Organic Social Media by Karen Clark

Karen ClarkMarketing your business and building an online presence through social media should be about connecting with people, not collecting people This post is not about food – it is about being natural in your social media efforts. Lately I have seen more and more people “gaming the system” to grow the number of followers and fans they have on Facebook, Twitter or blogs. I would encourage you to grow your following more organically – and then be patient.

To be long-lasting and effective in marketing through social media, it cannot be a numbers game.

Personally, I do not want to max out the number of Facebook connections (limited to 5000 friends and Fan Page “likes”) and I am not in a race to have more Fan Page fans than my competition. I also learned the hard way my first go around that more followers on Twitter does not mean more business – it just means more noise. NULL

Marketing your business and building an online presence through social media should be about connecting with people, not collecting people.

Think about your “in real life” networking events. Which is more effective – going around and collecting everyone’s business cards? Or do you find better results if you take the time to get to know a few key people, and then have some two-way conversations?

Of course quality over quantity is what works best in “real life” and the same is true for your online presence.

Be the kind of person in your online social networking that you would in your real life networking, and people will be naturally attracted to you, they will naturally refer others to you, and they will naturally want to find out more about you and want to work with you. How do you do this? Show up. Every day. Maybe not on all of the social media platforms, but pick your favorite and show up every day. Be of service. Put others first and freely give the information, advice, resources, and support that they need. Ask questions. Get to know your friends, fans and followers’ thoughts, feelings, opinions, and needs by asking questions. Give them an opportunity to share about themselves or their businesses. Be relevant. When you post, use words and phrases that people who need exactly what you have to offer would be using in the search engines. Use SEO-oriented keyword searches that will help you tweak your language if necessary. Make it easy for your future customers and prospects to find you! Be picky. Choose who you want to work with. Be proactive and seek out or accept social media connections that you feel would be complimentary to your values, goals, and ideals. You don’t have to do business with everyone who has a pulse. Remember that everyone in your social circle online can see everyone else you’re associated with and their behavior. Do you want to be associated with people whose values contradict your own? When you befriend, follow or fan someone in social media, it is an implied recommendation so be choosey. Be social. Interact. Respond. Follow up. This is critical! At a networking event would you ignore someone’s comment, question, or request? Would you look the other way, or start talking to someone else? Of course not! Check for comments and replies directed to you and respond – always. Be patient. I don’t know if it is due to the nature of the Internet and that we expect instant answers these days, but people expect immediate results. Slow down – calm down – be patient! Do you want a stable, loyal, secure, and solid customer base who will be with you for years and continue referring others to you at least that long? Then be patient. Let things grow organically, develop that rapport and loyalty over time, and the trust that you will build will be unshakable.

Marketing your business online is best when taken in small steps, consistently over time.

Slow and steady truly does win the race, and those who build their following naturally, ethically and with service are those who find lasting success. Are you ready to go organic?

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