When it comes to setting up a social media profile for your business, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or another social media platform, two things are essential for success:
1.Having good, useful content to share
2.Having a following interested in what you do
Unfortunately, a bit of a ‘chicken & egg’ scenario hatches.* Do you concentrate on getting people interested in the profile first, but risk showing them an empty page? Or do you take the ‘tweet and they will come’ approach, but risk sharing your content with little-to-no people to begin with?
* Don’t worry… I’ll keep the poultry-related puns to a minimum!
Concentrating on Content
It makes sense to have content at the ready, either before or at the launch of a new social media profile. After all, what’s the point of having a social media profile if you’re not going to be social?!
The difficult thing for most businesses – whether they’re a small business with limited resources, a company in a boring industry, or unfortunately both – is actually having something worth writing about that people will find interesting.
If you’re limited in the amount of news, articles and blog posts that you can create yourself or have produced on your behalf, then it might be worth sharing other people’s content; having something to share – even if it’s not your own work – is better than sharing nothing at all.
Of course, if you’re sharing and/or writing quality material then you’re likely to build up a following anyway. However, it might still take time. The downside to concentrating on content without building up a following is that not many people will get to see it (or share it with their own network of followers), which can be a real shame, especially if you’ve written something you’re particularly proud of that you’d like a lot of people to see.
Focussing on the Fans & Followers
The other alternative would be to try and get followers and fans through the door first, giving content the backseat until you have enough interest to really show off your stuff. Makes sense, right?
Well… the problem with this approach is that you might struggle to get people to follow and/or become a fan if there’s nothing there to interest them. If people visit an empty or inactive-looking profile then there’s really not much of an incentive for them to follow or become a fan, and so they might decide not to engage with it at all.
Which to choose?
So if both strategies are flawed, then what’s a good egg to do?
It should be obvious: concentrate on both content and followers from the start.
Ideally you should have something worthwhile to say, which makes you ‘followable,’ but building up momentum with a following should not be put on the back burner and neglected.
For those who want to share their great content first – to gain attention and encourage follows right from the start – but are worried that it may not be seen by a large number of people, there’s certainly nothing stopping you from re-posting or re-sharing content a second or even third time later on down the line, assuming of course that it’s evergreen content and not date-sensitive.
As for deciding how to split the work, whether it should be an even 50/50 split or more weight should be given to one aspect over the other, my personal opinion would be to give a slight lean (60/40, maybe 70/30) to content over followers.
As mentioned above, content can be re-used, and can encourage followers in its own right, however by also trying to target and obtain followers separately, you can expect a steady stream of people wanting to keep in touch with what your social media profiles have to offer, based on the content you have shared and created.