Seth Godin popularized the concept of our “Tribes” as being the people with whom we have the greatest resonance, groups with which we have a natural fit. When it comes to finding your ideal customers, it’s important to look for customers who are part of your Tribe because you’re likely to enjoy working most with those people and have the best and most effortless connection.
Many people have perfected their skills of finding their Tribe in the real world, but stumble when it comes to Tribe-finding on social media and end up getting frustrated. There’s a better way.
Too many people I’ve met take the needle-in-a-haystack approach to finding their Tribe on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. That means they’re hoping that luck alone will help them connect with the right people out of the 1.1 billion users on Facebook. That’s like calling your way name-by-name through the phone book looking for clients—for all of North America. No wonder people end up feeling like social media is a waste of time!
Here are three tips for finding your Tribe on social media without frustration and wasted time:
1. Have a clear picture of who your Tribe actually is.
This tends to be the biggest hurdle. I can’t tell you how many business owners who have tried to tell me that they serve “everyone” or “everyone who owns a business.” Sorry, but no. The reason you and your competitors all stay in business providing similar services is because different customers are drawn to something particular about your products, or the products of your competitors.
Figure out the sub-set of customers with whom you resonate best, the people you look forward to seeing again, the people who respond best to what you do, and you’ll have a good lead on your Tribe. You want more people like your favorite customers. Make a list of every attribute that describes the customers you enjoy serving most. Don’t stop at their profession, type of business or size of business. Are they male or female? Is there a certain age bracket? A certain life profile? (For example, career changers, women after a divorce, returning veterans, new immigrants, people who have recently relocated, parents or non-parents.) All of those “non-work” attributes combine to create the personality-type of your Tribe.
2. Look for the social media sites where your Tribe is already gathering.
I normally advise clients to connect on Facebook and one other social media site for starters, and to pick sites that best suit their comfort zone and their audience. So if you like to be in front of the camera, and your audience likes video, try YouTube. If you have great before/after photos and your audience is on Pinterest, that’s a wonderful way to drive traffic to your other sites. Maybe your audience spends time on professional association member site forums. If so, that counts as social media, too. Find where people who fit your Tribe profile are already gathering, cultivate relationships, and offer a non-salesy, high-value reason for them to visit your pages (like a free checklist, video, etc.)
3. Use your similarities to your Tribe as a point of connection.
What experiences, hobbies, or passions do you share with your Tribe outside of the main client/industry connection? For example, if your Tribe loves to travel, hook them into your messages by reflecting on things you learned from trips you’ve taken or places you’ve been. If they like cooking, share some favorite recipes on Facebook or Twitter in between business-related messages. Spend some time looking at your best clients’ pages to see what extracurricular things they like and post about, and find the common threads. Just like when you make small talk at a networking luncheon, talking about common shared interests warms people up and builds a bond, which is essential before you try to sell anything.
Don’t be afraid to be “business casual” on social media. People want to feel like they’re getting to know you. When you’re too slick, polished and perfect on social media in hopes of being “professional” it keeps people at a distance and discourages connection. You can be “real” and professional at the same time—and it makes you much more approachable.
Once you find your Tribe on social media, connecting becomes fun instead of a chore.
You start to have conversations with real interaction instead of feeling like you’re just pushing content out into the void. Not only that, but because people are making a connection with you on common interests, the process of getting to know and trust you accelerates, making them comfortable with referring you to their friends or becoming your client themselves.
If you’re interested in going deeper, I offer several free webinars to help you find your Tribe, tell success stories more effectively and Reinvent yourself and your business, using social media to build effective connections that lead to sales. Details and sign-up for 2014 programs: http://events.constantcontact.com/calendar/monthview?llr=4eqif7n6&eso=001N58dWF8WZAFN3Z9NxIeR5Q==
Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and consults with professionals and businesses in the U.S. and Canada on strategic social media. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 25 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. She is the author of three bestselling books on new media marketing: 30 Days to Social Media Success, 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success and 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success (Career Press). 30 Days to Social Media Success made TheWashingtonPost.com’s Top 5 Business books, was chosen by Fed-Ex Office and Office Max to be among a handful of books featured in-store, and has been mentioned in media including Inc., The Wall Street Journal, Worth, and Fox Business News.
Find her online at www.DreamSpinnerCommunications.com, on Twitter @GailMartinPR and blogs at BigDreamsAndHardWork.com or on email: Gail@DreamSpinnerCommunications.com