Follower / membership count is a misunderstood and deceptive social media metric. It is possible to purchase thousands of followers, but these will certainly be bots or fake accounts and will not return business value . Your online community may have 200,000 members, but how many are actually participating and contributing? If followers are not organically grown through engagement, you do not have an audience; you have a list.
One of my social mentors, Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman), and I regularly discuss this phenomenon: it’s called “social media,” why do so many only push content and ignore discussion? Ask a question, provide an answer, share personal insights; social media is about conversations. In addition to thought leadership blogs and company announcements, genuinely respond to your customer’s questions and actually engage them. Engagement will positively impact your business.
Customers turn to social media to research a company’s culture as well as for trusted peer opinions and product insight. What is the tone of your Twitter feed, what types of content are you sharing? Does your company have an online community: what is the activity level, do members interact with one another, are employees participating? No matter the platform, an engaging social strategy builds customer trust, differentiates your brand, and most importantly, creates advocates.
Engaging customers and cultivating them into advocates should be a priority. Advocates are loyal consumers who help you meet revenue goals. Advocates talk about your brand, increase awareness, and provide trusted reviews to potential customers. Advocates share your content with their networks which improves your SEO. Advocates answer the majority of the questions within your community which lowers customer service costs. Simply creating an account or community and pushing content will not yield advocates, advocates are nurtured through honest engagement.
It’s called “social” media.