Build Your Very Own Cult Of
Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:48 PM
By appropriating your site's existing niche community. And to appropriate you have to join and participate and become an authority, a leader, a resource to the community. Of course your site is designed to accomplish that already, right? Designed for your visitors, your niche vistors: one site to attract them, to hold them, to motivate them to return, to encourage them to recommend... If your site, which is your business vehicle, is not doing the above then don't bother with social media, you have far more pressing needs to work on.
Once your site is working, by which I mean converting (by your definition) a reasonable percentage of visitors and enjoying a reasonable percentage of returning and additionally converting visitors then it may well be worth while finding where your customers, i.e. converting visitors, spend their social media time and, depending on available resources including time, pick the best points (SM platforms) of interaction. Don't sell yourself or your business/site, remember that you are joining a community already with some knowledge of you. Simply join and be helpful. Give best possible answers to questions, suggest best possible resources - only include your site if it is indeed best for the query - and don't 'forget' competitors should they indeed be authoritative, etc.
And keep building and improving your site, differentiating yourself from competitors. By building your rep as an unbiased helpful considerate authority within niche social media communities you are encouraging members to visit your site for the first time and providing a solid foundation to support - and encourage - existing customers word of mouth recommendations. And within your niche market consumer social media communities you will gradually appropriate/build your very own business/site fans/evangelists.
Now, when I mentioned earlier 'don't sell yourself or business/site' it should not be taken as an absolute but as a guideline. Initially, I'd let actions, i.e. being helpful, sell indirectly while building a social community rep; consider this the networking introducing self phase. At some point it will be appropriate to drop a self-referencing link (or better yet when starting out a citation, an unlinked URL) - note: do be cognisant of the community's terms in this regard, do not break, ever (without prior specific permission, if such is available). And eventually mentioning some special, or especially some special just for members of that social media platform community, will be well received. My rule of thumb is to never mention my own sites more than 10% of the time, actual average is ~7%; on webdev fora a resounding 0%
The big largely unmentioned monster under the bed of social media marketing is that actual directly (note the word directly) attributable revenue from social media marketing/advertising is usually pitiful, some fraction of a percent. The reason is obvious: people are not typically on a social platform to buy something. They are there to interact with other people. They may complain (and it is definitely good customer service to step up and help) or they may say sweet things (and it definitely helps to say thank you) but they rarely go directly off to buy. Thus, it is usually counterproductive to think of social media in the short term (except to mention specials); think long, think building reputation and brand and fan base. Your website is the place to pitch the conversion, search is the place to attract traffic volume, other sites (backlinks) are the places to attract traffic quality, social media is the place to get a good name and build your very own 'Cult of' evangelical community.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:41 PM
Reading that I want to run out and get involved in social.... but then I remember that I am only one person and every moment I spend on social is a moment less that I can spend on content.
I think that if you have a site with very little traffic (and lots of great content to impress people) then getting out into social can be a way to draw attention to your site.
However, if you already have a lot of traffic then tossing up a new piece of content might be a more valuable use of your time?
Staffing levels might play into this two. If you have ten people writing articles and one person cheerleading on social then that gives you more to cheer about.
Any thoughts on these variables?
Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:37 PM
Some thoughts...back in the 90's it was much easier to build a fan-like following by participating in clubs/chats/groups/forums/etc. Those who hung in there and came every day to help out, offer advice or teach for no other reason really other than sharing their passion and expertise eventually did develop a cult following. I'm thinking of folks like "Black Knight" (Ammon Johns), Fantomaster, Jill Whalen, others. There was nothing called social media then. It was just a matter of getting involved.
Once your site is working, by which I mean converting (by your definition) a reasonable percentage of visitors and enjoying a reasonable percentage of returning and additionally converting visitors then it may well be worth while finding where your customers, i.e. converting visitors, spend their social media time and, depending on available resources including time, pick the best points (SM platforms) of interaction.
I guess for those people who have achieved a good reputation, following and leadership status, this is a logical step. What's funny (I learned) is reaching outside my zone into territories where I'm a newbie or trying something new in the realm of social toys like Pinterest, which my daughter insisted on teaching me how to use. So, would my friends want to see my pins of cute animals and food?
Food for my head.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:22 PM
There are now resources to help ISPs spot what are likely to be spam e-mail messages and then trash these either in transit as they pass from one ISP to another or divert them to spam on arrival. If only there was a similar set of guardians that could trash the social media likes that are non-human and leave only those from real people.
I believe Bing may be taking social media signals into account in deciding relevance. It's probably only a matter of time before Google Plus plays some part in Google's determination of relevance. I can't wait.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:34 PM
Checked out your Pinterest url and learned something that is now applied to my Pinterest account at https://pinterest.com/barrywelford/ I had put the URL of my SMM blog which is a directory from the root domain. Pinterest cannot verify such a URL at the moment. So I switched to the root domain and that allowed verification. Thanks. It is so important to be verified.
Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:31 AM
Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:13 AM
I use pinterest primarily as a stress reliever. A few minutes of just looking at pretty pictures does wonders for me.
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