I know a lot of nonprofit professionals and marketing professionals. They have two things in common.
Both groups want to know the most surefire and fastest way to grow their fans and followers on social media channels. (I mean, who doesn’t?)
I think they are missing the point.
To illustrate: Here are 3 common questions I receive every day in my inbox and in my Twitter feed:
“How can I get 10,000 fans on my Facebook Page?”
“My competitor has 2,500 followers on Twitter – how can I get that same number?”
“No one is following me on Pinterest. I need more followers now!”
These are certainly valid concerns. If not one is listening, then you may need to reevaluate what you are doing.
But focusing on numbers and followers misses the point of social media.
Using social media effectively is about building long-lasting relationships with your donors and supporters. When you do this, you can then find out what is most important to them, and tailor your content (information and resources) to their interests, passions and desires.
This will lead to more engagement, discussion, sharing and – guess what – donations.
“Using social media” is not sending out a tweet to your 10,000 followers but having zero retweets or discussion on the topic.
Being a go-to resource in your field should be the main goal of any social media campaign.
If your organization is the authority on a topic, if you have credibility and people are listening to you – if people are sharing your information with their own networks (and people don’t do this lightly) – then you are headed for success!
Getting the right fans and followers – a.k.a potential donors and volunteers, the people who care, the people who will take action on your behalf – is the key to success on social media platforms. Hint – the right fans and followers does not equal everyone with a pulse.
Sure, there are services where you can purchase fans and followers – but what value does that provide? Most of these accounts are spam-bots who will never donate or visit your website.
Focus your energies on the donors and supporters that you DO have – they are your best brand ambassadors! How can they be acknowledged, groomed and cultivated to spread the word? Word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing, after all!
Ask your Facebook fans to share your stories and photos; ask your Twitter followers to “RT – ReTweet” your content. Then acknowledge and thank them when they do.
Focus on the fans and followers you want, not the ones that are just filler, and you will see your online community grow and thrive!
How do you cultivate your fans and followers? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!