On Bing’s webmaster blog they recently put out a very interesting post on how to build a social following. As we all know social media marketing plays a very extensive role when it comes to online success and that is something you cannot avoid any longer. Building a business online today requires more brand building than ever before. People are holding onto their cash much tighter than previous years and those shelling out their hard earned dollars are shelling it out with companies they have a connection with. Does your audience have a connection with you?
According to Bing
“With social playing such an important role today in your overall online marketing efforts, it’s important to get things right the first time. As the old saying goes, first impressions matter. Getting a do-over in today’s face-paced online business environment is tough, especially when everything you do is recorded, archived and essentially available to anyone willing to search almost forever.”
It is important to have a plan in place when entering your social media marketing efforts. Remember what happens online stays online and there is almost no erasing your footprint. Putting together a social media plan of attack that actually works how it should and doesn’t just look pretty is vital. Fake friends on your Facebook account are not going to help you at all. Keep this in mind when you find those amazing social media plans that cost $29.95 and promise you 1 million Facebook likes…it doesn’t work that way at all.
“If you’re tempted to take a shortcut, think of this. What good are fake friends? How much value do false followers add? The answer here is … none. You see, it’s not simply the number of friends or followers you have that signals value to a search engine. It expands to include patterns and volume of sharing. Retweets count, as do shares, Likes, etc. False friends that have been paid to “Like” something or fake followers on Twitter don’t show patterns of behavior that look normal. They look spikey and abnormal, so we simply ignore them.”
Bing also touches upon some really important bullet points when discussing social following and how to build it.
Have a plan – You need to have some sort of plan in place in order to keep moving forward on a social path.
Think about your user name – You want your username to reflect your brand as closely as possible. Jamin4567 is not going to help you build your brand.
Never look back – Just keep going and don’t look back.
Consistency is important – Gaps in activity is a sign of instability. Do you really want to look unstable?
Provide value – Give your community something they can use.
Respond in a timely fashion – If people tweet and communicate with you try responding as quickly as possible. That is what social media is all about.
Don’t just sell – Social media is not just about peddling your products and services. Too much self promotion will make you smell like an onion.
Social sharing icons – Make sure to have social sharing icons on your website or blog in order for users to share your voice.