One of my authors said to me, “I feel like I’m stalking people when I’m doing a social media marketing campaign.”
“Yes!” I responded. “That means you’re doing it right.”
Social networking is not stalking, though I understand how it can feel that way, (especially if you’re doing it right) because in implementing your target marketing approach, you often find yourself visiting and re-visiting the same pages.
Most people don’t understand how social networking really works and why it is so important in
The benefit of social networking is that you increase the visibility of your product and yourself.
What does it take to be a good social networker? The willingness to put yourself out there (knowing a certain level of vulnerability comes with it), a lot of time and a commitment toward action.
The simple fact is that you cannot have privacy AND be in the public eye.
When you place yourself in the public eye, you must expect that a certain percentage of “weirdos” will emerge and be drawn to you. This comes with the territory and if you can’t handle it, then don’t go public.
My Facebook page is public because I am an author and the amount of books I sell is directly related to the amount of contact I make with the virtual universe. I also run a publishing company and use social media to assist in marketing my author’s new releases. Thus, I “friend” just about anyone who requests my friendship, viewing every individual as a potential new contact, new reader and new fan. I believe paths cross for a reason, even in the virtual world, and I can honestly tell you that I have made some very good friends over social media. The risk is high at times and I have had moments where I have felt threatened, but those instances are few and far between. The truth is that I have had way more positive experiences in social media than negative ones.
If I “friend” someone who then behaves inappropriately, i.e. posting porn or solicitations on my wall, commenting rude or explicit things, sending me nude pictures, etc., I simply block them and move on. In putting myself out there publicly I am assuming responsibility for the fact that I may encounter some strange individuals and thereby accepting the culpability that it is my job to block them when needed.
It is no one else’s fault when a “weirdo” emerges.
GROWTH TAKES TIME
Social networking takes time and effort because in order to grow your visibility, you have to help grow the visibility of others. For me, those others exist primarily in the entertainment/literary realm.
This is how it works:
Every time I go to an author, actor or artist’s page and “like” something, it shows up in the news feed of all of my “friends.” This promotes that person’s page. In addition, my name shows up in their post when I “like” it or comment on it, giving me visibility. The hope is that those people will reciprocate the action by “liking” or commenting on one of my posts, thereby rendering that post visible to their “friends” in their news feed. In essence, by “liking” and commenting on each other’s posts, we are connecting our “friend” base and over time, expanding it.
When people continue to see the same name popping up in their news feed, they are more likely to become curious and click on it. In order to make the same name appear over and over, you must visit the same pages over and over and continue your efforts of "liking" and commenting. It is a process and involves hundreds of clicks on your targeted sites every week.
So, if you’ve ever felt like you were wasting time traversing your news feed and “liking” posts, you’re not…you’re actually helping grow your own visibility and the visibility of the people, places and projects you like.
TARGET YOUR NETWORKING EFFORTS
Liking everyone’s posts would be impossible, so it is important to target your social networking to the people and projects that are related to you and your work.
For example, my daughter is an actress. Therefore, when she is filming a particular project, I will target my networking efforts to that project and the people involved therein. Anything that they post that is related to that particular project, I “like” or comment on. Sometimes I will even “share” it to my own wall. Or, if I really want to drive viewers to it, I will download the pictures or information they have posted and then post it on my wall as if it is a new post from me. This feeds directly to my “friends” list as a post by me, not just a post I have “shared.” Posts by you will statistically generate more interaction from those on your “friends” list than posts you have “shared.”
Commenting, liking and re-posting literally builds a network between you and the people you support. In growing their visibility, you are expanding your own. But it doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without the commitment to visit those targeted pages over and over and over again.
Doesn’t it behoove me to network with people who have more “friends” than me? Absolutely. Those with the most followers, fans, friends, etc. have the farthest reach in the virtual world. If they “like” or comment on your posts, it can only help you; and you should definitely be “liking” and commenting on their posts.
There is no marketing effort that is in vain. Every time your name appears you are getting it out there. The goal of social networking is to get people talking about you, your project, your product, your vision. Thus, every action you take in this direction…every “like”…every comment…every “friend”… is a step in the right direction.
Remember, giant leaps begin with small steps.
Although constantly visiting the same pages over and over can feel a bit like stalking, it is important to realize that the difference lies in your reason for being there. If you are visiting for promotional purposes and the opportunity to grow your base, you’re marketing. If you are visiting for personal purposes to see what they did over the weekend, then you might be guilty of stalking.
One author asked, “What if someone gets mad at me or thinks I’m strange for constantly commenting on or liking their posts?”
That’s their problem, not yours. As long as your comments are polite and professional, there is nothing wrong with commenting or “liking.”
There are some people who do not understand how social networking works and who will be prone to think that you are visiting their page with ulterior motives. These people put themselves out there publicly and then pretend that they are victimized or harassed when their pages are frequently visited. They are narcissists who believe everyone wants them and everyone is stalking them. Honestly, these people should not be in the public eye because they cannot handle it. So, don’t worry about them. If someone gets offended by the fact that you “like,” comment or re-post their posts, mark them off your list and move on. Those who understand the value of social networking will not be offended by your actions.
Social networking is just that…networking. It is building a network of people with common interests. So, determine your target market and begin reaching out to those people today. ~