Social media, when used correctly for business leads to high value interactions such as a tool to drive traffic and to find news leads to convert sales. Now that social media is in full swing, it is a chance for many new to it and those who haven’t yet made an impact to start investigating their competitors and tapping in to their fan bases. Many companies globally have built successful fan bases, social media has been around long enough that we are reading up on more and more positives where businesses are seeing valuable returns on their time investment on platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest. Now is your time to investigate the good work that has already been done and to start breaking in to successful social media.
Can you really steal followers from under the noses of your closest rivals on social media? How does it feel when you are working hard on social media, with the spare time that you have, and yet you see your efforts mainly fall on deaf ears and your competitors have thousands of followers more and streams of relevant activity with them visible on their time lines (which in turn grows more activity)!
Can you steal followers?
The biggest thing on social media is to ‘network’ – It has been the basis of any successful business person, local business networking and this is the case now on social media. The better success from business networking is to move away from general ones to industry ones… On social media you have to come away from ‘targeting anyone’ to people within the same niche as you, if you are in the selling wine industry then you’ll get better results from following themes such as wine bars, catering, hotels, wine merchants, investments etc. Once you are following closer to home sectors it is important to choose the key influencers, the ones who are most active, have the most genuine followers… Look also across Google for those ranking highest and research if they are active on social media too.
Once you have a collection of key followers it is important to list them and study their activities. Are they active and responsive to direct questions or industry questions… Have they there own hashtags and are these trending? This is where you can start to tap in to the hard work they’ve already done and improve of their statistics to capture some of their market share:
- Study who follows them and especially their most recent ones, follow those who are the most recent on the list.
- Look to respond to questions that may have been asked of them, or ones which contains their hashtag. Note not to act cheaply and simply intrude on conversations as this is disrespectful and will make you look desperate and amateur.
- Which updates are gaining the best results and which times of the day works best. By studying a competitors Facebook fan page and ones which is getting huge success, you will be able to see trends on what is working and what isn’t. You might be able to spot gaps on even the basics such as lack of correct social media techniques, ie Pictures get the most attention on all social media networks – Spot this gap if your competitors aren’t adopting it.
- Study which accounts interact with your competitors the most and get them in to lists for you to study their activity. They are most likely active with accounts within your business sector as they are interested in the subject or have a need to know more and this could equate to potential business – Regularly view the lists you build to see if relevant questions are posted or other updates which could allow you to initiate communication (this could be simply reTweeting / sharing content to highlight the fact that you are there).
- Get your self seen. Continue to share engaging, educational and entertaining content and depending on how well you know your industry, debatable content too which may initiate high sharing. Blogging and guest blogging is also an excellent way to get your expertise out to large audiences. Cross promoting your content with other accounts, forms synergies and relationships with those of a similar level in social media following to tap in to other networks… As per traditional business networking, it’s all about referring people and sharing your network.