There’s an unconscious belief built into our society telling us more is better. Social media is no different.
When faced with a low social follower count, almost everything we do can revolve around boosting total followers.Post more content on our blog - so we can get more followers. Increase our daily tweets - so we can get more followers. Spend money to promote our posts - so we can get more followers.This type of behavior, however, can cause us to ignore the most important asset to any business: our people.Whether we have 15 or 15,000 followers, each of them (with the exception of spam) is a real life, breathing human.While a small following may seem like a weakness, it’s actually quite the opposite. In fact, it’s a pot of gold right beneath our noses. Here are four reasons why.
#1. They’re Following You
Think of the shy, quiet kid in grade school nobody talked to. If you have a small social following, consider yourself that kid and your followers the folks that put their hands out to befriend you.They see your ‘popularity’ but could care less.Says a lot, doesn’t it? So what are you doing to thank them and, more important, deliver on what they expected?If you had thousands of followers, it would be easy to brush this off as too many people to reach out to. But with a small following, things are different...
#2. The Numbers Are Manageable
Social profiles with thousands of followers are, honestly, a lot of work. Usually a full-time social media specialist is needed to effectively build relationships, nurture these contacts, and reach business goals all at the same time.With just a few hundred followers, however, the numbers are manageable.You can easily work to build real relationships with each and every one of these followers. A quick glance at their profile will tell you plenty about their preferences and interests. Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and you’ll no doubt infer why they opted to get updates from you.Use this insight to start a conversation or offer more valuable content based on their individual interests. You’ll find it infinitely easier to build a meaningful community of followers.As Ted Rubin states in another post
, "a network gives you reach, but a community gives you power."
#3. You Can Easily Gather Feedback
Ever email surveys to gather feedback from customers? Why not take qualitative research to the next level and personally reach out to followers for their input as well? This will not only make them feel valued, but it will give you the opportunity to build a stronger relationship.As Robert Cialdini describes in his classic book “Influence: Science and Practice,” once we make a choice, we feel a personal pressure to remain consistent with that commitment. Gathering feedback, whether it’s for a new product or blog post, makes followers much more likely to engage with that content. This includes commenting, liking, and sharing the content they took part in creating.
#4. You Can More Effectively Grow Brand Advocates
A few years back Zeb Welborn of Welborn Social Media shared with me that the key to his success wasn’t so much the hype and tactics spewed on the internet. Rather, he generated ROI for his clients through building real one-to-one connections.Social media was merely a tool used to make this happen.Follow Zeb’s advice - start small, but aim to make a massive impact. This is how brand advocates are made.Yes, it’s more labor intensive than the typical social media tactics out there designed for the 15,000+ accounts. When our follower count is low, however, we can either ignore our followers or we can take the glass half-full mindset.Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics. You have the chance to blow away your followers and build the pillars to an engaged online community.