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Pillar 4 – Getting Followed: Socializing with a Strategy

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CHAPTER 4

You have now got known and liked because of your branding and your content. This chapter discusses getting followed and “socialising”.

How do you maintain an effective presence on all the main networks and build a community?

Every network requires a different strategy and we will have experts in each of the main ones explain how they succeed in Chapters 8-20. There is however a simple factor which will grow your online presence more than any other single thing. This ingredient is very important in other areas of life as well but online it is vital. There are an increasing number of people competing for eyeballs and a place in peoples’ minds when they go to purchase or recommend a product or service. A consistent, regular pattern of posting is key.

You will see many businesses and people posting 5 or even 10 times in an hour say 2 or 3 times a week. This is far from harmful but will much less effective than if you can spread those posts over the full 7 days.

As images of how to reference this advice you could perhaps think of the turtle and the hare or even better of a snowball rolling down a hill gathering more and more snow and rolling faster and faster.

Ideally for a multi national business you will post every 4 or so hours so about 40 times a week. Of course this is not always possible and of course if you have a more localised audience you will want to focus your posting on the times that they are more likely to be online. However way you play at least be daily. Your chances of being noticed regularly in news feeds will be greatly increased. Key followers will be more likely to visit you confident of always finding fresh material and also confident that if they do engage with by way of commenting or sharing they are much more likely to get a response. So yes please keep threads of conversation on your posts regularly fuelled with thanks, value adding comments and further questions which will keep them going. The edge rank of both individual posts and your page or profile in general will increase.

A consistent and stable online presence will benefit you by presenting a corresponding image of your operation as a whole. If your other online ducks are in a row for example your list, your product, the nature of your content etc after a month or so of keeping to a slow but steady content marketing strategy you will be convinced that the time spent on it is more than worthwhile. You will create a rolling snowball which will bring a regular stream of targeted new prospects or connections into your funnel and get shared more and more and see your presence grow in a way you never dreamed possible. If you do have to be offline for a few days get a friend or colleague to post on your behalf and say just click “like” on any comments you receive.

There are many other things to consider but this one discipline will be key as you use social media to brand and grow your business. Once a snowball stops it will stop gathering more snow and will take some time to regather the momentum it previously had. Keep yours rolling. As our online social networks grow we will encounter more and more people offering us opportunities. Plus as many of us are finding as our online networks expand our real life meetings and presence also grows. We become bigger people playing a bigger game. We all acknowledge that things are speeding up exponentially too. 3 times as much sharing and connecting is going on than just a year or so ago.

Please take real note of and be present with everyone who comes into your life. None of it is co-incidence. Appreciate them and learn from their lessons that they bring. We should also never forget that what we do offline can also impact on our online success. When we have a higher standard of dress and even of business card we will almost more attractive to people. How we network offline will also have an impact. Look after your health and get regular downtime away from the computer. A lot of factors come into play.

However as the connecting grows and our stars rise more and more opportunities will come our way. Our ultimate success in this multi-connected and fast paced world will be determined by what we say no to. We cannot be everything to everybody. Saying no will help brand us more. Focus on things that are in your niche and say no to anything else. It will also increase the power of your intention. Is the opportunity directly aligned with your life purpose? If no say no.

As a concrete real life example I am regularly asked by people to give them social media strategy and/or run their accounts. There is little leverage in this for me. The only time I will do this is if they are a worthy cause that I can see making a serious daily attempt to make things happen on social media themselves. You will make your own list of criteria for saying something and I hope you continually narrow those criteria as your success grows.

The internet is still pretty much a blank canvas or playground for use to create magic on. The recent phenomenon that is Pinterest is an example. It is all a matter of imagination and follow through. So look for opportunities to come your way more and more. Say yes by all means but not too often. The big factor driving this is the increased ability of algorithms to discover who should be talking to and working with you and thus increasing connection. I truly believe we are living at a special time.

How do you react when things go against you? Most of us have had to deal with a hater.

Haters are everywhere for various reasons. Sometimes from misunderstandings sometimes because you just have so many connections they feel ignored by you if you do not reply to the. Some from jealousy some just from their own self loathing or a combination of any or all of these factors.

Here is how I have been dealing with them all…

1. Never engage them in a way that recognises or questions their hate. Either publicly on social networks or by private message.

2. Support and promote them heavily.

This works great. Social Media makes this so easy to do. Send them RT’s click some likes on their Facebook profile you know what to do. Often they turn back into or into new supporters quite quickly.

3. Blame yourself before them.

How could I have done things better? Was I overly self promotional? I do not recommend changing your opinions but perhaps your style a little.

4. Do not cut them off by blocking or even defriending or unfollowing.

Let them do that if they wish. “Keep your enemies closest”.

5. Run reputation management software to see what people are saying about you.

This is cheap and easy nowadays and will help you put out any fires before they get bigger than you would like.

So keep positive out there in social media land and just stick to your own beautiful path.

Other people’s stuff is…..other people’s stuff.

“Share, share, share” ~ Greg Wilson

The massive increase in sharing is due to scheduling and better understanding of tools. For example if we do the same 1 hour online that we did say 18 months ago then we can schedule a whole magazine like amount of content to drip from our various social networks in the next 24 hours. So information, concepts, inspiration and opportunities are passing by our eyes faster and faster each day. To be a person of value you will also need to continually tighten your niche and content sharing strategy and what you say yes to sharing also brands you as everything we do is highly public these days.

Do you see social media as a whole of different spaces or do you just see a whole mass of people?

Recently I have been sharing posts I add to one site to others at the same time or at least scheduling them to go out from somewhere else soon.

People are becoming more and more open to mass sharing. Sharing has doubled since this time last year. Have you doubled yours?

Of course some of your online friends and connections will prefer one place to the other. This where a Xeeme profile page works so well. People can see links to all your social presences and decide where they want to connect with you.

There is great advantage to being connected to as many people on as many key places as possible. You never who when a connection will produce benefit for you or others. It is also interesting to get to know people more deeply which is easier on say Facebook and Pinterest than Twitter.

I use Twitter a lot and have around 5,000 people I am connected to in each of these places who I would have some sort of contact with every month. I have however many Twitter connections who I have never had any contact with on Facebook. To get those Twitter people interacting with me more on Facebook I have recently begun posting some Facebook status updates into Twitter. I usually update about 4 times a day and post 2-3 photos and/ or videos. Spread out across the day. Now that people can subscribe to me on Facebook (not necessarily friend) I have been attracting several through this method I think. And of course by doing this I am connecting Twitter and Facebook friends. It is always gratifying to see people becoming Facebook friends after having found mutual energy or interests in a thread of conversation I started.

On Twitter or Pinterest you will likely update many times more in a normal day so I do not recommend sending all your tweets or pins to your timeline. You can do this selectively though. On Twitter simply have your Facebook settings enabled to post any tweet including the hashtag #fb on to your timeline. This may be more personal sharing such as a photo or video but that is up to you. Sending Google+ posts to Pinterest and Twitter works really well but again be selective and tailor the description or tweet to improve the chances of getting the link opened. Content in different social networks can be similar but the way of presenting it needs to be specific. keep experimenting and looking at what is successful for you. There are no rules!

On Pinterest and other sharing sites you can also nearly always see an option to share a post on your timeline. Be discretionary. In general I think Facebook friends will be happy with up to 15 updates a day but unless they are all of particularly high quality they may recoil at more. The ultimate goal is to have Facebook friends mark you as a “Close Friend” so that see all your updates in your timeline in their notifications. Sometimes less is more.

Google+ seems to have an almost completely different community of people from Facebook. It will also pay off for you to occasionally send some of your Google+ posts into Facebook as more and more people are choosing to try out Google+.

One thing to remember with all this is to follow through your postings to check for responses as you may be damaging your brand and relationships you have made by failing to respond to their comments or questions on your re directed posts. Once this gets too hard for you to manage maybe a virtual assistant will be necessary to help you cope. This is a good thing! It means that you have reached a stage where many people are commenting on your posts.

There are a fast-increasing number of people using social media and a fast increasing amount of sharing happening.

Abundance Image

This demands a new strategy. There is plenty for all of us and we do not need to fight with each other for anything. Abundance means that you can be anything that you want to be and have anything you want to have.

Marketing is the promotion of a product or service, of an idea, of a cause. Traditionally this has been competitive. Use of comparisons or even campaigns that undermined “competitors” has prevailed.

The concept of Abundance Marketing is based around the premise that marketing need not have a competitive aspect. There is no longer a need to deride another person or company’s product, service, idea or cause. There is not even a need to suggest that what you are promoting is even better than anyone else`s. Simply focus on what you have and its benefits.

Network Marketing businesses have embraced this concept for some time. They realised that if they put down another company in their industry that that would provoke an unfavourable reaction towards the whole industry. Similarily if they were complimentary of other network marketing businesses prospects may well say “What a great friendly industry to join”.As there are literally billions of people yet to join such a business then there is no “fight” for leads or sign ups. Simply market the benefits of your business, your product or service and your system and members. Prospects can then make an educated choice.

Abundance marketing in one of its purest forms.

This is also a lot about becoming open and supportive.

If you truly love what you do, which includes loving your industry or business, you will want to support others in that business. This is the new earth. This is relaxing, positive and productive. This is abundant.

Consumers, customers, prospects, donees (the targets of your marketing) now make choices based around what their friends say and recommend. If the product or service of someone in your niche sucks there will surely be criticism of it for all to see online. You do no need to fuel and especially do not want to be seen, fuelling the the fire. You are best to remain open and supportive. Not closed nor critical.

Win win.

As a result of exponentially better search skills and tools and as a result of increased public conversation about and sharing of content on the myriad of social media platforms the cream will rise to the top. You still need to market but you can do so positively and abundantly.

As a practical example of these concepts let’s take a relatively new mountain bike company.Let’s call it New Velo. If their bikes are good and reasonably priced New Velo can get them before the eyes and into the minds of potential customers quite quickly in the new media space.

New Velo can pin photos of their bicycles on Pinterest boards that include photos of other company’s mountain bikes. These boards will become popular to follow as they are inclusive not self promotional. Abundance.By creating and promoting boards like this your company will be seen by all mountain bike lovers as friendly,supportive, savvy and fresh. Potential customers can make their own choices, often based on what is said in the threads below the boards or individual pins.

As their Facebook page New Velo can comment on or share content from other mountain bike companies’ Facebook pages. They can also comment on, share or curate content from travel, fitness or leisure businesses.Do you think that the fans and followers of all those other businesses will not see New Velo doing this and not click throughto their page or website to check them out? On Twitter New Velo can send their their followers to the content of other mountain bike companies knowing that New Velo is part of the conversation about that content. Confident that New Velo has the best product or service and will stand scrutiny.

It is inevitable. This is because abundance is inevitable. This is the new earth. Those that embrace this will be the successful marketers in the new media space. It is no longer possible for New Velo to protect their list of fans and followers from other businesses. Everything like that has gone public.Thus New Velo must focus on making the best bikes. And focus on being seen and having their content seen as much as possible. In a positive, constructive, open and supportive way. Welcome to abundant marketing.

I mentioned being “open”. What does this mean? Openness is also about abundance. Be open both about and to yourself and also to others.Transparency. People want to know you. Be you. Acceptance. If someone approaches you or follows you follow back. Do not close yourself off to people. This is an age of connection. Do not be a disconnector.

This does not mean answering every message or notification. Reading every email or listening to every answer phone message.There are about to be so many of these that you will not possibly be able to cope. You must be random. The people who matter will not mind you taking this approach. They will understand because they will be adopting it to. This will also involve you not being disappointed nor discouraged when people do not immediately respond to your every message. This is about being being confident in yourself because you love what you do and are doing it the best you possibly can.

Be supportive. Keep supporting. Everyone. Abundance in relationships including social media relationships means unconditional love.

Do not be controlling or selective. It simply will not work in this new age of mass connectivity. Every month over 600 million people log into Facebook and over 100 million logged into Twitter and Tumblr. Pinterest became the fastest ever social network to attract 100 million users. These numbers are increasing all the time and before long may have zeroes on them. The length of time that these users spend on these sites is also increasing. As are their sharing skills.

If you embrace the concept of abundance marketing and have a content and social media strategy there will be more than enough customers to feed you and your family.

Which brings us neatly around to information. Content. There was an explosion of sharing in the noughties. Just when many thought this growth could not possibly be maintained the level of sharing in 2011 doubled that of 2010. In 2014 it is on course to double that of 2012. There seems little reason not to expect that instead of say 1 million items of content being shared per minute right now there may not be say 20 million in 5 years time. Instagram has seen over 20 billion posts so far and presently has 60 million a day.

How will anyone cope with this if they are controlling and selective? How will they avoid information sickness? The answer is that will they not and that the adoption of new strategies is upon us. Thus the migration to becoming random about what information we see is inevitable. People will no longer necessarily search to find the best new mountain bike. It will find them. New Velo does not necessarily have to market or promote itself to be found or seen. It will be enough to merely be part of the conversation about mountain bikes. If they have the best bikes at a reasonable price and if they have a skilful, open, supportive and abundant content and social strategy they will make sales.

The best mountain bikes will rise to the top.  Like cream. As should be the way.  As is the way we all want.

Now you have some followers! For more detailed strategies on how to socialize on all the main social networks you will need to visit the chapters from 8-20 on each of those places where you will learn from true experts on how to get it done.

Some action points for bettering your Pillar 4 presences are

1. Follow regularly. make it a daily habit to follow people on all your networks. Access the best tools to facilitate this.
2. Break down your time so that if you have say 90 minutes on social media a day spend 30 minutes in your main place where you are building “fans” and a community rather than just followers or readers.

The next Chapter Pillar 5 is about getting trusted. How do you most easily and effectively get people to know the real you online?

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