1000 Fantastic Social Media Fans and Where to Find Them
The “1000 true fan” theory has been touted by everyone from Seth Godin to Amy Porterfield. The concept is basic. You don’t need millions of followers. You just need 1000 people who support you regularly so you can generate dependable business revenue.
I mean, should you TRY to get to a million customers? That’s like asking a child if they want sugar. It’s a resounding, “YES!” But by concentrating on a smaller number of devoted fans you can pinpoint your market and grow.
Yet getting to 1000 true fans takes a lot more than throwing out a bunch of pamphlets and hoping they stick. Plus this isn’t the 1700s. No one’s coming to your meeting if you offer nothing but those flimsy foldouts that you gave every person on the street. If you want those stalwart fans you’d better try a little harder.
Stalk them on your competitor’s social media
Not long ago I started listening to a random podcast. How did I hear about this podcast you may ask? A little bird told me. Or, to be specific, the Twitter bird. My interest in spooky ghost things led me to follow horror-themed creators on Twitter. One day I had a new follower. They started liking my posts and commenting. I had to find out who this user was with such good taste! Upon finding out it was the official account of a spooky show I’d yet to listen to, I thought I might as well give it a try. Now I’ve been a loyal listener for two years.
They got my attention through Twitter and kept me with their stories. While I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to be flattered by their attention, I was obviously one who stayed. There were, no doubt, others who upon discovering a mysterious new follower, in turn, became followers themselves. The hunter becomes the hunted. Or something like that.
If you know your target demographic’s interests, find social media accounts they follow. See who engages often. Then follow them and interact. Try to only follow those who are active. If they are commenting on someone’s recent post it means they aren’t a passive follower. They’re fan material.
Be their guest!
Reach out to competitors who produce blogs, podcasts, or videos. While they may have an intimidatingly-large following there is something true for most of these creators… they are hungry for content.
This means, if your following is high enough or your story interesting enough, they will be happy to put you on their show or add your post to their blog. If you’re genuine about forming connections you might actually make a friend in your industry, someone who understands the trials you face.
They may become fan number 134, and have your back for the rest of your career.
Find people who are looking for your solution
Your business solves people’s problems (otherwise what are you even doing?). Someone is struggling to potty train their child. They have to build a digital portfolio in a week and don’t know how. They’ve promised to have the family over for a BBQ and don’t even have a grill!
Whatever their question they will be googling for the answer . Find the forums where they are congregating and let people know you exist. Like the Twitter technique, not everyone will be a fan. But some will. And you build your “1000 true fans” project one piece at a time.
Small influencers have a large influence
Got money? Then you got micro-influencers. These guys are way cheaper than Kylie Jenner or her ilk. In fact, micro-influencers are becoming highly coveted marketing tools. While someone with millions of followers has sway, the micro-influencer fans love their person dearly. As a result, they trust them and look to them for authentic guidance.
But remember micro-influencers won’t generally spin or exaggerate for you. They won’t risk alienating their small loyal band of followers. So make sure whatever you’re selling is something they won’t have a problem talking positively about to their people.
Who will then hopefully become your people as well.
Focus on your story
Everyone’s story is different. Twenty companies can sell the same thing but customers will be attracted to different brands because of the message they are selling. Perhaps one is owned by a POC who defied her traditional parents to follow her dream. Another might be a busy mom of five somehow managing to do it all. Still, that next one could be a brilliant though slightly nery entrepreneur who’s crazy about the science behind the product and tweaking each aspect to perfection.
There is no right answer to finding ALL the customers. It’s impossible. Get your customers by being true to you.
Your story is what will attract your fans. It’s what they will associate with you and your brand, maybe even before your product or service.
If you have a website, an “About Me” page is the quickest way to tell your story. Or get out into the community and support causes that match your company’s ethos. Instagram’s “story” feature gives you access to snapshots of candid moments that followers will eat up. Off-the-cuff, you can film the process behind your work, such as your hectic morning routine.
Being unscripted increases the likelihood you come across as natural and likable, which is what fans will appreciate since they can see a bit of themselves in you and your mess.
Make them feel loved
If you love them, don’t let them go. Keep them locked in a digital cage because an actual cage might prove illegal and have the opposite of the desired effect.
Facebook groups are invaluable for business owners. They create a central location for all your customers to gather with others who are just as passionate about the brand. If you keep updating and staying in touch your most loyal followers will come back day after day.
Don’t keep it all business though. Customers are not likely to check out a page that is purely for sales.
Create polls so they feel involved with product creation, even if it’s only a color choice. Ask an open-ended question to encourage group discussion.
The best part about these groups is that they attract like-minded people who will keep the community alive, so all the work won’t fall on you.
Do hire an admin for the page though. You’ll be surprised how fast one bad spammer can wreck a group’s vibe if no one’s around to kick them out.
Getting 1000 true fans is hard. Keeping them can prove to be much harder. Even as your business and fan base grows, try not to lose that intimate feeling you had with the original fans. Try to interact daily to prove you haven’t forgotten the people who got you where you are.
There’s no telling when you will have to start anew. Then you’ll be thankful for your loyal fans who will follow you almost anywhere.