When your entire business life is on the Internet, either as an independent laptop freelancer or a team member for an online company your social media presence should not be viewed lightly.
Your followers and connections in many ways represent your widespread success, but they’re not just numbers on your profile pages, they are real people and possibly the right person you need to speak to at any time in your business. I know that many of my social media followers and from social media we create social relationships both offline and online. Because this matters, a lot!
Each and every follower is a real person who, for some reason or another, has decided that they want to support you and your career publicly. They probably love your product, enjoy your personality or company culture, and want to be a part of a rising star in modern business. If you answer this loyalty with attention, engagement, and gratitude, your followers can become an invaluable source of support and referrals that you simply can’t afford to pass up.
The only question is how do you plan on building a strong relationship with your team of social media followers? Will you invite them into the inner recesses of your business practices and how you help your client’s get success?
If you’re not sure where to start, here are 10 solid tips on how to relate to your followers in ways they can appreciate.BLOG: 10 solid tips on how to relate to your followers in ways they can appreciate | #SMM #socialmedia #tips Click To Tweet
1) Interesting Questions and Surveys
Whether you’re just getting started at social media relations or are deeply invested in keeping your followers entertained, you can’t go wrong with a good conversation starter.
One way to both maintain your follower activity and engage them in your business is to give the followers something interesting to respond to. Post a survey and invite them to share their opinion or ask a question that could have a million unique and personal answers.
People love to share and compare responses. The method makes followers feel like they are interacting directly with you while in practice they are keeping each other entertained for some time.
- Most-used website to shop online
- One podcast you would not unsubscribe from
- Most used digital tool or software as a service
- Would you rather be an employee or self-employed and why?
- Social media connection most likely to refer your business
- Favourite holiday destination to switch off
2) Show What’s Behind the Curtain
If followers wanted nothing but the press releases, they’d just read your blog. The reason many people will join a professional or business’ following is to learn something personal or gain industry insights.
They want to get to know your company and the people in it, have some curiosity about the inner workings of your industry, and become a great source of feedback. Don’t just share your public victories, share the little stuff too.
Followers will feel more connected to you if they see your struggles and share in your joy overcoming them. Sharing a few details about your personal life and even little victories like getting a new coffee maker are relatable and enjoyable for your followers.
My LinkedIn post went viral after I shared the story of my graduation and my daughter’s graduation. With over 200,000 views, almost 4,000 likes and over 200 comments, an insight into what drives me professionally really resonated with my community.
Followers will feel more connected to you if they see your struggles and share in your joy overcoming them | #socialmedia #tips Click To Tweet
3) Respond to Follower Comments
When followers talk to you in messages and comments, try to answer back often and personally.
This shows that you’re paying attention and care about maintaining open communication channels with your customer base.
Be warm and appreciative of their comments and do your best to answer their questions. Nothing kills a following like talking to a brick wall, but a little delay is safe as long as you set a standard response interval (no more than two days).
Customers will appreciate that you’re willing to take the time to respond to social media messages and your following will get stronger as people feel more a connection to the company.
4) Host Contests and Reward Winners
At first, the follower contest functions a lot like the fun question or survey, giving followers something to come together and respond to, but it’s also a reason to keep coming back and comparing scores.
Whether it’s a T-shirt design contest, a poetry slam, or even box-set collection, your followers will have a blast doing their best and sharing their efforts with you and each other.
When you’re ready to declare a winner or group of winners, you now have the opportunity not only to engage with your followers, but to spotlight a few and make them feel extra special.
Contest rewards could include:
- Discounted service
- Invitation to a special event
- Unique service offering
- Spotlight blog written about them
- Video or podcast interview
- Post their own content
5) Invite Followers to Share Stories and Photos
Your following doesn’t need to be 100% about you and your work. After all, without customers, where would your business be?
To show your followers that you care about what’s going on in their lives as much as they care about the state of your business, invite them to share personal pictures and stories.
This is also a great way to get testimonials and reviews for your products and services. The best way to do this is simply asking your following to tell personal stories about using your product or service.
Invite fun, creative ways to photograph your product, and always give positive responses when follower share.
6) Social Media Customer Service
Not every message on social media is purely for social purposes. You may get a certain number of messages that equate to customer service requests. Customers may come to where they know a few admins spend time in order to ask their questions about your product or service and it’s very important to respond to these with speed and aplomb. Watch out for unhappy and confused messages about having trouble with your product, these are really requests for help.
7) Always be Authentic
In our modern over-commercialised world, people can smell fakery a mile away. They’ve seen more kinds of promotional material than the Eskimos have words for snow, so you’re better off just leaving that stuff behind.
It’s okay to fake a little cheer when you’re feeling down but always keep your messages genuine and authentic, sharing real news updates and thoughts rather than just generically upbeat marketing material. And remember, not everything needs to be shared. Maintaining privacy in areas of your personal life is more than ok!
8) Host Q&As and Add to the FAQ
Part of staying responsive to your followers is being ready to answer their questions and a great way to do this is all at once.
Consider hosting regular weekly or monthly Q&A sessions in which you dedicate some time to being online and answering every question your followers can think of.
For questions that keep coming up, they officially qualify for your FAQ and you can share the update with your followers to show that they can make a difference, even by asking questions.
I introduced a section on my podcast last year called Ask JSB where I bring the voices of my listeners onto the show. It really brings me closer to them and also shows that I listen to them.
9) Ask for Suggestions
Your followers love to feel listened to, and you have every reason to listen to them. Every now and then, ask your followers to make suggestions as to what could improve your products, services, or online interfaces.
There will always be a plethora of silly or impractical answers, but there will also be insightful gems that could produce significant improvements to one or more aspects of your business.Every now and then, ask your followers to make suggestions as to what could improve your products, services or online interfaces | #SMM #tips #socialmedia Click To Tweet
10) Remember to Say ‘Thank You’
Finally, don’t forget that your followers don’t have to be there. They have chosen your page, career, or company and are around because they see something of value worth spending their time on.
They are a valuable source of support, prestige, information, and referrals. Just remember to say ‘thank you’ from time to time. Make it heartfelt and genuine and your followers will appreciate it.
For more great tips on how to build your online presence, contact us today.