“Did you see this big company with a million followers on Twitter? I wish that would happen to me!”
“Yes, it’s a huge number. But what would you do with it?”
“That would open so many doors for me!”
“Doors to what?”
“I don’t know. That would encourage people to check out my work, I guess.”
When major brands tell us that they are on Facebook or Twitter, we follow them there. Why? Because we already know and trust them. We want to see what they are up to and / or what else they have to offer that could benefit us, like coupons and entertaining content.
So, when we marvel at the impressive subscriber numbers on their social media pages, we only see the tip of the iceberg. We tend to overlook several facts:
• Most of them have been in business for a long time
• They do not work alone
• They have the money to launch expensive promotional campaigns
• Buying followers is common practice
Observing large brands in your niche is important to find inspiration for a winning social media strategy. However, while their pain points are the same as yours, they are in a category of their own. They pay people to build their strategies, manage their digital presence, and what not. As a small business owner or solo-entrepreneur, you have to take care of pretty much everything on your own.
Actually, you are at an advantage here. You are the one who addresses questions and concerns directly. You answer the phone and respond to emails and comments on your blog and social media profiles. In a nutshell, you get to build relationships with each member of your audience.
Does it happen with the CEOs of large companies? Not that I know of.
Sure, big numbers are impressive at first. But what people really want is to be able to scratch the surface and see a brand with a personality. They want to know that you care about their specific needs.
Unfortunately, the bigger the audience, the less opportunity and time to achieve that goal…
“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.” – Jimmy Stewart