Watch this video first:
1. Intro To The Section
Here we go into another round of module 1. Do you feel like your feet are starting to feel a little firmer beneath you? Are you feeling more confidence in your digital work yet? I sure hope so and it’s only going to continue. I love doing this in Cattleman Connected because your social media accounts are good for more than just personal and agriculture advocacy, they really can make a difference in your yearly bottom line.
This section is all about Cultivating a Community. There is a big difference between having a ton of followers and having the followers that matter to your business. In this digital age we have so much more power to reach our desired audience. You no longer have to throw something in the newspaper and hope you get connected with a couple of the right people.
Today you can create and grow a community online through your social media accounts of sold out fans for what you do. Let’s don’t get hung up in the number of followers as much as the quality of the followers that we have.
EVERYONE says that Aly, but what does that mean?????
Within the digital social networks, as we discussed in the past section, are groups of people. Different groups hang out in different places for different reasons. Facebook is more for keeping connected, while Instagram is more for finding your tribe (the people who enjoy the same things you do), and Pinterest is for sharing thoughts and ideas visually with the ability to get to the information quickly.
SO enough of the frilly stuff, lets get into how to make this community happen and thrive.
Ok, I am going to throw out another word that has been deemed cliché, but in order capture and maintain an audience you first have to be authentic.
AGAIN ALY, everyone says that, but what does it mean?????
The definition of au·then·tic is of undisputed origin; genuine.
Authentic does not mean it has to be spur of the moment, authentic means that what you are sharing is original and genuine. You can plan your content AND be authentic.
What you share, who your company is, what your brand represents needs to be undisputed and genuine. Your followers will sniff through a fake in about 30 seconds so don’t try to copy someone else, be you. What you do, who you are, what your company does is important, has impact, and matters. Don’t sell yourself out by copying someone else. Which leads me directly into the next point…
3.Connecting with the right people (curation defines the creation)
You need to decide whether you are a company brand (i.e. John Deer) or a personal brand (i.e. Aly McClure). The type of account you are creating will dictate the type of audience you curate and the type of content you create.
Within each social network there are ways to find your people and develop your tribe. I won’t lie and say that it is quick and easy in all of them but in some it can be.
Facebook has groups
Instagram has hashtags that are becoming more like groups with the follow feature
Twitter has hashtags, chats, and lists
Pinterest has group boards
Each network has its own space dedicated to finding the other people that are into the same things you are. Before you haul off and start joining every group and following every hashtag you need to work through who your audience actually is. Below this video you will find a button for an audience persona worksheet. To be authentic and deliver content that resonates, you have to understand who you are talking to first.
Who are they? Where do they shop? What do they eat? Where do they live? What’s their favorite song?? You have to create an actual personality to connect with. You need to be able to talk to your audience just like you would with a friend. And you don’t just sit around and throw sales pitches at your friends, now do you??
Once you know EXACTLY who you are talking to, then it is time to find where they hang out. Don’t forget about that handy demographic image in the last section as you work through this.
4.What sets you apart
Now that we know who you are talking to and what they like, we can also more clearly define who our true competition is. I hesitate using the word competition, it’s such a strong one, because I honestly believe that there is room for each of us and that we each have something unique and different to offer. You don’t need all the fish, just enough to feed you. Don’t let greed or pride blind you.
Anyway, enough preaching, having your competitors identified allows you to do a few things.
1. Identify what sets you apart from them
2. Review their content and see what is working and what is not working
3. Find some of your tribe
Now let me reiterate, DO NOT COPY THEM. You are different from them and that is a good thing. Seeing what is working well will give you ideas of what is resonating with their similar audience and how you can develop content that might have the same reaction. Don’t copy them.
You need to pick the four or five things that represent your brand. These are the things that you will design your content around. So, for example people know that I am a digital strategist (authority qualifier), I am a ranch wife (industry qualifier), a cool mom (connector), and that I am the crazy cow lady (connector).
You need two qualifiers and two or three audience connectors so that you can establish your authority within your field but also connect on a personal level.
5.Don’t Be Spammy
Resist the urge to talk at your audience and instead talk with them.
Nobody wants endless industry jargon and sales pitches thrown at them. This qualifies as being spammy – and spammers don’t have friends. We want friends so we aren’t going to be spammers, are we?
The way to avoid coming across spammy is by designing your content around the four or five things you picked to represent your brand. It will give you a rotation of post topics to move through that will keep your following engaged and interested.
6. 3:1 rule
The best way to avoid being spammy yet also promoting your product or services is to follow the 3:1 rule. Relationship is created through shared interest, experiences, and needs. You have to give more than you take. I am not saying you should give away all of your intelligent property for free but you need to give enough that people feel like they understand what you are doing and trust that you know what you are talking about.
The 3:1 rule is simple, for every three give posts, you can put up one ask post. Follow this and you will see success.
But mostly, remember to have fun, you don’t need to be all business all the time. It’s ok to let people see whos behind the curtain, that’s really what they want anyway.
Creating the community isn’t just about selling your products. You obviously love what you do and relate to these people on at least some level so enjoy their digital friendship. I have connections and opportunities today that would never have been possible without the people I “met” through social media. Hang your head out the window for a minute.
Step 1 – Fill out your audience profile
Step 2 – Study which social networks are the best fit
Step 3 – Find the groups and hashtags that most resonate with your ideal customer
Step 4 – Keep learning
I hope you have learned a lot in this section as we continue to push through and lay a firm foundation of the whos, what’s and whys of creating a successful digital strategy. Cattleman Connected is created to be a place where anyone and any skill level can learn and implement these steps to success.
Each module and section is created to build upon the next so it is super important that you work through the action steps and complete each section to move on to the next. You will find that I have built in a little waiting period between each section to help facilitate this part of the learning process.
Outside of Cattleman Connected you can find me actively on Instagram and Facebook. I am also present on my website www.alymcclure.com and I would love to hear from you.
Good luck as you implement this sections and move on to the next. I’ll see you there, Aly.