A persona is a buyer biography – an imaginary individual that you will consider to be your ideal customer. By getting inside their heads, you can know precisely what kind of content you should be creating/sharing and you can speak directly to that person with things that will interest them.
One way to do this is to think of someone in your own life who would be your ideal customer. If you sell fitness products and you have a few friends who always want to get into shape and are always asking for advice but who never put the time in to get the results they need, use them to model your customer profile. They are the ideal customer for a fitness book or a protein shake and so you would keep them in mind whenever you create content for your social media pages. You write to them and write in a way that will get them interested and engaged.
3. Fat Burning French Fries
Okay, I cheated a little. This section has nothing to do with Fat Burning French Fries. But it did get your attention. Alright, maybe that was a bad example.
But writing content and sharing posts on social media platforms that can grab attention is the crucial skill you need to develop if you’re going to build and grow your social media network of followers.
Your most important content can often be the title or headline of your post. Your title is your first impression – it’s like wearing the right suit to an interview.
In this case, if you want people to read your content, then you need to make sure you are creating really great titles that will really stand out and sound fascinating, unique and exciting.
Your title is your first impression – it’s like wearing the right suit to an interview.
We can see this when we look at those troublesome clickbait posts. In fact, this the reason that clickbait has become so popular and effective. In case you’ve been living under a rock, a clickbait headline is a title that is designed to grab attention and encourage clicks. Often, it does this by piquing the interest of the reader with some kind of mystery or shocking statement. In other cases, the language might even be intentionally strange, such that people will be baited into clicking it to find out what’s going on.
Here are some examples:
“Fitness Trainers Hate Him! Find Out How This Man Has Been Overturning Centuries of Fitness Advice”
“Try This One Weird Trick to Get Rid of Bodyfat!”
“This Man Told Me His Secret to Making Money Online… What Happened Next Will Shock You”
“10 Tricks to Look Sexier Instantly. Number Four Changed My Life!”
In each case, there is some mystery. Who is this man who fitness trainers hate? What’s so special about number four? What’s the ‘weird trick’?
These titles invite clicks because they sound and look interesting and readers can’t help but want to know more. What’s more, is that the titles all allude to the fact that the information can somehow change their lives or at least be shocking and controversial. In either case, this information doesn’t sound boring – it sounds engaging and enticing and it’s very hard to keep on scrolling past. Especially if you combine it with an image of someone looking very attractive, or before and after pictures showing an incredible body transformation.
4. Keep Your Promises
Wait a minute…! Did I just recommend that you use clickbait? Isn’t clickbait essentially annoying, obnoxious and spammy?
Why yes it is. I am not actually recommending that you start posting hyped up clickbait articles. But I am saying is that you can learn from the clickbait principle. These stand out because they have interesting concepts that speak to us on an emotional level and get us to want to click.
The problem with those spammy posts is that they rarely deliver on their promise. And when they’ve reached the point of becoming transparent and contrived people will eventually stop clicking on them because they disappoint.
Very often, you’ll read about this ‘one weird trick’ or the supplement that ‘should be banned’ and it will be nothing but an ad for something very generic. Or you’ll watch a long video to see ‘what happens next’ and you’ll be disappointed to find that nothing much happens. Often you’ll need to click through lots of images and sliders filled with a lot of ads.
And as such, you’ll learn NOT to click on clickbait because it doesn’t deliver. Disappointing your audience is the opposite of what you want to do.
The lesson here is to take what works with these posts and avoid what makes them fail…
To explain, let’s take a step backward again and look at what’s wrong with a LOT of internet content, and why it doesn’t stand out in anyway or offer anything unique.
In the fitness niche, there are hundreds of posts for example with titles like:
“The Top Ten Home Ab Exercises”
“How to Get Flat Abs”
How many times have you read articles with these titles, or titles similar to these? The answer is most likely very often. And once you recognize that, you can see where the problem lies.
Go back to what we said earlier: would you click it?
Would you click an internet marketing post called: “25 Search Engine Optimization Techniques”?
Probably not… it couldn’t be more boring !
Clickbait really stands out on social media channels that are filled with this kind of stuff because they actually sound interesting and they actually look unique. Hearing about the ‘weird secret trick’ is much more inviting than hearing about ‘25 techniques’.
The problem is that this is a little edgy – perhaps controversial. So what do you do?
The answer is simple: Hunt down exciting information to share that is worthy of such a bombastic title. That’s right: you stop trying to ‘trick’ your followers and instead give them exactly the exciting and unique kind of expose that they’re looking for.
There are countless cutting edge studies sharing new forms of training that might have incredible results. There are ancient and forgotten training methods. And then there are those much more interesting angles on the same old topics: things like looking at how fitness relates to self-defense. Or perhaps how building muscle will change your psychology.
Here is an example of how I was able to make a normally boring headline into something more interesting:
The product was web design software and it’s unique selling point was the fact that it was very easy to use. Instead of saying something boring like: “Easy to Use Web Design Software”, I used a headline that said, “My 9 Year Old Just Built My Website.” Far more interesting. When user’s watched the video demo of how simple the software was to use, they could see that it truly was easy enough for a 9 year old to create a web page.
This is a much more interesting and engaging and method and you can use to create post titles that are just as eye-grabbing and exciting.
By understanding your products benefits and how it solves your customer’s pain points, you are going to be able to deliver something interesting when your audience follows through by clicking those links.
And because you’ve delivered on your promise, it means that the next time they see one of your posts, they will be inclined to believe that you’re once again going to be able to deliver on your promise. When you combine these methods, the result is that you can gain a loyal following of people who are truly excited and eager to see what your next post will be about.
And when you share content that other people have created, you need to be just as selective and make sure that it meets the same criteria: sounds amazing AND delivers on its promise.
5. Make Your Followers Feel Important
Your social media channel will instantly be better than a huge proportion of what’s out there at the moment when you focus on making your audience feel important and heard.
But it won’t be perfect. Why?
Because if you look at social media only from that perspective then you’re missing out on a very big part of it. Simply put, social media is a social tool. It’s intended for communication and that’s a two-way thing.
Even if you’re posting the very best content in the world, if that’s all you’re doing then it will still feel like a one-way bombardment that will quickly become frustrating for your following.
So instead, you need to focus on that social aspect too by actually engaging with your audience and communicating with them rather than making this a one way thing.
And this starts by treating your visitors like VIPs.
This is a small and simple difference but it’s one that can have a huge impact on your success.
The key is to make following you on social media seem like an exciting lifestyle change and the first step on a great journey.
If your social media channel is about fitness for example, then you can create a situation where simply signing up to your social media channel feels like the first step toward the body your audience wants.
Did you know that people who tell others about their plans to get into shape often fail to do so? The reason for this is that simply telling other people that you plan to lose weight or build muscle relieves some of the psychological tension of wanting to achieve a goal. When we tell people, it becomes a part of our identity and that means we sometimes feel as though we don’t have to work so hard!
Of course this is not a good thing but what it does show, is how making a social step like this can actually feel like positive progress and even bring a sense of catharsis and achievement. When someone clicks on your ‘follow’ button, you can make them feel like they’ve taken the first step to a new them: more confidence, more muscle, more money, more sex… And that makes them feel great about themselves, which is excellent feedback!
Your job is to encourage this feeling by positioning your social media channel as some kind of movement, some kind of statement. This is why many of the most successful online brands will tell people to ‘Follow and take part in the new fitness revolution!’ or ‘Join a community of elite money makers!’.
This also has another advantage, because it makes your followers feel like they’re a part of a community. This creates social pressure to join (everyone who is anyone is following you!) and it makes them feel that they may be missing out by not following. People hate missing out but they love being a part of something and if you can combine these two feelings, then you will be on to a winner!
You can then also carry this on by making your followers feel like VIPs in the way you continue to speak to them throughout. For example, you might refer to them using a group name, or you might tell them how they are receiving early access, or restricted information. Anything that makes them feel good and feel excited to be a part of your brand.
Social Media Blueprint by Greg Hughes
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