How long has it been since you’ve started your social media presence? Has your Facebook page been up for a month, 6 months, or a year? How long have you been Tweeting? It may seem like forever, but you might not have many “likes” or followers yet. It’s definitely easy to get discouraged by the slow growth of your community. It seems reasonable that since the technology you’re using moves at lightning speed, so should your increase in comments and retweets. Isn’t everyone on Facebook (and aren’t there a lot of people using Twitter now?)
If you’ve had your Facebook page or Twitter account for 6 months or less, and you don’t have as many people interested as you thought you would, don’t stress about it. It takes time to build quality social media communities.
Why is this true? Isn’t it easy to just click the “like” or follow button? Well yes, but there’s two different factors that might be contributing to your slow growth.
First is the concept of trust. Unless people are already a part of your organization in some tangible way – they go to your church, they volunteer at your nonprofit, they’re a frequent shopper at your business – they need time to grow to trust and like you and the content you share. You wouldn’t immediately “like” or trust a stranger on the street (even if that stranger was holding a Bible!). The same is true for your social media presence. Give people a reason to trust and like you by giving them quality content that interests them over a period of time. And if they still don’t publicly follow you, don’t stress about that either – there could be more going on than the appeal of your content. Which brings me to the second factor.
The relevance of your organization may be too limited to gain many followers. It’s true, but again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a rural church, chances are the people who are interested in commenting on your Facebook page may be limited to the people who are either members of your congregation or a part of that community. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It all depends on the strategic goals of your organization: do you value quality interactions or big numbers more? Of course, these aren’t mutually exclusive, but they certainly can be.
However, just because you serve a small geographical area doesn’t mean you can’t have mass appeal. I’ll talk in future posts about how to go about doing that.
Now, if you’ve been at it for more than 6 months, think your organization publishes great content and has a wide relevance and you still don’t have many followers, we should talk, because your social media strategy might need to be tweaked.
Let me know in the comments how you’ve noticed your own social media presence grow – and if it’s stagnating, ask questions on how to boost your following!