We all love organic growth. When you accumulate corporate blog readers, Twitter followers or Facebook likes over time through relationships among your readers, the results are indisputable. But, it feels like it takes forever. While you wait, you are losing ROI opportunities. Accumulating the relationships you want most thus comes at a significantly higher cost. Waiting sucks. It’s far better to put the pedal to the metal and make it all happen faster, right?
The challenge often overlooked is how best to accelerate social media growth for your company. Well, the answer is pretty simple: do everything you thought social media would replace.
You don’t have to rely on organic growth to develop a social media audience that is both large and targeted. Instead, take a look at the five marketing tools below that you can use to get the high-value targeted readers you want now:
1. Buy friends: don’t wait to accumulate them naturally. Pour a little cash into Facebook ads to drive traffic to your blog, Facebook page or other social media presence. Do this with LinkedIn and Twitter as well, if appropriate. Burn a few bucks, and you’ll make it up in accelerated ROI.
2. Go old school: email has been around long enough that it isn’t new anymore. That doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Push your presence out, and measure the response through your email marketing platform (e.g., ExactTarget). Make the call to action specific: follow me on [BLAH]. It will work. Repeat regularly until you’ve accumulated a following that can stand on its own.
3. Tell the press: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: press releases are effective. Use a press release to announce your presence and explain the content you’re going to provide through it. In future press releases, include links to your social media environments at the bottom. It will drive some traffic, and everyone who likes, connects or follows will be taking a step into your sales cycle.
4. Link to your social media presence from everywhere: when you run an email marketing campaign, include social links. Put them on your corporate site. Put them in your email signature with a request to “Follow me on fill-in-the-blank.” This even extends to printed marketing materials. Your target market may not be able to click from them, but they’ll see repeatedly that you have a social media presence. Eventually, the message will sink in.
5. Run your mouth: be social … for real. Don’t rely on bits and bytes to do the hard work for you. When I launched a corporate blog for a global financial services company, I made it clear to all our spokespersons: tell everyone about the blog. When you are in a client meeting, mention it. When you’re being interviewed, mention it. When you’re about to carve into the Thanksgiving turkey, beg your guests to visit the blog. You know what? It works. I’ve market-tested this approach at holiday dinners, even, and it’s effective.
And you’re correct … you don’t want to be related to me.