How do you nurture your audience?

Ok, this is a quick note to remember that social media should be primarily about the content you create and how it helps your organization to develop an audience. That’s one of the first questions you need to ask when you’re coming up with your social media strategy, where am I? Who in the hell do I want to talk to? And what do I want to tell them?

Is it an internal audience? Shareholders?  Customers?

Look, you need to connect with your interested audience via social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and develop your community there, but it should always have the goal of bringing people back to your blog, your online home where you bring your social media elements together. You can show off other elements people won’t see on Facebook or Twitter, but you always have to keep in mind the goal of bringing them back to your site.

And with this, I have to disagree with the idea being floated around out there of some kind of “site-less Internet” future. This is asinine. Dude, you don’t want to keep a lot of exclusive content on Facebook or other external networks because you never know when Facebook is going to turn into the next Friendster and fall apart, which is possible if Facebook keeps screwing around with their privacy settings and not telling anyone about it, or pissing off their users.

It’s not about the “supremacy” of Facebook, or Twitter. It’s not even about SEO when you think about it. It’s about using these social networking elements to engage your potential audience on a more neutral field and then bringing them back to your site where you have your kick ass content.

How do you do this? A lot of this is social media 101 but it’s always good for a refresher.

  • Pre-load your site with content before you start reaching out – you want to have a lot of good stuff up before you start engaging with people
  • Listen before you leap – Monitor what people in your industry are saying before you start reaching out to them
  • Engage people – Once you start getting people commenting on your site, respond to them. Don’t ever develop the mentality that you are too important to talk with people who take the time to read what you’re saying.
  • Focus, Daniel-San – Remember that you need to dedicate time to working in social media.
  • Wash, Rinse, Repeat – Keep cranking out interesting content, depending on the social media vehicles you are using.

After checking out your content, continuing to give them additional great content should keep them coming back to your site. This will start to, if it’s not already, replace SEO. If you want to bring SEO into your strategy, look at making every third or fourth post an SEO focused post.  This just means you need to build up content faster.

These are just a few of my ideas, what do you look for when thinking about how to add social media to your mix?

3 thoughts on “How do you nurture your audience?

  1. Awesome post, Benson (and not just because you linked to my blog, but thanks for that). You raise a great point with Facebook and “wash, rinse, repeat”–it’s not like you find an audience and proceed to watch success flow over you. It’s a constant process of assessing, adjusting, experimenting and re-engaging. Inertia is our enemy!

    • Hey Will! You’re welcome for the link 🙂 That’s exactly the point. I know there’s been some negative chatter recently about Peter Shankman’s success with Help A Reporter Out, but these people forget that Peter has worked for that “overnight success” for over 15 years – cultivating relationships, working on successful PR stunts, putting himself out there when others wouldn’t. It’s an old saying, that you have to work for years to be an instant success 🙂

      And who knows with Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg might have a dream where a chicken eats a coyote under a full moon and think “I have to change the privacy settings again and not tell anyone.” 😉

      P.S. Thanks! 🙂 I love WordPress.com’s rotating themes.

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