Here at Exposure Ninja, we’re always looking to find the best Ninja strategies for our clients to help them grow their following and boost their profile. One of the key discussions we insist on having from the start is on establishing goals. Allow me to explain why.
A significant percentage of our blog readers are looking to increase the number of likes, follows and other metrics that indicate popularity, and that’s basically it. While it’s clearly a worthy goal to expand your audience, we encourage people to think in terms of increasing their follower quality and relevance as well. Your goal for your social media campaign should not be purely quantity-driven (“I want to have 3,000 followers by June”), but rather driven by what we call profitable influence. Profitable influence is different to regular influence because — surprise, surprise — it focuses on getting attention likely to turn into money. Rather than aiming purely for volume then, a profitable social media campaign will raise your profile amongst people who can give you money or have access to others who can give you money. Everything else is just a pleasant — but unnecessary — ego boost. The ideal result is that when buyers of your product or service are in the moment of need, you are there at the front of their mind. This doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time.
Examples of Profitable Influence
Let’s look at a real world example of profitable influence in action: You’re looking to book your family into a dentist in your area for a check up. You Google “dentists” and open a few tabs. One of the dentists mentions that new patients who ‘like’ their Facebook page get free teeth whitening. There’s a button to ‘like’ the page right underneath the offer, with a call to action that says “Like us Now for your Free Teeth Whitening”, so you click it. While you’re clicking around the other dentists in your area, you find another one that you like the look of because they’re slightly closer. You book in and pay this competitor a visit, but you’re not overly impressed. They tried to sell you expensive treatments which you didn’t think you needed and the office was tatty. You decide that you’re unlikely to go back, but for the time being your itch was scratched and you won’t need to find a new dentist until your next checkup is due. Meanwhile, your Facebook ‘like’ on the first dentist’s page still stands. Luckily for them, they’ve read lots of great social media books and they’re providing lots of genuinely useful content on their page which appeals to potential customers, not just those who need a dentist right now. This social savvy dentist posts blogs on their website about things like “The most common toothbrushing mistake — are you inadvertently damaging your teeth twice per day?”, “Is tooth whitening dangerous? How to get white teeth without causing long-term damage”, “How to teach your kids how to brush their teeth” and “How to choose the best toothbrush (TIP: the most expensive ones are NOT the best!)”. These are all things that ordinary people would find interesting and actually useful.
This dentist doesn’t go crazy promoting blog posts three times a day, because people just don’t need that much tooth information in their lives — but over the course of a year let’s say we see fifteen articles of real interest posted by this dentist and we click on and read five of these. That means we’ve been to their site five times and are familiar with them, their personality, and the dental practice. This puts them miles ahead of the other dentists in our town, who remain completely anonymous. When it comes time to book that next check-up, one of two things will happen:
- We enquire with the Facebook dentist first, as we’re already familiar and have built a small amount of rapport with them.
- We’ll search “dentist” again, ask a friend for a recommendation, or embark on any other dentist-finding operation. During the course of this research phase, we’re drawn to mentions of the Facebook dentist. We recognise their name, we feel safe with them and we remember that we’ve got that free tooth whitening treatment with our first appointment.
Either way, that dentist’s social media activity has just greatly increased their chances of making a sale. If they can deliver a great experience, then this social campaign is also going to boost repeat business as they stick in our minds and continue to build rapport between appointments as well. Over a number of years, that dentist becomes a real part of our consciousness and gets access to our attention infinitely more than her competitors, who are invisible in our day to day life. This dentist doesn’t have to be better, cheaper or more convenient — those things are totally irrelevant. Their competitive advantage is familiarity and rapport. And in a world where few businesses have any competitive advantage at all, that’s enough!
Who’s Influencing You?
In this way, social media allows you to boost your profile amongst your target audience no matter how high-profile you are by other metrics. If you scan through your own Facebook timeline, Twitter or Instagram feed you’ll notice that there are businesses, seminar speakers and other entities that are really a part of your daily or even hourly consciousness due to their intelligent use of social media. They’re probably not the most famous businesses, speakers and others that you know of, and they might not even be the best, but they’re the ones you remember and are familiar with.
Which authority figures have influenced you lately?
You can find more details on how to get the best out of your social media marketing via our new book Profitable Social Media Marketing: How To Grow Your Business