Are you stressing over the number of your social media followers?

Is it quantity or quality? Or does the number even matter?

Some small business owners worry that they don’t have enough people following their social sites. While others get all crazy about their content and whether their followers are engaging with their posts.

And then there’s others {  like myself } who fall into the camp that numbers don’t matter anymore. It’s really more about making better connections online.

 

So which is it? Should you focus on finding more followers or grow your connection with the ones who already hit that Follow button?

My answer to that one is to stop using the number of your followers as the only metric you use to prove your social media strategy is successful.

Think of it like this –  if you had to choose between having 5,000 people following your Facebook business page but only 100 people were interested in working with you or 300 people who closely followed what you post to your page and 250 people wanted to buy your stuff – which would you choose?

I don’t know about you but I’m clearly going with the latter.

Because when it comes to your social media followers, it’s not the number of fans that counts but the number of qualified people you’ve connected with in your social sites.

These folks are the ones you want to spend your time growing. They’re the ones who will go from a simple social connection into a paying customer.

 

 

Finding Your Community

So how do you find more of your community to connect with you? There’s a ton of posts out there giving you advice about what to do, how to do it and sometimes, even how often to do these steps.

And I know there’s a whole bunch of articles out there because I read most of them.

I was trapped in a little diner when one of those famous Florida storms passed by. When a rainstorm like that hits, there’s nothing you can do but wait it out.

There I was, stuck in a corner booth with nothing but my tablet and my notebook. So I researched and read and reviewed a bunch of advice on how to connect with more customers online.

 

I noticed that some of the same advice kept coming up so I compiled them all together to give you the ten ways to help you sell more using social media:

1. Be consistent

Your social media marketing is like anything else you do for your business. It works when you work it.

If you leave too much time between posting to your sites, you’ll fade from your followers feeds. Out of sight means out of mind.

To really connect with your customers, you have to consistently show up in the spaces and places where they hang out. You have to post, comment and participate so they’ll know your name and what you do.

 

2. Put your social media links where we can find them

One of the best ways to connect with more customers is to put your social media links in an easy to find place on your site. I can’t believe how many sites I’ve been to and had to search through several pages before I found the person’s Instagram link.

Seriously folks, this is just basic marketing 101.

If someone takes the time to actually click on one of your links to go to your site, it means they landed there for a reason. Maybe it was your content, the image you used or because they wanted to learn more about you.

No matter the reason they found you, give them a way to stay connected.

 

3. Find and follow other people

There’s a reason they call it SOCIAL media. Social sites are set up for us to socialize and virtually meet other people.

Don’t just expect that since you set up your Facebook business page that people will just find you. This isn’t the Field of Dreams and you’re not Kevin Costner.

To get more connected with your community, you need to go out there and click that Follow button too. You need to spend time finding new people to follow. Not just so that they’ll follow you back but for the pure sense of wanting to learn more about that person.

 

4. Like, share and comment

Adding to #3, do more than just be a follower or a lurker in a Facebook group. Spend a little time hitting that Like button, sharing others’ content or participate in a conversation in someone’s post.

How will they know who you are and what you do if all you’re doing is posting to your Facebook business page? Show up and introduce yourself.

 

5. Use relevant hashtags

Whenever I’m using a hashtag like #timemanagement or #smallbiz, I’m always happily surprised with the conversations that get started.

I spent an hour one day tweeting with two woman who run a social media agency because they saw one of my tweets with a #socialmedia hashtag. Our conversation carried over to Facebook where we ended up following each other on that site.

We later connected on a personal level but that connection wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t added that relevant hashtag.

 

6. Focus on quality over quantity

Share amazing content so that others will want to connect with you. It doesn’t always have to be your blog posts or the latest thing you’re selling. Provide information to share with your community by clicking repin in Pinterest or hitting the repost button in Instagram.

Don’t just use your social space to share all the details of your life. Sharing bits and pieces of your personal life is OK to show your personality but your Facebook business page isn’t your personal journal to let the world know your secrets.

 

7. Use humor

Statistics show that more people will connect with you if you post positive messages in your social feeds.

I totally get that. It shows that you’re a real person and not just a automated poster.

terrible superhero

 

{ now that’s just funny … I don’t care who you are! }

 

8. Write a professional bio

Don’t forget to fill in your bio in all the About Me sections of your social sites! And it’s not just about posting up your name and the name of your business or blog.

To help more people connect with you, add the following to your bio:

  • Use a professional photo of yourself. I realize that there will be some circumstances where you’ll need to use your logo but if you have the choice between your logo and using a personal photo, use your image. Remember, people do business with PEOPLE that know and trust. Make sure your photo shows that you’re a real person.
  • Think about the words people use to run a Google search for your business and find a way to add them into your bio and your About Me description.
  • Show your personality but go easy on the buzz words. We can’t all be “gurus,” “mavens” or “ninjas.”
  • Don’t forget the cover artwork photo! Almost all of our social sites allow you to add in a cover artwork image so don’t leave this valuable marketing space empty.

 

9. Add social media to your site

This bit of advice is more than just adding those social links to your site. It’s about finding ways to integrate social media options right into your website so your readers don’t ever have to leave your site.

The two best ways to do this:

1. Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts and pages. These buttons will allow the person on your site to immediately share your post or a specific product or service page with their connections.

2. Drop in a social media widget for your top social site. These social widgets allow your readers to follow your social media accounts directly from your site, without actually having to log into the social site.

 

10. Join communities and groups

I’ve seen  personal successes with Facebook Groups and used them to connect me to people who were interested in learning more about what I do.

Groups put the social back into social media. Groups give you the opportunity to sort through all that online noise and connect with the right people who could be interested in buying your stuff.

And it’s not just Facebook!

LinkedIn has groups, Pinterest has group boards { where you can find new people to follow and they can follow you back! } and even Twitter has something called Twitter Chats, connecting you to others who want to talk about the same stuff that interests you.

 

When you’re trying to grow your business on social media, think about these two scenarios that I brought up at the beginning of this post:

Would you rather have 5,000 people following your Facebook business page but only 100 people who would actually buy anything from you? Or would you want 300 people on your business page and 250 people who click on your links and buy your stuff?

I don’t know about you but I’d rather follow these 10 advice tips and take the 300 fans on my Facebook page.