5 Steps to Organically Growing Your Social Media Following

Social Media is a wonderful and powerful tool and an innovative way for businesses to grow, develop and nurture their leads.

It helps search engine optimization, it helps build brand awareness, it allows companies to engage with clients and/or potential clients, and more.

And with the changes, the ongoing changes in social media in recent years, especially those that make effect the success for businesses and companies,  as well as many of the other major social media platforms – the success and growth of your business on these platforms, all depends on your audience reach.

Here are 5 easy and powerful tips to use social media to grow your social media audience and expand your business brand, and begin to expand your lead funnels!

1. Connect With Your Audience

and actively engage! with an audience – both fans and similar businesses (i.e. like businesses in your local area.

Ask engaging questions

“What’s your favorite website”

“What are the first 3 websites you visit each morning”

etc. etc. etc. etc.

Respond when people comment/post on your page, etc.

2. Respond to other business page’s!

Share/Re-tweet valuable/unique/interesting info, not just business specific

3. Utilize Hash-tags!!!

Utilize Hashtags, and do it with a purpose!

“Happy 11 years to XYZ Business today… #TBT”

Happy Birthday to our Employee, Sam McGuire (i.e.)

Share photos! Share your culture. Share it on your across your social media and tag it with the appropriate hashtag (just make sure you aren’t breaking any ‘social rules – aka don’t use hashtags on Facebook, etc.)

  • Not sure what hashtags to use? Great tools like hashtagify.me and even apps on your phone can help you pick appropriate and relevant hashtags for your photo and your audiences personas!

4. Repeat. Re-post. Re-purpose.

Make interesting blog posts into infographics for Facebook/twitter/etc.

Turn a blog post into a podcast

Share it across social media.

5. Track/Measure

Track when your followers are most likely to engage with you – make sure you are posting valuable info (or resharing, etc) throughout the day, but especially at the times peak to your core audience’s times.

Share info for potential clients and that reflects their voice – not just current clients (or those in the same industry as you). Ideally, social media will attract other businesses/potential leads to hiring your business or company, and product or solution that you are offering – at some level, to learn more.

In Conclusion

Don’t forget to track and measure your growth! Nearly every social media platform has free insights and analytic ‘s for you to utilize when measuring your reach and fans/followers, and there are free tools and premium that have trials that can be found with a basic Google search.

Happy Growing!

Blair Pettrey

http://www.BlairPettrey.com  |   blair@blairpettrey.com   |   540.256.9372  |  the quirky marketer


“Doing the most good for the universe is important for everyone” Dan Tyre

I’ve been truly blessed to meet some amazing people in the journey I call my career. From having amazing mentors in college to having (and actually understanding the power and value of having) amazing mentors along the path of my growing career.

I have managed to find the power of meaning in each of my professional experiences – whether it meant learning from a hard decision, a terrible boss, or an incredible opportunity. But what I have learned for me, that is so true about what Dan explain’s in this article is – by passionately doing what I love – and doing it for everyone (not just for my own selfish gains) – others gain, grow, and succeed too.

Read Dan’s incredible article, ‘Why doing good is my mission statement‘.

Love Marketing? Don’t Use Pardot

I love #marketingautomation but for anyone considering using @Pardot run! @salesforce is great – but #Pardot is the hands down worst product that I’ve ever encountered. So much that I had to convince my CEO @vedeht to go and pay for @hubspot on top of our Pardot contract.

Again, I can’t say enough positive things about Salesforce and the experiences we have had with Salesforce in my fulltime position. However, I can’t say, unfortunately, with any positive statements, the situation that Pardot has pushed into – or the failure of their solutions.

What’s worse – is 5 years ago when I was using Pardot, it was an amazing tool and solution. Was it easy – no. But did it actually accomplish the needs I had.

That has ended – which is why I feel compelled to share with the world this experience – to save them the time, the money, and the headache.

Please run. There are so many other viable options – thrivehibe, leadpages.net, unbounce.com, hubspot.com, any of the above.

(I again state, Salesforce is great as a CRM – that is not my issue. My issue with the failure of Pardot to offer solutions that they claimed they did during our sales process with them).

// Blair Pettrey

This was written entirely based on my own opinion and experiences, I can not validate or speak for anyone I work for or have worked for in the past.

Marketing vs. Sales vs. Smarketing

Blair Pettrey - Pettrey - Inbound Marketing BLair Pettrey - Inbound Blair

(AKA – Attract your clients, customers, and potential leads with marketing – and close them like a boss with sales and combined you’ve got smarketing!)

When I first began digital marketing years ago, perhaps I was one of the ‘rare lucky’ ones, or at least when it comes to most companies & businesses.

I came from the world where my marketing funnel went from Top of Funnel (TOFU), Middle of Funnel(MOFO), to Bottom of Funnel (BOFO). At which point if the potential lead was considered a true lead – and at the ‘BOFU’ they were passed on to the dedicated sales person. Otherwise, as a marketer, it was my job to continue to nurture and work with them through the process to make them become a ‘BOFU’ worthy lead.

In all actuality, my goal with every single lead I ever received, was to try to nurture them in an online way in every capacity possible before having to have a salesperson get them on the phone – so that I was not wasting my sales person time. My ultimate goal was to make it so that potential lead was so nurtured and aware of whatever product or service we or I provided was so worthwhile, at the point they talked to a salesperson, all the salesperson had to do was say ‘This is the pricing, and this is where you sign.’

Let’s be honest: most true marketers (especially online marketers) weren’t meant to be the salesperson. Marketers weren’t meant to be the closers (which is why we have sales staff!). I know for certain that is where I fall short in my own weaknesses, and thus that is why I focus solely on generating leads, qualifying them, and then nurturing them. AND THEN – gladly passing them off to my sales personnel, who knows how to do demos, who knows how to share pricing without ‘eeeking,’ who knows how to say ‘sign on the dotted line.’

Yet for many business owners, companies, and the like – when generating leads in the online world, it’s hard to know when to shift that ‘marketing qualified lead’ (MQL) to a ‘sales qualified lead’ (SQL), and how to give both credits. Even more so, it’s hard for many to grasp the concept that inbound marketing goes beyond just the initial lead generation.

Inbound marketing is absolutely about connecting, collecting, and generating leads. We as inbound marketers are drawing people and leads to whatever company and business through many avenues – paid, social, content, etc. However one of the biggest components that are often misunderstood by business owners is the fact that as inbound marketers, we continue to nurture leads. Whether it’s sending follow-up leads. Or it’s actually placing that phone call (which heck, I don’t like to do, but I often do just so I can know why a client may think not or share how we can be the best option!) It’s about continuing the conversation far past the point of a form fill out at day one.

Inbound Marketing is far past the point of filling out a form.

Sure, I’ve gotten a lead, WOOHOO! I can pass it on to my sales person and count it towards whatever my target goal may be. But are they converting? Are they becoming a sale? Are they becoming a client?

Are they becoming a client?

This is the most important question to ask and to have answered – and why it is so important that sales and marketing teams work together (aka smarketing). Because if perhaps a typically qualified “MQL” that turns into an “SQL” but then does not end up becoming a SALE – should you just drop the potential lead? Of course not!

However! This means that your sales team and marketing team must be hand in hand in communication and efforts. Perhaps the lead didn’t sell this time. Well, your sales team should tell your marketing team to continue their nurturing process so that perhaps next time, they do become a sale. That’s not just a win for marketing or sales, that’s a win for the business.

Marketing can’t help Sales without Sales helping Marketing!

The point of all of this is this: if marketing passes on a potential lead to sales – but is failed to learn about the follow-up connection – whether that person became a lead or not: why that person DIDN’T become a lead or not, etc. There’s a huge missed opportunity for all.

Marketing cannot continue to potentially nurture the nonqualified lead in the future, that could have become a SQL (sales qualified lead).
Marketing is missing opportunities on potential content, conversations, and failed to potential examples of clients as case studies – all of which reinforces the circle of the success of sales and marketing working together.

In Conclusion

The point that I am trying to make – and any marketer and salesperson together should ever make, is that there needs to be a ‘smarter’ approach. A written, defined, understood way to what happens to each lead that comes through the funnel. No marketing funnel stops at the top – no matter what, just like no sales funnel ends at the bottom.

Sales and marketing must be a collaborative force, that works together, to better achieve not just their own goals – but the goals of the businesses they represent.

Happy Smarketing!

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Implement ‘DIY Inbound Marketing’

Recently, I was speaking with my brother, who is launching his own digital marketing agency in Staunton, Virginia. We were discussing my ‘ideal client’ vs. his ‘ideal client’, and one of the things that I believe we both realized quite quickly while having this conversation, was whether your business is Fortune 500 or you’re a small mom and pop business – while the term inbound marketing seems to be a trending topic, not many small businesses think they can afford it.

Yet just because your business thinks they can’t afford an inbound marketing agency, it doesn’t mean you can’t begin to implement some foundation methods to help get your website quality traffic, build brand recognition, and begin to see leads from your efforts.  So instead of worrying (at least today) about the huge amount of marketing your competitor down the street does, spending even a few minutes a day implementing these techniques will help better prepare both your website and your business for tomorrow.

1.) Own Your Domain

While many web designers may disagree, the reality has a website is better than having no website. If for goodness sake the worst thing you do is purchase your domain and then leave a coming soon sign up – at least you have protected your brand from any competition or threats purchasing your domain.

Web hosting companies like GoDaddy.com and 1and1.com are great first time solutions for domains. Why? Because both of these enterprises offer relatively domain purchases, and should you chose to later upgrade your website and host it with them as well, you still aren’t going to be out an arm and a leg.

2.) Start a Blog

Wait, Blair. You just told me to get a domain – don’t I have to build a website next? No. Whether you simply can’t afford a professional website right now or you don’t immediately have the time to even attempt one yourself – a free blog can suffice in the temporary. A free blog can help you begin to build brand awareness on the world wide web, can be a place you post new content, and can even include much deeper and ‘agency like’ approaches too once you’re comfortable. But today? Today just get a blog.

There are a million websites that offer free blogging templates and content management systems (where you go to write your content). While I personally would recommend wordpress.org because it provides an easy transition later down the road (we’ll talk about that another time), simply do a Google search for: “free blog websites” and you will find a slew.

3.) Start Writing

Yeah, yeah. You’re not a writer. Neither were most the inbound marketing pro’s in the world today. But they learned quickly how to write, and how to optimize the content.

Today, however, don’t focus on the 2nd half of that statement. Today – focus on what you think someone who is looking for a business like yours would search for. What is a pain point – a problem – that someone might search for if they were to try and find the offer your business has? Whether it’s ‘car accident and back pain’ to land on a Chiropractor’s website, ‘DIY Home Improvement Ideas’ to land on a freelancer construction’s page in your area, or ‘what to look for in a potential daycare’ – think about what exactly the questions your target demographic is asking.

Then write!

It’s not hard to write if you think about it in a list – and that is something many inbound agencies are known for (ahem). So just think about your potential client or customer’s pain point, and then solve it for them in a list.

  • Back Pain Relief – X Ways to Relieve Back Pain after a Car Accident
  • 7 DIY Plumbing Hacks for Cracked or Frozen Pipes overnight
  • 10 Things to Look for When Finding Infant Daycare As a New Parent

Find topics that are highly searched – (use Google search – it is your friend), that are topics that your audience (match their voices!) wants to hear from, and that that would be something worth reading.  It’s not just another boring list – but it’s something that is of valuable – but quickly – readable. (And can later be re-purposed into a vlog, or podcast).

I wasn’t a writer either – but I learned to write at first by simply utilizing this simple technique. (And trust me, if you start writing today, no matter what, it will help your website and business later.)

4.) Be Social

Perhaps we should have clarified in step 1 the importance of owning your brand’s name across all channels – not just your actual domain. Social media channels are no different!

Making sure you are able to register and hold your business or brand’s name across social channels doesn’t have to be hard either – there are tools out there like KnowEm who will check across all major social media channels to see if your brand’s name is available. If it is? Lock it up now – at least on the major channels that are relevant to your demographic. Typically, however, I would recommend any ‘DIY inbound marketing’ client to secure their domain + Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube to begin – and then once you’ve got those rocking you can start looking at the suggestions KnowEm offers to see where to go next.

Once you’ve claimed your page names (and please oh please, make sure you are claiming business pages on Facebook, not just personal pages), you can begin to appropriately fill out the details about your company or business.

But the REAL reason any small business should get social? To share your content! Once you’ve begun to write your content, you can start sharing this content that you are writing across your social media channels as a way to get brand awareness, to generate potential new leads, and to get traffic to your website.

In Conclusion:

While I wish I could scream and shout at every and any business the importance of inbound marketing – I know that startups and small business budgets are real. But by simply implementing the above 4 steps, you’ve set a great groundwork to help kick-start your brand or company’s efforts into the lead generation world of inbound marketing.

Check back on Monday, April 25,  when I discuss the next 6 steps an any small business can do to implement inbound marketing – including the call to actions, email campaigns, search engine optimization, and more!

*Bonus Offer* For anyone who completes steps 1 and 2 I am offering a free 30-minute consultation to help you come up with 3 potential content topics you can begin to write! Just fill out the form below, and I will be in touch to set up our call!