Social media is one big conversation.
Yes, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are powerful ways for us to connect with potential customers, but beyond that, they are a chance to converse, engage and connect with people in a real way.
The key is to find the people who share your interests and values, and then tell them about the product or service you create or grow and show them, through the story you tell on social media, why they should value it too.
Remember it’s called social media because it’s about being social, about having a conversation, sharing ideas and building relationships.
From the get-go it’s important to accept you can’t be all things to all people. You need to find “your people”, the ones who “get you and what you do”, then tell them, and engage them in your story. It is as simple as that.
It’s human nature to want to be liked by everyone, but when using social media, we need to get our heads around the fact we aren't going to excite everyone with what we do. That our belief system, our “why” isn't going to float everyone’s boat. But it will float some people’s and they are the ones you want in your corner.
Be comfortable with the fact you aren't going to resonate with everyone – but those who do come on board will be your best and fiercest advocates.
“A dedicated Instagram following of 1000 people is more valuable than 30k who don’t really care about you,” said blogger, social media expert and organiser of the UK-based Blogtacular conference every July, Kat Molesworth, on series two, episode five of the My Open Kitchen podcast (now on iTunes).
So don't get despondent about numbers; inevitably at the beginning they will be small. But even if you have just 20 followers on whatever platform you choose, if you really know what that 20 wants, if you share their passions/beliefs/inspirations – you can connect with them in a real way.
They will get excited about what you do, go out of their way to find, source and talk about your product and service, and so the ripple effect goes. That 20 will become 200, then 2000 and on and on.