It doesn’t matter whether you have 10 followers / likes / connections or 10,000 followers / likes / connections – each of those people are important because they’ve chosen to take one important step – they’ve opted-in to listen to what you’re posting!
They didn’t have to click that button to listen in and potentially engage
And they can just easily with the click of one button choose to unfollow and be no longer be updated with what you’re saying
That’s the beautiful thing about Social Media in those 2 words – opt-in – we all have the choice to listen and because we choose to listen we are essentially putting up our hands and saying i’m interested – tell me more, but please please please don’t give me the hard sell!!
Compare this to other forms of marketing
- TV Advertising – We opt-in to watch the TV Programs, but for many the adverts are either an annoyance we fast-forward past on catch up or use as an excuse to make a cuppa / pop to the loo
- Local Newspaper Advertising – I love catching up on the local news (the news that hasn’t made it to twitter 6 week previously) – but I never opted into receive the said paper
I want to focus on the latter, because Local Newspaper Advertising is something more relevant to the small businesses who read our blogs
In my hometown of Altrincham – we have 2 main local newspapers, I say 2 but more often than not we’ll get one and not the other – both newspapers rarely turn up in the same week.
From speaking to people I know, spanning different generations, there seems to be 4 types of local newspaper reader
- People Like Me – I read it cover to cover as an avid consumer of local news. Trying to find out if there was a piece of news I hadn’t seen on Twitter in the previous week. I do look at the adverts, but in a critical way to see what they could have done better on the design
- People Of My Parents Generation – Flick straight to the Obituary page to see if there’s anybody they know who has passed away recently. Then skip to the letters page to see if anybody they know has written a letter in. Rarely read the whole paper
- Casual Readers – Whether they open the paper at all depends on the front page headline. These people tend to be generally disengaged with what happens locally
- People Who Never Read It – As soon as it arrives on the doorstep it goes straight in the bin
None of the 4 types above have ever voluntarily opted-in to receive the local newspaper, it just something that happens and if I wanted to opt out of receiving it I wouldn’t know where to look to register my dis-interest. There seems to be no obvious unsubscribe method
When Advertising Account managers mention local advertising to small businesses they mention the total possible number of those that could read it. There’s a lots of mights & maybes in there. Might get it delivered, might pick up the paper, might turn on to the specific page your advert is on, might take action.
When I work for businesses social media accounts I can’t just quote the total numbers of people on Twitter / Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram. I have to give specific local examples of where Social Media has worked for a business. When building the account I have to post content that people want to opt-in to receive and once they opt-in they then choose to take action.
- On twitter there are 310m monthly active users in total
- I have 14.3k twitter followers
- In the scheme of total twitter users, this is a tiny tiny percentage
- But I’m happy because every single one of those 14300+ followers have opted-in to look at my updates!
As I said – the opt-in is a beautiful thing.
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“With over 12 years experience of Social Media and 17 years experience of online marketing in other companies, clients come to myself when they want a veteran rather than a rookie” Alex McCann