By Ericka Simpson
Followers are people who trust you. Think of them as friends who you recently met, people you’ll have to work to build deeper relationships with.
Just as you bump into people who go on to become your friends at different events, there are great places where you can meet business followers. But, before we share those places, we want to point out a few valuable tips.
Treat followers right
Just as you wouldn’t call a new friend a dozen times a day or stop by her apartment several times a day, don’t send a dozen emails a day, or a week, to followers. Don’t call leads several times a day. These actions frustrate recipients.
Schedule time to communicate with followers. Engage in two-way communication. For example, you could post questions at your Facebook page. Or you could post three humorous videos on Google Plus and ask people which one they think is the funniest.
Respond to followers who answer your questions or who vote on videos, contests and photos that you publish on social media networks. Thank followers for commenting and contributing. Take the time to visit websites and blogs of people who support you. After all, communicating with friends is truly a two way street.
Places to get free followers
• Conferences and seminars – Bring a clipboard with you to speaking events. Encourage people to sign up for your newsletters, email distribution lists and social media networks. All you have to do is get their name and email address and, of course, their approval.
• Festivals – Cultural and specialty event festivals attract tens of thousands of visitors. Get out and meet people. Let them know about your blog and/or website. Ask them to follow you. If they have a mobile device, they could follow you even as you’re talking with them.
• Trade shows – While you’re passing out business cards, distribute a flyer that highlights your social media networks. Plainly ask readers to follow you.
• Local shops – Drop leaflets on your social media sites and your business off at coffee shops.
• Alumni meetings
• School (i.e. high school, college or university)
• Meet ups
• Public transportation
• Charity events – This may prove especially beneficial if your business sponsors or supports a charity.
• Newsletters – Some editors list entrepreneurs’ social media accounts or websites for free if the entrepreneur offers free services, etc.
• Your website – It goes without saying that you should add a link to your social media networks on each page of your website.
• Printed material – Don’t consider your brochures, flyers, leaflets, etc. to be complete until you add one or more of your social media accounts (i.e. @dtwriters) to the material.
• Recorded messages – This includes answering service messages, such as recorded mobile phone voice mail greeetings
• Work – If you’re featured on a company intranet, ask if you can include links to your social media pages. In your bio, encourage colleagues to follow you.
Create a schedule for when you’ll reach out to followers. Care enough about communicating with followers as you do about gaining followers. Think of followers as distant friends. Treat them that way and observe what results.