By Dan Farkas Editor’s Note: Dan Farkas is a Visiting Professor at Ohio University, founder of Dan Farkas Interactive and proud parent to Leah, who is turning 7 months old next week.
It’s the question I get over and over and over again. Then a few more times. And then when I meet someone new. And then when I get my haircut. And then when I pick up my daughter from day care.
“You work with social media. How do I get more followers?”
We’re a nation obsessed with numbers. And don’t get me wrong. Numbers are nice. But numbers aren’t the lone necessity when it comes to having a worthwhile presence on social media platforms. What is? And how will that get your more followers? That’s why you should answer the following four questions:
1. Do you have friends?
I hope so. Otherwise you’ve got bigger fish to fry. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t get 10,000 followers in a week. You will get ten of your friends to like or follow you. Chances are, those folks have five or ten people who might like you as well. This builds a solid base that will interact with your social media presence. And it’s the interaction that grows a base, not just raw numbers.
2. Do you have the internet?
I hope so. Visit www.technorati.com. It’s a great resource where you can search for people blogging about various topics. Social media is about subject matter, not just geography. A Justin Bieber fan in Seattle can provide just as much, if not more, valuable content than someone in Athens. There are other sites like www.blogged.com, www.twellow.com, www.nearbytweets.com and countless others that provide similar opportunities to identify potential followers. If you follow these people with similar interests chances are they will follow you too.
3. Do you know how to write?
I hope so. Start a blog. Today. Blogs force you to create relevant content, which is at the heart of well-executed social media strategy. This makes you better at your job. It also adds more oomph to the social media posts you create. Plus, they’re free, and free is good.
4. Do you like interacting with people?
I hope so. Otherwise, you probably shouldn’t have a social media presence. People have countless questions about countless subject matters. LinkedIn, Yahoo, Quora and Twitter have forums where people ask questions. If you know the answer, chime in. If you have a question, ask one. Plus, blogs and other forms of outreach have comment sections where they ask for feedback. Provide it.
Social media is about being social. The more you listen, the more you learn. The more you share that knowledge, the more people will take time to follow you. You don’t need numbers to see that everyone wins in this scenario. Now if only I could get my barber to follow me on Facebook.