How to Treat Social Media Like a Party
At this point, just about everyone knows the power of social media. From giving us an outlet to use our SEO keywords to providing a one-on-one connection with our clients and customers, social media is a tool that all businesses need to take control of.
Unfortunately, not everyone grasps that social needs to be a two-way street.
Too many businesses believe they can set up a few posts in Hootsuite and let their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages take care of themselves. They put their posts out there, but then forget about the most important part – following up.
Why a One-Sided Social Media Approach Will Get You Nowhere
We get it. You're the expert. You have all the awesome content that your readers are looking for, so why shouldn't you be able to post only links, quotes, and articles day after day? What is the problem in using an automated tool to manage your social accounts?
Because that's not being social.
The best social media advice I've ever received is to treat your social media page like you're at a party.
Imagine this scenario:
You're at a networking event with potential customers, other business leaders, and individuals who are just worth connecting with. You've decided you really want to make a sale, so you're going to spend the entire night selling your services and only your services. You find a nice cozy couch, settle in for the evening, and spurt out facts about you and your company anytime someone comes across your path. You're practically screaming "BUY MY PRODUCTS" at anyone who walks by.
While this tactic may work at first, other party-goers will quickly growing tired of your "me, me, me" attitude. You're not listening to other people, you believe that you hold all the answers, and you're only interested in getting someone to make a purchase. Soon, everyone worth talking to will avoid you and refrain from interacting with you again.
Because you're blocking a conversation.
When you treat social media as a one-way street, you've become this person at a party. By only tweeting links, blog posts, and automated messages, you're suffocating any chance of stimulating a conversation.
How to Avoid One-Way Communication on Social Media
Have you just realized you're doing social media all wrong?
Don't worry. It's not a lost cause. You just need to make some changes.
1. Don't Rely on Automated Software
Sure, a program like Hootsuite can save you time on social, but it isn't meant to replace you completely. If you want to schedule your posts ahead of time, go ahead. But remember to come back and visit your responses every once in a while.
Send follow up messages to individuals who chose to engage with your post. Acknowledge their opinion, thank them for the like, or let them know where they can find more information on the topic.
2. Participate in Discussions - Even if You Didn't Start It
Some businesses are under the impression they can't engage with other businesses online, as if responding to a competitor or other company in the industry will mean they'll lose customers. However, jumping into a discussion - even if it was started by a competitor - can show that you're an expert as well.
Twitter Chats and LinkedIn Groups are two of the most popular ways to engage in conversation with fans or followers. Search a hashtag that is relevant to your business and jump in on a dialogue. But remember - you're not there to push a product. You're there to make a connection.
3. Create a Mix of Valuable Information
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't promote your products or services on social media. You absolutely should include links, blog posts, and promotions in your strategy. However, you also need to provide the information that proves your company is worthy of a link click.
Mixing valuable information in with your promotional posts is the best way to build trust among your friends and followers. But to know what is valuable, you really need to listen to what they're looking for, what questions they may have, and what content is already out there. Find where your friends and followers need help and provide them with the information to answer their questions.
Your social media strategy is important for generating new leads, connecting with customers, and bringing in business. But if you're not doing it right, you might as well not be doing it at all.
Need help creating a social media calendar that gets engagements and builds your fan base? Contact me to discuss what I can do for you.