Beyond the Click: Next Level Engagement for Your FansBy Sara McGuyer • May 17th, 2010 • Category: Analysis, Strategy & Planning
Recently I’ve read a few posts about converting social media fans or followers into something more. The question came up again at the latest Indy Social Media Breakfast featuring a panel of speakers in the cultural attractions and tourism industry. How do you move someone from being a follower or fan and get them to actually do something?
At first I was surprised by the question, “What next?” because this isn’t rocket science, it’s just human relationships. Why do people have trouble bridging interaction that takes place on the web into in person, real life stuff? If you are asking this same question, you are definitely not alone. There are things you can do to move people beyond the click and really engage them.
If your question is really how do we get our fans to do something, your time is best spent figuring exactly what it is you want. Create small measurable goals: more subscribers to your enewsletter, increased sales of x product, more referrals from one customer to another.
Give it some time.
Let relationships develop over time. A hard quick sell via social media is a turn off for most. If you’re sharing what you do because you love it, people will take note. Someone might not be on the market for your product or service right now, but if you’ve posted intriguing content, they’ll remember you when they are ready to buy.
Ask people to share.
At a basic level, this helps gain additional exposure through word of mouth for your business. A further benefit is that the people that are willing to retweet or repost your content are good prospects. Maybe they haven’t done business with you yet, but future business is probably more likely with them than a passive follower with whom you’ve had zero interaction.
Nurture the activists.
Feed them content to react to. This could be behind the scenes pictures of what you’re doing, interesting details about the history of your business or an exclusive look into what’s on the horizon. In addition, if someone has written a blog post, created a video or posted photos that feature your product or organization, thank them and share their content with others. A fan’s content might be more effective than what you can create on your own. Certainly, if you or your staff recognize someone as a repeat customer, let them know you’ve noticed.
Whether your shop is a website or bricks and mortar location, offer a little something extra to move people to come visit you. Mention a special deal or discount that is only listed in social media or host an event.
These are just a few ideas to get started. My hope is more to spark thought about what is possible versus providing a concrete plan to work from. Please share if you have other ideas (or past successes) in how to move people beyond the click.
If you’re interested in more information, these posts are worth a look.
HOW TO: Turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media by Geoff Livingston
Closing the Loop Between Social Media and Offline Action by Beth Kanter
Both are written with causes in mind, but the lessons certainly apply to any business.
Image Credit: Darwin Bell