Social Media: How to build a large, valuable network

This post is all about how to build a bigger, more valuable social network.

I recall reading a blog post once, where someone asked, ‘How can I get more followers on social networking sites?’

The blogger replied, ‘Do something worth following!’

This is where your story comes in!

That advice may sound a bit harsh, but it’s absolutely correct. As regular users of social networks already know, the Internet is filled with business owners, talking in an average way about average sounding businesses. As a result, they make very little progress with their social media marketing.

Their challenge is that they tend to focus on looking for strategies or software, which they can use in order to attract more followers – when they should be looking at the story they are expecting people to follow and share.

It’s their story that’s broken!

What’s the story?

Every business and business owner has a story. Your story is built around things like:

  • The product you provide.
  • The quality of your customer service.
  • The attitude of your team.
  • The unique value you bring to your marketplace.
  • My story looks like this.

When we look at the social networking accounts of 99% of businesses in the same niche, we find them saying the same things, to the same people about a service that sounds the same as their competitors. It’s dull. It’s an uninspiring, uninteresting story, which people will not want to embrace or share. People are attracted to (and share) the remarkable, not the bland.

[quote]No matter what social media marketing strategy we use, unless we have a compelling story we will be wasting our time. [/quote]If our social networking updates are just like most other small business owners, we blend into the background. We render ourselves invisible, by simply adding to all the noise on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

So, what’s the answer?

In my experience, the business owners who build the most valuable social networks are those who have something different to say. They have a story or message, which people want to share. They get people talking about them, because they’re worthy of people’s attention. They stand out, because they are not just like the others in their niche. They tell people about what matters to them, knowing it will resonate with the kind of people they want to connect with.

As you know, most business owners on social networks do the opposite. They try to build a large, valuable network by pushing more and more messages out there. They focus on volume not value. They hope that by being busy, their predictable story will spread. Many of them schedule uninspiring messages to go out whilst they are asleep – as if it’s the number of tweets and updates, which is causing the problem.

If you are not seeing the social media marketing results you want, check how compelling your story is. Is it attractive enough to get people talking about you and telling their friends? Are you mirroring what others are doing or are you standing out?

In short: Give your business a story, which people will connect with, embrace and share with their friends.

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