You can have 4000 Facebook friends and a MILLION followers on Twitter but it means diddly-squat unless you know how to get them HOOKED on you.
In this article, I’m going to share with you some strategies I have used to create a strong, loyal following of people that love to send me comments, share my content and buy through me again and again and again.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000 followers – you can start to foster real relationships with them and grow your business at a RAPID speed by using a few simple concepts.
Word Of Mouth Has Become More Powerful Than Ever
In traditional offline business, word of mouth is the cream of the crop and for very good reason. If you can get lots of people voluntarily saying wonderful things about your business…you’re getting the highest quality of referrals and FREE, viral marketing.
In fact, this is why social media marketing has taken off so much. People trust things their friends recommend to them far more than they trust a blatant ad for a product and with all the different platforms out there, your message can be seen by thousands at the click of a button.
So, with that said, lets break this down a bit and get to the core – how do we take advantage of the power of social media and the trust factor between friends?
We get others recommending our content to their friends/fans/followers.
Seems pretty obvious, but I want to bring it up as there’s some important issues to cover.
There’s a difference between a ‘Share’ and a true Recommendation
First, there are lots of syndication groups and tribes out there that will help you get people sharing your content on social media sites. In fact I use one daily and get a great deal of traffic from it. This is a great way to get backlinks, but most of the time people will NOT share to their Facebook and Twitter accounts as that’s where their true fans are and they don’t want to send any-old-crap to their followers.
So while it’s a good traffic strategy, it’s only the first part of the puzzle. You still want to get people GENUINELY recommending you to their friends and followers. Not only that, but you want them feeling a real connection to you, coming back to your blog, following you on Facebook, Twitter etc and actively engaging with you.
You want them to fall in LOVE with you.
Remember when you were a teenager and developed your first big crush on someone? What did it feel like? What emotions did you go through? What ACTIONS did you take to show that person you liked them?
If you were anything like me, it started when you thought the person was cute… and then the more you were exposed to their cuteness the more you liked it. There was something different about them. No doubt they were thought to be attractive or ‘cool’ by others standards too. The more you allowed your mind to wander and imagine being close to them or… gosh… holding a hand or sneaking a kiss… the more you ‘fell’ for that person.
Then the excitement builds up and you start to get excited about bumping in to them at school, and when you do you make sure you laugh at all their jokes.
You spend your time in class writing I Heart So-and-So in side your jotters (or on the desk!)
Now you want them to like YOU too. So what do you do? You go out and buy that Blink182 album they were listening too and memorize all the words so that some day you can act all cool as you sing along to it and pretend to be their biggest fan.
Ah, young ‘love’ was so much hard work!
Online marketing isn’t much different. We want to develop the same excitement and commitment in your followers (except now they’ll be writing I <3 U on their Facebook walls, not their desks!)
How To Make Your Audience Develop A Massive Crush On You!
1. Be everywhere! The more people see you, the more they notice you and at some point they are going to start thinking you must be worth checking out.
My favourite places to simply ‘be’ are Facebook, Twitter, BetterNetworker.com, other people’s blogs and blogging communities like Blokcube, BlogEngage and FamousBloggers.net – Comment on people’s posts, share them on Twitter, Facebook, start conversations in forums, leave your thoughts on topics. Leave a little trail wherever you go and it will start to imprint on people’s minds.
2. Be different. Be yourself. There’s nothing more boring and uninspiring than to get up and pretend to be someone you are not all day just to try and please everyone (I used to work in a mobile phone shop and had to wear long sleeves to cover my tattoos and say silly phrases like a robot all day). Step outside the box and push people’s buttons. Speak up when you think something else, don’t be afraid to stand out!
3. Look good. Now I don’t mean you have to be super sexy to be a success, but what you do want to do is think about how you look wherever you go. Have a good clear avatar (I try to use the same one on every site) so that people get to know you, have your name clearly displayed, your website in your profile and above all don’t be spammy and petty. Develop a clear strong image that’s congruent across all your networking sites.
4. Flirt! Let people know you might be “in to them” a little bit too. Oh gosh- just a little smile from a boy I had a crush on in high school would have been enough to keep me daydreaming about him all WEEK! Let your audience know that you think they are cool too. Say thank you when you receive a comment, a share, tweet etc. I always take the time to check my networks and reply to any new messages, follows, shares and comments.
5. Give them value. You want your readers to feel like when they are around you they get so much from the experience that they come back again and again. To do that, always start writing your content with the thought – How can I help my audience solve their biggest problems and entertain them at the same time?
6. Invite them to your party – Let your audience know where they can get MORE of you, where the cool kids are hanging out and how they can be a part of it too. Show them how to get on your mailing list, how to hook up with you on different sites and where they can contact you if they have questions.
7. Interact on a DAILY basis. Your business is people – whatever you are doing. Forming connections and relationships with others in your industry is crucial for getting ahead. Always look out for ways that you can interact with your audience. Ask them for feedback, pull them out on webinars, get testimonials, leave comments, ALWAYS say thank you and reply to those that take the time to reach out to you.
8. ASK THEM TO SHARE. When you know you are providing wonderful value to the community you can ASK people to share. In fact I recently read in a great article by Ana Hoffman that the top phrases in the most retweeted posts include the phrase “Please Retweet” – Asking WORKS.
9. Act with integrity at ALL times. Only promote stuff you 100% stand behind and are proud to put your name on. Your buyers will thank you for it and you’ll develop a loyal group of repeat buyers.
10. Give BACK before you take. Contribute great content to the internet, share others posts, comment on others blogs, recommend people to your followers first and you’ll see a much greater return. It’s all about the WIN-WIN and you can’t win until you’ve helped others out.
Why Should You Follow These Steps!
If you follow these 10 steps to creating fantastic, long-lasting relationships I can GUARANTEE you will see your name start to spread like wildfire as people talk about you more and more.
There’s NOTHING like having people highly recommend you to their followings but you’ve got to DESERVE it first.