How You Can Hunt, Fish, and Farm with
Social Media

When you use social media, you may not know it, but you’re almost always using one of three strategies … hunting, fishing, or farming.

Each strategy has its own strengths for capturing interest … for catching clients … for real-world marketing.

In today’s article, I’m going to show you how to use each strategic approach to social media, so you spend less time and get more ROI. When it comes to business, LinkedIn and Twitter are the networks to focus on. People are more “business-minded.” Plus, on these platforms, it’s easier to “meet” people you don’t know.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use hunting, fishing, and farming to attract your ideal clients to you through social media marketing.

Casting a Line Into the Social Media Sea

Are you “fishing” on social media? It’s common to fish if you’re not sure how to “land” your audience. You may not know what they want or what will attract them to your posts and ultimately to your website, so you try out things across social media platforms. Everyone starts here. And, it’s easy to get discouraged when “the fish aren’t biting.”

This is perfectly normal.

When you’re fishing, try out different types of “bait” (posts) and see what generates a tug on your line or even a bite. Just don’t expect too much too soon. You’ll have to be patient and persistent. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t in your own efforts, and observe what other fishermen are doing to get a bite.

Use Social Media Tools to Improve Your Catch

There are tools to help you navigate the ocean of social media to find the influencers in your niche and to find specific people.

Twitter, especially, has dozens of tools. One of my favorites is tweepi.com. I like it because you can plug in a Twitter user and see who they’re following and how active those folks are. In 10 minutes, you can follow dozens of quality, active users who tweet about information in your niche.

Some of them will likely be prospects or future alliances. If you follow them, you’ll get to know more about them. Retweet some of their content. Join the conversation. Don’t get impatient. Just like fishing is about sitting quietly until the fish start biting, take time to watch and learn who the “fish” are and where they spend their time.

Another great tool is Topsy.com, a social media search engine. You can use it to find blog posts, websites, and Twitter mentions across the Web around a particular topic.

Farming Your Social Media Network for Greater Success

Social media “farming” means you’re planting seeds intended to create a specific result. You know who your audience is and you write blog posts and curate content that’s useful to them.

When you farm, you consistently mention this content in the same locations. For example, you might share a top insight or two from your most recent blog post in the same LinkedIn group each time you publish a new post. You also show up regularly to comment on other people’s posts. You build trust and likeability by being part of the conversation.

Think of a bunch of farmers standing around at the feed store or tractor repair garage discussing crops and livestock. They don’t dash in, do their business, and rush back out again. They talk to their neighbors, ask after the family. They compare farming woes. In other words, they’re part of a community they regularly connect with.

When you farm, it helps people trust you more. They’re more likely to read your blog posts because they recognize your name. They’re also more likely to comment on your content and share it with others.

A LinkedIn Strategy That Will Help You Pull in a Bumper Harvest

Make a list of 10-15 companies you’d like to work with. Put each company name in the LinkedIn search box. LinkedIn will show 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections you have with people in the company, so you can see who you already know or how you can get an introduction.

Next, click on the profiles of the people who work at the company. Usually the marketing folks are the ones you want to get to know, so start with their profiles. See which LinkedIn groups they’re members of and join them.

Touch base with those groups at least twice a week. Share articles of interest, comment on other people’s posts, and share your own blog posts. Mix it up.

When you ask people to connect on LinkedIn, give them a reason why they should accept your invitation. Share that you’re members of the same group or have 12 connections in common. Don’t ask for work! And don’t send the default LinkedIn message — take the time to personalize it.

Many of these people will also have Twitter handles, so start following them.

Using Twitter to Plant Your Seeds

To farm on Twitter, tweet your blog posts and share interesting content related to what you do and who you help. This will help establish your position as an expert in your industry. (You can also share some of this content in your LinkedIn groups.)

On Twitter, you can create lists of people you want to get to know and contact them directly. You can also follow other people’s Twitter lists.

Another good way to farm on Twitter is to join a Twitter chat. Twitter chats are excellent ways to connect with prospects. These are scheduled chats around a specific topic. For example, there’s a small business chat every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent 30 minutes in a Twitter chat around an upcoming conference I was going to, and the next day I had an email from a participant saying she was looking for someone to rewrite her website and help with some online marketing. She’d seen me in the chat.

We had a phone call later that day and she asked me for a proposal. Farming on Twitter, like farming in real life, takes time, but it’s a great way to connect with interested prospects.

Hunt Down Your Ideal Client

As a Twitter strategy, hunting is when you know exactly who you want to connect with … not just a company, but a specific person.

Twitter is a great, low-key way to start a conversation.

In the farming section, I gave you some ideas for ways to start the conversation via Twitter. If you’ve stocked your pond using the tools I mentioned, then you’ll have lots of potential prospects or alliances in your Twitter feed.

Some will start to stand out to you.

Watch for opportunities to retweet their good content and ask/answer questions. Retweeting their content often results in a follow back even from someone with far more visibility on Twitter. Engaging in conversation via Twitter is easy if they’re active users.

Set up Google Alerts for companies you’d like to work with so you can congratulate them on a big win or share something of interest about the company on both Twitter and in your relevant LinkedIn groups.

When you show interest in others, they’ll often reciprocate by taking an interest in you. And that can open doors for projects and partnerships.

Effective social media marketing does take time to get set up. The most time-consuming part is often the initial fishing expeditions. But after you’re rolling, it doesn’t take that long to use it strategically. In fact, in 15 minutes a day, you can post articles, retweet or comment on other content, and make a new connection.

What about you? Have you had success with fishing, hunting, and farming on social media? What strategies are your favorites?

This article, How You Can Hunt, Fish, and Farm with Social Media, was originally published by Wealthy Web Writer.

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Published: July 11, 2012

1 Response to “How You Can Hunt, Fish, and Farm with Social Media”

  1. I would like to thank you for contributing this article.

    It is a top-notch article and I had a great time reading it--really useful.

    Personally, I don't use any strategy to pursue leads or potential clients.

    I am just naturally curious and try to read as much content as I can. And then I try to leave comments on blogs and websites.

    That is just my way of participating in the conversation and my humble attempt to add value.

    I try to identify a problem and find a solution for readers and subscribers.

    In this way, we can gain from one another's experiences and create a win-win situation. Mutual benefit!

    Archan MehtaJuly 12, 2012 at 11:23 am


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