The quickest way to effectively ramp up your FB/Twitter/LI following is by seeking out people who are most likely to care about what you’re putting out there — your target audience, customers, colleagues, others in your industry — and follow them.  But who are they?

Finding the right people to follow isn’t always easy to do, when you consider the 145+ million SM users, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, and it can be a major time eater. You can always invite Fans via your address book from the Facebook icon — however, it’s a good idea to add some quality content first. Invite them once you have started to add some more content, stories and news updates, to your page.

It’s important not to overstretch your SM program with updates that only self-promote you. Give your followers quality content, without always asking them for a sale. Your SM campaign cannot consist only of customer success stories and news releases about AccBen — you’ll need to include some relevant industry news too.

Most important, however, is to remember to keep SM active and responsive, and to focus on the relationship part of social networking. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the more you put into the process, the more you will get out of it.

I’ve refined and streamlined the process of developing a SM following to save time, and to build a quality network.  I usually follow these steps:

  1. What the Trend: Shows you what’s trending on Social Media and why.  This is a great way to search for users who tweet about specific topics, and get your own account found when someone else searches.
  2. Industry analysts/reporters. These are found by looking at the bios of relevant stories in trade publications and subscribing to their Social Networks. We want these sources to follow you, — and they probably need to follow you (they need the stories!). Let them know your SM activity. .
  3. Who else do the industry analysts/reporters follow? A goldmine of potential followers.
  4. Once you begin posting regularly on LinkedIn, FB and are active on Twitter, you will naturally find a steady a steady stream of people who like you, retweet you and mention you in LinkedIn. Although you may already be following some of these people, these likes and tweets can make you aware of new people you should be following.
  5. Invite your friends go to your business page via your address book. Again, it’s important to wait until your page has a collection of solid content.
  6. Sharing a page. This can be done with the customer success stories, as well as any other page on the web that you believe could benefit your followers. We can create a great deal of SM synergy by cross promoting customer success stories, via SM with our customers.
  7. Offering an incentive. A great way to encourage friends to ‘like’ your page is by offering an incentive. This might be a free ebook, a complimentary analysis,  — whatever it is that you can offer so it connects to your business.
  8. As your followers begin to grow, look at their profiles and examine their own SM network. This gives you a new collection of people to analyze to determine if these might be good followers.

If you would like me to help you handle all or part of this, contact me. I’ll be happy to put together a proposal for you, based on your needs.

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