Photo by Wolfgang Staudt Flickr, CC
What should you do when growth slows?
You've setup a Facebook page and update it frequently. You're an avid Twitterer, sending tweets everyday. You even have a Linkedin Company Profile. In each case, you reached some modest success and are gaining a few new eyes everyday. Still, you may be asking yourself, "Is it, worth it?" So what can you do to take your social media strategy to the next level?
In fitness, this is known as reaching a plateau. Here is what Alive.com has to say about reaching a fitness plateau:
“I don’t get it. I was doing so well, and all of a sudden, I stopped improving.” This is a familiar refrain from exercisers who believe their program has failed them. In reality, they have maximized what their workout was designed to achieve.
We're not taking about fitness, but the principle is the similar; you need to change it up. If you feel yourself in a similar situation, it's time to step back and re-evaluate your strategy and tactics. Here are some things you can do, or consider, to take it up a notch.
Recognize and inventory what's working and what's not
If you've been growing your social media presence for a while, you no-doubt have tried a thing or two to grow your followers, fans, and pageviews, and in most cases hoping they all somehow lead to more sales. Reflect back and look at the numbers. What was viral? When do you experience more comments? When was there a jump a in sales or website traffic? What context allowed for that event to happen? When was growth stagnant? What did your current followers/fans like?
Use what you've learned to inspire employee collaboration, innovation, and customer service
Most often the social web is referred to and used for marketing, but really it's about relationships, and that spans from business to friends and to co-workers. Enterprise 2.0 is a term, like web 2.0, that describes the phenomenon of companies utilizing the methods of social sharing within an organization. There are a variety of ways to get started. For example, Google docs are a great way to share private ideas and feedback within an organization (just think of a better password then password).
See it through your customers/audience's eyes
Use this stuck time to clean house. I used to work for Trader Joe's, the grocery store chain noted for their yummy food and awesome customer service, and I remember learning early on that viewing the floor from the customers eyes was a key to success. I encourage you to put on your customers eyes. Shoot, in the Goethe sense put on some sunglasses, crawl under your desk, or go outside before checking out the site to get yourself in the customer mindset. Take notes on what doesn't work, what you don't like about the 'experience.' React appropriately.
Try something different- Take a chance, be different, and aim for viral appeal
If you've growing a following/fan base, it may be time to "activate them." Contests are a great way to do that. Don't be afraid to try something new. If you haven't tried video, try video. If you've never been a guest blogger or podcaster, then look for opportunities to share your expertise (and spread the word).