From Why you don't need 1000 fans to be a social media success, Designed2Flourish, Issue No. 1, page 14:
Do you ever look at your number of followers or Likes and feel, well, small? Maybe you think if you could just get to 500, 1000 or 5000 you’ll finally be a success on social media and your community will finally take off? Well I want to clear something up: big follower numbers do not automatically equal real community–nor are they even a good measure of social media success.
The massive opportunity social media provides has nothing to do with “getting more exposure” or “free advertising”. It’s the chance to really connect with our clients and customers. To have real conversations with them. To get to know them. It makes the world small, casual interactions easy and being truly helpful a cinch.
And this connection is actually easier the smaller your community is. If you only have 10 Twitter followers you can easily keep up with their tweets, what discussions they are participating in, what they are working on. You can reach out personally to each of them, initiate conversations, help them out if you can and connect them to other people they should know.
It’s time to stop letting your numbers make you feel “small” and instead see your small, growing community as an advantage.
5 ideas to really connect with your community (and leverage it’s small size)
- Do a special #FF (Follow Friday) each week highlighting a member of your community and why other people should check them out. This idea isn’t only good on Twitter! Create a community spotlight board on Pinterest or do a weekly featured post starring a community member on your Facebook Page.
- Personally thank each & every new follower and ask them how you can help. You can take this idea off social media and use it for your growing email list too. (Since I started sending personal thank-you notes to my email subscribers, I’ve gotten to know so many interesting people and businesses. Props to Jules Taggart of Amp & Pivot for the inspiration.)
- Have 30 minutes to spare? Hold open ‘office hours’ or ‘ask me anything’ sessions on Twitter or Facebook. This could be super overwhelming if you have large following but with a small community, this is very doable and really helpful.
- Respond to each and every post, comment and email. This just isn’t realistic with a mammoth community but take advantage of your smaller numbers to really be present and connect with your tribe.
- Daily (or weekly) make at least one personal introduction between a member of your community and someone else in your network. (Hat tip to Chris Brogan for the suggestion doing this kind of helpful networking daily.)
These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing–if one or two feel right, run with them! Or spend some brainstorming one or two other ways to connect with your community that really gets you excited.
The key is to create real connections and real conversation. Because social media, at its essence, is about creating relationships: its success has nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with genuine human connection.
(The sneaky upside to focusing on and leveraging your small community–and forgetting all about the numbers–is that not only will you create loyal relationships with your tribe, but your community will grow like a weed. People can tell where they are truly appreciated, and where they are just a number in a quest for 1000 fans…)
What is Designed2Flourish?
When Barbara Austin, the founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, asked me to contribute to her brand-new magazine dedicated to helping ambitious & passionate women entrepreneurs create meaningful connections with their community, I jumped at the chance.
This inaugural issue is 48 pages of top-notch solutions from 21 (well, 22 counting me!) amazing ‘womenpreneurs' like Amanda Genther, Nikki Elledge Brown, Shenee Howard, Racheal Cook (The Yogipreneur) and Anne Samoilov.
Seriously, get your copy–you won't regret it!