My social media experiences have dramatically altered my thinking about list building.
This article may cause you too to rethink everything you’ve been taught and believe about list building.
My Articles on List Building
I have discussed building a list and its importance in several blog posts, which I list here for your convenience:
- Building a List with Online Social Networking - List building today isn’t the exclusive domain of autoresponders.
- My Online Social Networking Strategy - A winning strategy on nearly all social networking sites is to build a large targeted list of friends or contacts, generally the larger the better. Thousands are better than hundreds.
- List Building Using Ning Social Networks - Your Ning site will help you to grow your online list virally, and you’ll be able to use the many channels that Ning social networks provide such as broadcasts, forum discussions, blog posts, private messages and profile comments to communicate with your list. (My Ning network is Critical Thinking Outside the Box.)
- List Building Using Twitter - Twitter is possibly the fastest and simplest way to build a list. (Visit my Twitter profile and connect with me.)
List Building Before Social Media
I long ago replaced my Rolodex with a spreadsheet, but contact information I collect online I store in an autoresponder, a widely used e-mail marketing tool.
Most online marketers today would tend to visualize list building as a well-written lead capture page linked by a web form to an autoresponder. While this type of list building is still extremely important, especially in conjunction with online or offline advertising, it is nevertheless List Building 1.0.
Concept of Follower
In order to broaden our view of list building we introduce the concept of follower, a term frequently used in the social media world.
A follower is a person (or organization) who subscribes to (or in some other way receives) messages, sometimes called updates, from the person (or organization) whom they follow.
Examples of Followers
The concept of follower applies to List Building 1.0. A subscriber to my autoresponder is certainly one of my followers.
However, a friend at a social network (to whom I can send messages whenever I wish) is just as much a follower as my autoresponder subscriber. What’s interesting in this case is that I’m also that person’s follower. We’re mutually following each other.
A subscriber to my blog’s RSS feed (who receives an update whenever I post an article) is also a follower. What’s of interest here is that my follower is totally anonymous.
I have no way to identify this follower unless that person (or organization) chooses to step forward. For all I know I might even be following my follower without realizing that he or she is following me too. We could be mutually following each other without ever knowing it.
Suppose I own a radio or television station, or I host a talk show, my listeners or viewers are followers who keep track of me and receive my messages without subscribing in any way.
List Building 2.0
When list building is viewed as the process of acquiring and nurturing followers, you can easily understand how in List Building Using Twitter I could claim that “list building possibilities are endless”.
They really are, and the many reaching out methods you devise can be mixed, matched and synergized to develop a rich and heterogeneous following. Welcome to the world of social marketing and List Building 2.0!
Would you care to follow me?
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