My “thing” is books.
When I was little, I was that kid who spent hours on the floor of my room organizing my books by genre and author. I’d be sprawled out with no greater joy than touching my favorite stories and putting them into their little categories, then re-shelving for maximum organization. I burned out the bulbs in our minivan from reading at night, so my Christmas gift each year was a new clip-on battery-operated book light that I could just snap on to my books to read after dark in the car.
I love many things about the world, but reading has always been a stronghold for my passions and my purpose.
As it turns out, there’s an entire micro-underworld of Twitter filled with other bibliophiles, rare book collectors, and antiquarians: right up my alley. As I dug into the digital gold mine of information that is Twitter, I became more and more excited with every click. There was this whole niche specifically targeted to my interests that I had never even thought to look for!
For me, that’s the cool thing about social media. No matter what your brand represents or focuses on, there is a community out there that might not do the exact same thing, but maybe does something similar. This is easy for industries like manufacturing or retail to see, because those accounts are front-and-center. But what other communities are your audience part of? How can you be more specific in how you target your potential customers, audience, and interactions?
The key is to start wide and narrow your net. Even if you think you follow everyone in the whole world who is relevant to your particular conversation, look again. Read bios, follow accounts that similar brands or competitors or following, and then follow who they’re following (and so on and so forth until you’re deeply entrenched in the rabbit hole).
Search for hashtags that are obviously relevant to your brand, then find synonyms of those hashtags and search again (and so on and so forth). Extend your feelers throughout all of Twitter, find people you should be talking to and reaching, and engage with followers that you can clearly see are active on social media and could be a good brand advocate for you.
Follow or like each account for at least one day. If they don’t post anything, unfollow. If they post content that’s unhelpful/boring/not relevant, unfollow. If you don’t feel that being connected to the person/brand is useful for your marketing strategy, unfollow. Be ruthless about your unfollows: The value of social media connections is purely what you make it. In this article on how he grew our social media following, Nate Jensen explains that he follows and unfollows fifty people twice a week. Don’t be afraid to do the same (you can read more about his strategy here).
Finally, revisit this process once a week or once a month, depending on your time and budget. This will ensure that you are indeed connecting with the right audience, and that you aren’t spending valuable time and money on social media talking to people who aren’t listening.
Image credit: CC by Jennie