How To Encourage Social Media Followers To Join Your Audience

Encourage Social Media Followers To Join Your AudienceThe shuttering of the Google+ social media platform on April 2nd got me thinking.

If you’re a marketer:
How do you convince your social media followers to join your addressable audience?

Your problem:
These participants have a relationship with the social media platform, not your business.

Further,
Social media entities keep members returning to their sites through the use of personalized email notifications.

But Google+ isn’t the first or the last social media platform to disappear.

So what happens to your carefully nurtured social media following?

Beyond the resources you invested in developing your community, how do you replace the engagement and interaction in your marketing strategies going forward?

For example, AgoraPulse’s Mike Allton grew a personal audience of roughly a quarter of a million Google+  followers. That’s a lot of people to get to follow you to another platform.

To encourage social media followers to join you elsewhere:

  • Understand the value of your addressable audience.
  • Examine the pros and cons of using social media platforms
  • Use these 10 tactics to encourage followers to engage elsewhere

 

4 Ways Addressable Audience Creates Business Value

Beyond executing your marketing strategy your business needs an addressable audience.

This is why Joe Pulizzi laser-focused on email address acquisition as the initial indicator of content marketing success.

Here are 4 ways to show the business value of an addressable audience:

1. Add to business valuation

From a financial perspective, your list of audience’s contact information contributes to the value of your company. Of this, your buyers are the key segment. Often, it’s part of Goodwill on your Balance Sheet.

 

2. Allow direct communication via channels you control

Since social media networks own their member relationships, you must rent or borrow their communications to engage with your followers.

By contrast, when you own an addressable audience you can communicate with them based on your needs and timing. Further, you can choose to use email, messaging, text, phone or postal mail based on the information you have.

When you communicate with your audience directly, your costs are lower since you don’t pay for their contact information.

 

3. Build trust since you have audience permission to communicate.

When your audience opts into your list, you establish a level of trust. This helps your communications to attract attention regardless of device.

Of course you must respect this relationship and continue to earn trust with quality content and communications.

 

4. Protect against platform changes

Since social media platforms change their algorithms controlling access and visibility without notice, you need to be able to contact your audience directly.

For example, Facebook Messenger banned Larry Kim from their service where his latest business, Mobile Monkey, operates. The message Kim received read:

“ Limits have been placed on Larry Kim. This page is restricted from the use of message tags, subscription and broadcast messaging, and sponsored messages. Your page will still be able to respond to messages according to standard messaging permissions.”

Social Media Followers

Data shows why Mobile Monkey’s Larry Kim was banned from Facebook Messenger

This also happens on search engines or third party traffic engines. Clients of mine have lost significant traffic overnight due to Google’s search algorithm changes.

 

Why You Need Social Media: The Pros and Cons

5 Ways social media helps marketers:

  1. Build community. LinkedIn and Facebook Groups offer opportunities to engage with your followers, customers and colleagues in real and asynchronous time. Secondary and niche social media formats and forums offer similar opportunities.
  2. Engage prospects and the public in a multi-directional conversation. As a result, you surface new perspectives and opinions.
  3. Create and share content beyond your list of readers. Also permits use of a variety of content formats to expand content consumption.
  4. Target advertising to micro-segments. Create lookalike audiences to tap into social media data.
  5. Offer additional community and engagement channels. As a result, you can engage your audience where they spend time and respond to them quickly.

5 Ways social media limits marketers:

  1. Can Change their algorithms or guidelines without notice. For example, Facebook changes how it highlights business branded content and advertising in the NewsFeed and other areas without notice.
  2. Stop doing business. Just as Google+ is closing, other social media entities have lost their audiences or gone out of business.
  3. Charge for audience access. To encourage paid advertising, Networks may reduce marketing visibility.
  4. Are subject to outside manipulation. Incidents over the past 2 years reveal outside interference and fake participants..
  5. Challenge or change influencer power. While micro-influencers appear overnight, their ability to deliver measurable social media ROI remains elusive.

 

10 Tactics To Encourage Social Media Followers To Join Your Audience

Encourage Social Media Followers To Join Your Audience

Beyond distributing marketing messages and increasing brand awareness, you must drive measurable interactions. As a result you guide prospects to take actions that ultimately yield sales and profits.

When you use social media to achieve revenue and profit objectives, encourage followers to shift their engagement with you to a landing page, website or blog. This allows you to capture their contact information, most commonly an email address.

To help persuade your social media followers to become part of your addressable audience, use these 10 tactics.

 

1. Use your social media profile to direct participants to your owned media.

Include your URL, physical address and phone number. Also add your business hours if you lack 24/7 customer service. This helps manage visitor expectations.

Social Media Followers

Example of Mari Smith’s Twitter Profile is aligned with her brand

2. Maintain consistent branding across social media platforms.

To help participants recognize your business, keep your branding consistent.

Your social media branding includes:

  • You social media profile names and handles
  • Content presentation
  • Social media images
  • Language
Social media followers to join you on owned media

Marketo Facebook Page directs visitors to its event page

 

3. Offer social media visitors a reason to share personal information with you

This tactic depends on the Principle of Reciprocity where people feel a need to repay a good deed.

  • Use tailored landing pages to improve your conversion. Tools like Unbounce and LeadPages provide these services.
  • Sweeten your offer. Give followers a purchase discount or content offering in exchange for the contact information.
  • Include a Call-To-Action to nudge visitors to act. Don’t assume they will act without it.

 

4. Encourage social media followers to cross-platform and continue engaging with you

If your social media followers won’t join you on owned media, get them to engage with you on other social media platforms. This give you more than one way to connect with followers.

For example, Twitter Expert Madalyn Sklar finds new ways to bring her audience with her across platforms. On her Twitter Chats, Sklar moves from Twitter to Facebook Live with her community. Additionally, when Sklar attends a conference or live event, she hosts a Twitter Chat in real time.

How conferences build community

Live #TwitterSmarter with Madalyn Sklar and Lisa Buyer helps build both Twitter chat community and SMMW community

5. Consistently spend time engaging on social media

Beyond regular social media content curation and posting, get actively involved with your business community. But avoid getting sucked into the social media rabbit hole of your friends’ feeds.

Instead, develop a social media engagement strategy. Schedule time to respond to your community in a timely fashion.  This includes social media groups, Twitter chats, forums and second-tier social media platforms.

Also, use a consistent business profile and be active. Support your employees as they become thought leaders in your category. This reflects positively on your business. However, you don’t want to develop a new social media following if they leave.

 

6. Take social media engagement offline

Regularly attend and participate in local business events and industry conferences.

For example, over the course of 3 years, Dennis Shiao has built a monthly Content Marketing meetup group of over 500 professional in the Bay Area. Similarly, Andy Crestodina and Orbit Media host a monthly Wine & Web gathering at their Chicago offices.

Alternatively reach out to your community when you’re going to be in different locations or cities.

 

7. Build your owned media entity

Don’t depend on a your social media profile or page to act as your website.

Since it can disappear overnight leaving you without a digital presence.

Rather develop a blog to serve this purpose and provide off-ramps to engage your audience.

Blogs remain important for over half of Fortune 500 and Inc 500 businesses. (UMass Dartmouth Research)

 

8. Create long term traffic drivers beyond social media

While social media ignites and fuels content distribution, it doesn’t provide effective ongoing content visibility.

To keep your content visible for the long term, invest in search optimization. Andy Crestodina provides a great example of how to accomplish this.

Similarly, Animalz does this with their library approach to content. Focus your content around key topics and continue to build your offering instead of constantly chasing the latest topic of interest.

Library Approach To Blog Content Creation – Chart

Also continue to update your existing content to keep it visible and driving traffic. Buffer follows this practice. Even better, Buffer has shared their before and after results showing increased traffic.

Updated Buffer Article Yields 2X Traffic

Updated Buffer Article Yields 2X Traffic

9. Engage with thought leaders and influencers

Pay-it-forward on social media. Always help your colleagues and peers.

Become a social media iceberg by continually building relationships with influencers and your community. Click To Tweet

As a result, instead of a social media profile filled with fake followers, only a small proportion of your audience is visible. While many may lurk, build goodwill so that they help you when you ask.

10. Tap into niche social media options

Expand your social media focus beyond Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

This includes second-tier options such as Reddit, Growth Hackers, Quora, Medium and other niche players. These platforms often require that you become an active member of the community and don’t appreciate flybys.

According to Venngage’s Nadya Khoja:

“Growth Hacker’s audience looks for content with actionable strategies and tactics that help them to grow their businesses. For example an inside look at our experiments that yielded positive outcomes tend to perform well and trend on there. As a result our readership and/or blog subscription rate grow.”

 

Here’s an example of an article of Khoja’s that appeals to the Growth Hacker audience that yielded 2.5+k shares on the platform.

BTW: While many marketers and experts, especially those in fashion, design and DIY, have large Instagram followings, these participants tend to focus on visual content not text or audio.

 

Encourage Social Media Followers To Join Your Audience Conclusion

To maximize the value of your social media followings, encourage participants to expand their relationship and engagement onto your owned media.

Since most social media entities keep a strong bond with their members, enticing your followers to another platform may be difficult.

Despite these challenges, continuously keep your brand visible and engaged.

Take advantage as opportunities present themselves to deepen relationships with individual followers.

While you may not convince all of your social media followers to join your addressable audience, continue to deepen your relationships with them to increase their trust and support.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

 

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