A simple google search reveals an intense interest in getting thousands of followers on twitter or Likes on facebook. Several new companies have been founded with the sole purpose of solving this one problem. They give tips on how to do it, they offer software that will hike the process, they give words of encouragement while you will be in the process of increasing your visibility in social media.
How effective, though, is getting thousands of Likes in the first stages of building a business?
During the first days of setting up your business you should concentrate on finding you EarlyVangelists, the people who believe in what you are doing and will spread the word to the rest of the world. You will need to locate them, contact them and engage with them at a deeper level. Getting thousands of Likes will not be very helpful in isolating your EarlyVangelists from the rest of the crowd. How will you be able to recognise them through the continuous noise?
The best course of action is to take smaller steps in raising awareness of your activities in cyberspace. Just start with those 100 Likes that will be instrumental in creating a descent facebook page.
Take the following steps:
- Start adding value to your facebook page by posting facts and information on your topic.
The information does not have to be located on your own website. There is a lot of news, articles, blog posts around that could be both informative and exciting. Your followers will certainly appreciate your effort and they will keep coming to your page over and over again.
2. Engage with your audience.
The Likes, Shares and Comments your posts will receive ought to give you an excellent indication of the preferences of your followers. Do not ignore them or just count them. Engage directly with the people who try to contact you in one or another way. Find out more about who they are, what they like and above all, what their problems are.
3. Develop your customers online.
Ask questions about the process they follow to buy products or services. Get to know in detail what is their strategy. If it becomes obvious that they are not happy with this process, find out what the problem is. And then ask them about the solution they found to the issues. The exchange may take a few posts before you get down to the information you need.
4. Pursue personal contact.
In all fairness, customer development on facebook is not ideal! The best way to go about it is to find customers in the locality. If these customers, though, are not forthcoming social media are viable alternatives. In some cases, you may be able to make skype appointments with your followers. This would be another useful way to speak with them in person and explore their strategies, problems and solutions.
Bear in mind that later in the process you should start to build a strong following. For more information on how to do it, you can read my article HERE.