“Facebook was my main traffic source. Oops!”
Ya’ really don’t want to be in that position, and when the powers that be step in to bring Facebook down to a level playing ground, you could be faced with a significant drop in business if you have been relying mainly on Facebook and it’s peripheral platforms for the majority of your customer base.
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp. They are all under the direct control of one man: Mark Zuckerbrg.
Zuckerberg is a brilliant visionary, and all things considered, as a world power unto his own he has managed himself quite well despite the occasional over-reaching scandal.
Both the real world and the cyber world revolve around opinions formulated and exchanged on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, (which thankfully, does not belong to Zuckerberg though I am certain that in his entrepreneurial wizardry, he wishes it did).
That being said, a warning shot has been fired over Zuckerbereg’s head.
… Zuckerberg controls 60% of voter opinion
Yesterday, May 9th 2015, in a New York Times article, It’s Time to Break Up Facebook, Chris Hughes, Facebook’s co-founder, pointed out that Mark Zuckerberg’s online business has grown way too big and influential, and he is calling on the government to do something about it.
According to Hughes, Zuckerberg controls 60% of voter opinion. That’s one hell of a lot of influence. Plus, Zuckerberg personally controls what he feels are good, worthy posts and those that may be inflammatory or inappropriate.
Which is a good thing, but wow. The power he wields will eventually catch the eye of other power brokers who would rather challenge than collaborate.
Does that warning shot mean you should jump off the Zuckerberg bandwagon? No. Of course not.
Pay attention to communities
It does mean you need to spread your traffic gathering efforts farther afield. It means you need to pay more attention to Pinterest and Twitter and Reddit and evolving traffic sources like communities with more than 1 million users and forums for your specific niche or niches.
I show you how to do that further down. Keep reading.
Being a part of multiple online communities can be time-consuming, I grant you that. It means contributing on a regular basis by offering help and knowledge for a while before pointing to a page on your blog. It means paying attention to each community’s rules and regulations so you don’t get kicked out.
placing yourself in front of millions and millions of viewers in communities takes less time than a game of golf with one prospect.
But think of it this way: Spreading your knowledge and assistance through several communities, placing yourself in front of millions and millions of viewers in communities takes less time than a game of golf with one prospect. Once you get it down to a routine, you can spend as little as a few minutes every day or a couple three times a week to pay attention to your prospective customers. Or, you can spend a few thousand dollars and several devoted hours on creating a TV ad. Dunno’ about you, but I prefer spending a few free minutes for a gazillion times the coverage.
How to find communities and forums
Go out there and search for communities and forums (see below for the How-To) and should Zuckerberg’s huge family of influence begin to splinter, or even if he decides that your posts are no longer welcome, it will not cause your entire business to nosedive.
Here’s the How-To:
best 10 online communities
best online communities 20__
fastest growing online communities
online community+[your niche]
best [your niche] forums
… and keep going like that
- Read the rules and regulations
- Look around to see if you can list the most common questions and/or problems
- Go find the answers if you don’t already know them. 90% of the population doesn’t like to go look things up, so if you find a solution and post it in a FRIENDLY helpful manner, including the link where you found the info to back up your claim, you become an instant authority.
- After schmoozing for a few days, write some posts on your blog that contain more detailed helpful info. This is where you have your email sign-up form and ads for products you are promoting. CAUTION: Be careful about posting the same material to more than one community in the same niche. Most niche members belong to more than one community and they will nail your sorry ass to the wall for canned posts.
- Track your posts using Google Analytics. Here is an excellent post by Neil Patel explaining how and why to track your traffic: What You Can Learn From Referral Paths in Google Analytics.
- Pay attention to your blog Analytics on all fronts so you can see where your traffic is coming from in order to focus your attention on those sources that are bringing you the best results, and to see where your traffic is going: Did that post to the Whatever group yield results? Did any of them sign up for my email list? Did any of them click through to my offer? Did any of those buy my offer? Google Analytics answers all, and it’s free for personal and small business uses.
Hi Doris! I’m so sorry to hear that Jo-Jo isn’t taking his pills. I’ve had the same problem with my Lemmy, who has been cursed with spinal stenosis and arthritis. Major bummer. I use 3 methods that all work: I (1) crush up his morning tablet into a quarter can of wet dog food. For capsules, I (2) wrap a ball of peanut butter around the pill, or I (3) wedge it into the middle of a banana chunk. Yeah, banana – who woulda’ thunk it? You can look up peanut butter and bananas for pets here: [link] [link] or search ‘dogs+bananas’, ‘dogs+peanut butter’.
After a few helpful posts …
Hi Richard. So you take your pets on vaca with you, huhn? Brave soul. I know because I do too, and here’s an article I wrote that may give you some tips for your next foray [Article Title with link to post on your blog]
Hi Guys! I just wrote a post for all of you who take your pets wherever you go. It’s full of useful info you can apply the very next time you head out the door. It even talks about seat belts for El Woof-o! Lemme know what you think – did I get it right?
So there you go – get out there and rub elbows with your prospective customers and those who will refer customers to you (word of mouth is hugely effective) and watch your numbers climb. Hey, you may even become an influencer. Now, wouldn’t that be peachy?
How have your community efforts, online or offline, affected your business? Let me know in comments or drop me a line by clicking on the email address below.