Social media has the potential to change how you think about doing business. No longer are blogs and micro-blogs filled with people babbling on about what they ate for breakfast or which flight they missed at LAX. Those people exist still but have little to no following. Those thought leaders that “get it” realize that in order to get people to follow and listen in on your conversation they have to be interesting and add value to the listening community. They must offer some sort of incentive in order to get visitors to stay and perhaps join in the discussion. How do you add value and incentives to your followers?
First it requires listening to what that niche of people are talking about and then adding pertinent valuable information in the community that adds to the conversation. By offering something of value readers come back and bring their friends. They begin to trust their relationship with you and your posts that they are willing to invite others to the table to talk and share their experiences and observations as well. When readership goes up and the dialogue in the form of comments (blogs) and DM’s or re-tweets (direct messages- Twitter) goes up as well you begin to have a web presence that is based on trust in your content.
Every company wants to build their brand presence in the market place. When you have a brand following of people who trust and look to you for valued content and contribution, then they are more willing to try your latest product, have brand loyalty, and spread the word. Word of mouth or word of internet marketing by your customer base has more power than any give-away or print media marketing plan. There is money to be made from trust if you give them good valuable information as you cultivate your relationship with them. Good information should not cost the consumer anything. Give them valuable information on a related topic or niche in a free ebook, case study, or special report. Give them articles that are full of rich information that is worthy of their time and energy.
Grow your blog into a website with a branded look. Include your logo so it becomes associated with your products and services and your blog. Make your blog something that is branded and easily recognized. Don’t be boring and impersonal. Your logo is essentially the face of your blog and represents your company and your goods or services. People want branding that is original but easy to remember. Think FTD florist…what is their logo? Mercury with flowers is a logo we all recognize and associate with FTD. Post your logo in a clean simple design relevant to your audience. When you blog you want to create a buzz that makes you known, recognized, and talked about by your audience. You want your name to go beyond the internet and out to the world at large. Your blog/micro-blogging efforts present you with the opportunity to make yourself well known and to build a real web presence. Blogs are cheap to develop (cheaper than product development)and have a tremendous ROI potential.
Through hard work, tenacity, and dedication you can create a market for your products, goods, or services directly from your blog. You build the audience and the loyal following by providing good rich valuable information and they will become your greatest admirers and product fanatics. They will then sell and promote for you…but only if you create that feeling of community and trust that comes from cultivating the relationships with them. By carefully expanding and building your fan base through the dissemination of good information and offering innovative ideas, you can’t help but build your niche market into a business empire.