A few years ago I worked with a highly visited tourist destination consulting with them on digital and social media strategies. As a consultant at the time I remember that the primary stakeholders within the organization were always worried about and focused on acquisition of followers in the social space. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest they wanted the primary metric to be be the growth of these networks. Now, as a consultant I spoke to them quite a bit about being able to track and prove the effectiveness of these network building activities but to be honest they seemed to have blinders on when it came to understanding what was working and what was not. This post is not meant to sound like a digital strategist complaining about an old client but rather one that wants to highlight what in most cases should be your most important tactic in the social space and that can be summed up in one word: RECOGNITION.
The facility that I was consulting with had hundreds of mentions per day on Twitter. People created YouTube videos of their displays and events. Visitors posted photos to Flickr and tagged the facility. My plan was to create a a process where by RECOGNITION would be their primary method for ACQUIRING new followers and improving awareness across the US.
The Big Idea
My big idea was to create an actual group. We were going to call it The (Facility Name) Media Mavens or something like that. Our strategy would be to reach out to these people that were frequent sharers (Twitterers, Facebookers, Pinners & Bloggers) of facility content and offer them the ability to come to the facility twice a year to get a behind the scenes view, take photos, shoot video and interview the caretakers of this facility. In my opinion, maybe I’m biased, but I believed this strategy to be ingenious.
Embrace those who love you and you will build a real community. Push your message in hopes that someone will see it or give a crap about it and you’re doomed to fail.
Sporting Goods Companies
Brick and Mortars
……………….you name it. Give amazing service, have people who love them and share their work only to ignore them in hopes of finding that one new visitor. The one new customer, or the new follower? As a freshman in High School I learned the metric that it costs one dollar to keep a customer and 10 dollars to find one. That metric should get extended to the social media space as well!!! Recognise those who are recognising and showing passion for what you do or offer. Enlist these people to help spread the story. Get people involved in a way that adds value to their life. Give people a way to give back that is fun and rewarding. Its NOT that difficult. All this requires is some out-of-the-box thinking. Get out of the AQUISITION mindset and into the RECOGNITION mind set and watch your communities grow.
Failing to recognize is like planting a garden and omitting the fertilizer and water.