How To: Grow Your Fanbase

It may be common sense to some of us that if you’re trying to grow a fan-base a good place to start is social media. I have seen apps launch time and time again that “use” social media but do not use social media. Now at this point you should have heard about social media and at least know the basics. You may have found this post through a social media outlet. Below, are some key points that you should take into consideration while trying to growing your fan-base. Additionally, some resources have been made available to provide further information.

Be Authentic

The key to cultivating your fan-base right from the start is being authentic. Now, if you are pushing your application, of course you’re going to want to highlight it with links or offers. However, this is NOT all that you should do. If you are using social media as a broadcast method, no one is going to come back for more information (unless you’re a news site, which you most likely are not). They know that you’re going tell them, “Hey, here is my great product.” If you properly engage your target market, fan-base, clients, etc. they will develop a genuine interest in what you are saying, and eventually return to hear more. Vin Diesel is a great example of how to interact with your fan-base on Facebook. He has built an enormous amount of fans (6,223,076) as a result of being authentic–engaging with them multiple times a day. (In depth breakdown by Mashable).

Provide Feedback/Communication

Twitter has proven to be an amazing platform for providing issue issue correspondence and information tracking, thereby allowing you to follow what people are saying about your app, in real time. If you haven’t joined Twitter and you’re launching an application, you should. Media Temple (web host) has done a really great job at using this as a tech support line. They have a correspondent ready to answer your questions and help you complete your help request faster. I have had several issues and, after DMing (Twitter-short for ‘Direct Message’) my support request number, they have been more than speedy at initiating the resolution process. Shaun Inman (creator of fever & mint) uses Twitter for tech support, but he uses it in a different way. He utilizes Twitter as a channel for updating consumers on the status of their pending emails, pertaining to his apps. This informs the user of Shaun’s progress with responding to emails and whether or not to expect an immediate response. A recent addition in this field that should be examined is TwelpForce, from BestBuy. They have recruited select professionals in certain areas of the company to manage their Twitter feed, resulting in an around-the-clock online customer service. With so many people driving the team, they have roared to 8,000+ updates (to put that in perspective: I have 13,000+ updates and have been on Twitter for more than a year) and are around to answer your tech questions. This is definitely a productive way for a business to embracing a medium to its full advantage.

Gain Momentum

When you are initially releasing your app into the wild, your goal is to build momentum and develop a fan-base. The quickest way to do that is through social media. Since most social media sites with mega users update in real-time, your product can literally spread to all surfaces of the globe overnight. Twitter has also been hailed as the “site killer”, due to the fact that if your tweet gains enough traction, and is RTed (’retweeted’, or reposting information you find useful to share to your followers,) it could crash your site due to an overload of traffic. It’s easy to believe that this could happen when people, who have over 1 million followers, target your site and retweet it.

Connect & Help the Community

One of the most effective ways to grow your product and your brand is often overlooked. Marketers are on Twitter and Facebook screaming about how amazing their new book is and why you should buy it. Self-promotion is fine every so often, but social media is a bit of a give and take. If you do not help others out by cross-promoting their material, you in-turn will be labeled as a broadcaster rather than a converser. If someone helps you out, help them out in return. As a result of this, you are making connections that could turn out to be incredibly valuable in the future; you never know where things may end up.

Resources

Here are some articles on the same topic that can provide you with some valuable insight on how to grow your fanbase on Social Media.

Ultimate How-To: Grow Your Social Media Network

In social media, who you know — or who knows you — can certainly make all the difference. That’s why figuring out who to connect with and taking the time to build relationships with these people is key to leveraging the power of social media.

6 services that help you find, follow friends on Twitter

Finding friends on Twitter was simple when the service was in its infancy, but today, Twitter is home to millions of users. In fact, 70 percent of the entire Twitter community is composed of people who signed up in 2008 and 5,000 to 10,000 new users sign up each day.

Eight Secrets of Effective Online Networking

Is your organization considering setting up a profile on a social networking site? Are you wondering what tasks are involved, how much time it will take, and how you might streamline your efforts? Maybe your organization has established a presence on MySpace and is now contemplating adding one to Facebook. Perhaps you are wondering how you can juggle multiple profiles and still have time left to do other work.

Why Social Networking

Your capabilities don’t matter much if you don’t have a robust enough network to get them out to where they can do the most good.

The pillars of social media site success

Why people choose to visit online social sites:

  • Who likes me?
  • Is everything okay?
  • How can I become more popular?
  • What’s new?
  • I’m bored, let’s make some noise

Designer, Maker of Things | Creative Director – @boomtownroi

 

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