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Monday, July 30, 2012

7 Ways to Show Your Followers Some Love BY JEAN M. GIANFAGNA JULY 30, 2012

Getting people to follow you on social media is crucial to a smart marketing strategy. But as hard as it is to attract social-media followers, it’s even harder to keep them. People may “like” you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social-media platforms, but they can un-“like” you in a heartbeat, too. Your challenge as a marketer is to make it worth their while to stay connected with your company.

One of the best ways to engage and keep social-media followers is to make them feel special. Here are seven ways to show some love to your social-media followers:

Create exclusive experiences. Share product previews, videos or behind-the-scenes peeks at things non-followers don’t get to see.
Offer special discounts or savings. Give followers discounts, savings or bonuses on your products, services or accessories—offers they will see only if they’re following you on social media.
Provide first access to high-value content. Let your social-media followers be amongthefirst to access new content you create, such as how-to guides, case studies, white papers or research reports.
Award prizes. Create contests that give followers a chance to win a prize. Make entries contingent on performing a task, such as submitting a photo, sharing a tip, voting in a poll or visiting your website.
Recognize individual fans.Spotlight individual fans and followers and thank them for their loyalty. Pay special attention to followers who frequently comment on your posts, share your content, re-tweet your tweets or repost your videos.
Help fans help others. Reward your fans by tying their level of activity on your pages to charitable contributions. “Help us get X number of fans, and we’ll donate $X to a [charity, nonprofit or industry foundation].”
Surprise people with something unexpected. Delight followers with an unexpected gift or bonus: “Here’s a free gift because we appreciate you.” Everyone loves surprises.

One of social media’s great values to marketers is the ability to connect with individuals. You can build meaningful relationships with customers and prospects who follow you on social media by showing them you value their loyalty and attention.

Jean M. Gianfagna is a marketing strategy expert and the founder and president of Gianfagna Strategic Marketing which provides marketing strategy and creative services to leading business-to-business and consumer marketers. Read her blog for more marketing tips at http://www.gianfagnamarketing.com/blog.

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