I had a wonderful call this week with a business owner who had just had their eyes opened to the power of social media. At a certain point in the call, they said that they only now appreciated how realistic it was for their small niche business to punch way above its weight. To achieve the visibility and business results on social that they’d assumed was the preserve of larger corporates.
This was following on from having attended one of my weekly webinars on how to get business results from social media. In it, I had shown how Social-Hire had come to achieve mass visibility within the recruitment market by having our content shared as much as some of the biggest brands in the market.
Up until that point, this business owner had assumed that only larger businesses with major budgets could aspire to being hugely visible on social media, or to achieving significant business results from their social media presence. So what are the elements needed to succeed in this way? Having worked on both our own social media presence and on hundreds of clients’ social media accounts, I would highlight the following three things as being key:
Let's look at each of these in turn.
The initial audience who will see the updates you share on social media are your existing followers, plus those who find your content by eg. searching for hashtags or monitoring keyword streams. It stands to reason that the more followers you have who are highly targeted followers from your niche market, the greater the visibility you have in your target market.
On each social site it is therefore key that you learn how to maximize your follower growth, but with a focus very much on winning followers who are from your ideal demographic base. You need to understand how to do this on each social site - and then to carve out time each week so that your business consistently does these things. Do pick our brains if you need help figuring out how to do this.
Many business owners I speak with are overly fixated on this follower count though. They perceive that the number of fans and followers they have is the ultimate measure of who will see their business on social. Whereas the reality is that businesses will often be seen by an audience 20 times bigger than this, if enough of the right influencers and professionals in your market get into the habit of consistently re-sharing your posts.
How does this happen? Well this is something that you earn by being valuable within your niche market, rather than being overly promotional. It's also a habit that you can nurture in your market by consistently thanking people for their shares and engaging with your followers. Everyone likes to be appreciated - and your business will stand out on social media if it’s one of the small minority who genuinely interact and engage with people, rather than just promote, promote, promote.
Last but not least, we want to see other people and other businesses independently recommending our services, sharing our content or advising people to check out our website, events or vacancies. Being seen by a lot of followers is great. Being seen 20 times more through other people consistently re-sharing your updates is great. But then being regularly recommended by other professionals in your market is priceless. Once people in your market start seeing other people that they know and trust recommending your business in some shape or form, that is when the real power of social media is being fully harnessed.
Want to see this in action? Well just have a quick look at the Twitter stream of people sharing content and events from the Social-Hire site. Notice how frequently this is happening and the fact that this is mostly made up of other people’s updates rather than our own? Every hour this is making new people aware of our business - and bringing them to our site. Now imagine if this were to happen in your niche market, be that in recruitment or indeed any other field.
Of course one huge problem with getting business results from social media is that businesses fall at the first hurdle. If your business is overly focused on selling and pushing your services and promotions, you will simply never build a sizeable follower base in your market. Without that, you can't go on to achieve the huge wins that points 2 and 3 above allow you to achieve. It was therefore a high point of my week that this business owner had fully appreciated what they needed to focus on doing to succeed; that they had had a Eureka moment of realising that they could realistically dominate their niche recruitment market on social media. If you'd like to understand in more detail how you can achieve this in your business - be that a recruitment business or any other type of business - you're welcome to join one of my next webinars. Look forward to sharing more insights soon.
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