The Secret to Social Success - Treat your Followers like your Friends
Want to be successful at using social media to promote you or your business?
Well, the clue is in the title: 'Social' Media.
Too often businesses overlook this key component and think that simply putting out content is enough. It's not.
If we had a friend that continually talked about themselves without pausing to stop and ask you how you were, we would start actively avoiding that 'friend'.
Instead we want to be around friends who we can have meaningful conversations with, who we can learn from and who offer us support and guidance without expecting anything in return.
If you begin to think of your fans / followers / audience as more than just numbers, but actual people and start treating them as friends, then you'll win with Social Media.
I've outlined a few principles to try and incorporate into your Social Media activities, I hope that they are helpful.
Engage with your audience
Your fans want to know that you are the one who is posting your content. People have become skeptical of businesses that use apps to schedule their output. If you want to gain trust and loyalty from your audience, make sure you are available to answer comments immediately after you post.
It only has to be for 10 minutes, but once you establish a reputation for interacting with your audience, they will start asking questions. These questions will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, show your knowledge and to start forming genuine friendships.
However, I know that it’s not always easy to find the time needed to do this. So an alternative way to do this is to go back and check the post an hour later and reply to every comment. Yes, that's right, every comment.
This level of commitment and appreciation for your audience won’t go unnoticed. Many people can't be bothered to do this, so if you are doing it, you will really stand out from the crowd.
Substance over Style
People often over-think what content to put out, but in reality nobody cares if what you put out, as long as it is value to them. Concentrate on what you are saying, not how you are saying it. After a while you’ll feel less self conscious and those nerves will disappear.
Don’t worry about being good, just focus on being helpful.
You will need to create content that is authentic, speaks to your audience in a way that resonates and has a style and tone that appeals to them.
But in order to be authentic, you'll need to be yourself. Once you are able to settle on a way of communicating that makes you comfortable and plays to your strengths, you're set. It's the consistency of personality, point of view and behaviour that will come across in your content that will build trust.
Remember to curate what you share, be consistent with your frequency of posting and always make sure your content is valuable.
To Sum Up
Building that bond takes time as sadly too many businesses take their fans for granted and treat them poorly. They constantly push their own agenda and don't listen.
So you'll have to be patient and like any good friendship, it takes time and there will be ups and downs.
But if you stick at it, your fans/followers be your friends for life and when you decide to change tack or move into another area or endevour, they'll go with you and will support and encourage you.
Good friends are your biggest cheerleaders, but will also be honest with you. That combination of support and honesty is dynamite as they will keep you grounded, yet help you fly at the same time.
If you've found this article helpful or enjoyable please let me know. I'm trying to practice what I preach and I want to make the content the best it can be. Please leave a comment below.