Trying to use social media to achieve social attraction?  It’s kinda like chocolate — Learn the most basic rule to attract fans and keep your followers salivating for more!

How do you attract people through social media?

One of the most popular reasons businesses and organizations jump onto social media is to amplify their brand awareness and attract people to their business as hopeful customers.  Fairly reasonable, right?

Common Problems

I’ve been working with a small mid-western destination that has had it’s share of economical set-backs in recent years.  Their area population has been struggling, and resources are limited.  Thus, their budgets too.

In turn, local citizens are quite passionate to see the rebuild of the economy, and are interested in possibilities to fuel it.  They have become motivated to share their ideas and opinions.

This is probably common in many places today.

Nice And Good

My business contact gave me a target list of demographics and a specific list of key words and phrases that support their online presence and marketing efforts.

In building their social media presence, my goal has been to build them up as:

  • Credible.
  • Positive.
  • Worthy of social share.

That requires presenting information that is good and……….exciting.

Idea Girl Media explains the basic rules of attraction through social media

from shutterstock.com

The first is easy — Information about the source that is technically “good.”  But that’s a relative term, isn’t it?  One person’s quilting bee is not another person’s amusement park roller coaster ride.  In other words, people inside the community of the destination would find some content stimulating, while the folks we are trying to attract would not be titillated.

An interesting bridge.

Conducive To Attracting Visitors

Just as momentum was building, the tweet came:

“Comment as a concerned resident: I find that the majority of your tweets are not conducive to attracting visitors.”

My inner over-achiever was crushed!

And then I was offended.  How the heck do they know?  After all…

  • They were not in my position.
  • They were not aware of my directives.
  • They did not know the profile for the ideal visitor as described by my client.

It is also true that they were not charged with promoting a destination in a small-town swing state during the Presidential election where the newspapers’ typical hot headlines are of drug busts and domestic disputes because that will sell the print.  Not to mention the lack of interest from those in economic development to put out any positive marketing message about the area.

In addition, while much of the community population is wonderfully nice, nice isn’t the same as good (or exciting).

Frequently when trying to feature a great group linked with the destination, I was hard-pressed to find anything at all available online to promote them.  And often, when I would find something, the digital morsel was…..not so tasty.

The complaining tweeter certainly did not know all of those things.

Seek To Attract

I immediately took a look at their Twitter profile: volunteer, jeweler, teacher, high heel enthusiast, car rockstar, sports fan, geek, explorer, music addict, funny. 

What kind of tweep were they seeking to attract?

Taking a look at their recent tweets, several were snarky and others were from an evening at a local pub.  So, their idea of the ideal visitor is probably different than that identified by my business contact.

To be responsible, I tweeted back inquiring what they thought I should be tweeting.  The response was several days later, and some of the suggested information was not much different than what I was using, though older and maybe less relevant.

Their ending suggestion was to “keep it local. Share more local pix/news/info and fewer unrelated links & filler material/quotes.”

Sure, I could mention the drug busts and domestic disputes, but I don’t believe this would promote a positive influx to the destination, nor make them look credible!

That left me limited options of digital treats to serve up.

The Tao Of Twitter

On Twitter, your goals include:

  • To get your message shared.
  • To be mentioned as often as possible.
  • Create relationships with those that will share your message.

Rinse and repeat.

This promotes a type of collaboration where those we once viewed as competitors are actually sharing our message to draw positive attention to our industry.  In turn, they hope we will do the same thing and share their message when appropriate.

It’s trust, openness, and a win/win.  It may require a change in the way one views business culture.

As there are not many using Twitter near this destination, collaborators would likely come from outside the immediate area.

The question then becomes: What will attract them?

Sharing wonderful community bytes during the holidays or major festivals and events is easy.  Lots of exciting stuff happening!

But what about when the major events are over?  When it’s “business as usual…?”

The Most Basic Rule Of Social Attraction

There was one important word above.

EXCITING.

We need to be exciting!

If we want people to talk about us, we have to give them something to talk about.  We have to present irresistible online treats!  If we do not provide it clearly and people are left to guess, they will go to where the river of digital snacks is flowing abundantly.

If we want people to be enthused and inspired to share our message, we should leave them salivating for our "social chocolate."

from eatyourbooks.com

Optimally, we should be exciting AND delicious.

If we want people to be enthused and inspired to share our message, we should leave them salivating for our “social chocolate.”

So, logically, organizations aligned with the best interest of this example destination should be rallying around efforts that pave paths to social attraction of potential visitors.  They should be making it easy for people to find pleasing information, and make the destination attractive to visit.

Those of vested interest should be collaborating to serve up the exciting.

Being Attractive Takes A Village

If you want to be found, it requires well-written literature, graphics, beautiful photos, and even sound and video.

It takes producing the chocolate raspberry truffle for the online visitor and packaging it so it is tantalizingly findable.

In this specific case, one person will not be exciting.  One business or organization alone will not look like dessert.  Here, exciting takes a village.

My job then becomes making the exciting delicious treats available in tweet-size bites.

Do you agree or disagree?

Have you faced a similar challenge with insight to offer?

Please tell me in the comments box below…  :)