Social media is a lot like the dating process.
We want to be wooed by a company before receiving a direct message, chat bot, or pushy post about their product or service.
We want a first date before they try to round second base. We want flowers and chocolates and all the fun repartee that goes along with a new relationship.
What we don’t want is to be sold to with a canned response or an oddly timed message that oversteps their bounds.
So how can you ensure you’re using social media to nurture relationships, build rapport, and encourage conversation?
Below are 3 ways to make the most of every online interaction.
Why Social Media Is a Lot Like the Dating Process (Selling vs. Nurturing)
1. Get In the Conversation
There are a lot of things we can automate in social media, but we can’t eliminate the one thing that turns prospective ‘dates’ into clients for life: the conversation.
The lack of engagement I see on social media these days is distressing.
It’s called social networking for a reason. It was designed to expand our sphere and benefit both our personal and professional lives.
But to build relationships, we have to be present. There’s no way to get to know our audience if we’re posting, tweeting and promoting without any interaction.
So why then are business professionals skipping through the preliminary dating stages and going straight for the ring?
Make a commitment to getting involved. Here’s few simple ways you can do that:
- Slow down, ask questions, get inspired by your audience
- Be thoughtful in your reply, take time to give valuable advice
- Listen often and always, be where your customers are
- Encourage honest and collaborative communication, become a trust magnet
- Place your audience in the narrative, tell a relatable story
- Give an inside look inside your world, let them celebrate your success
What an event!!! With nearly 1000 people in attendance and speakers from all around the world, it was truly a conference to remember! … Thank you to @socialbakers for an incredibly inspiring week – such an honor to be on that stage! … #Repost @socialbakers ・・・ Let’s all just take a moment to say WoW! #EngagePrague @rebekahradice ?: @cizinskyludek #smm #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia #digitalmarketing #socialmediamanager #socialmediacoference #socialsummit #socialmediasummit #conference
2. Become a Valued (and Invaluable) Resource
Believe it or not, answering questions and sharing your expertise prior to asking for business goes a long way to creating goodwill.
And that goodwill translates into prospective clients, which in turn become sales, recurring revenue, and longterm (happy) clients.
By giving freely of yourself, you become an invaluable resource and that translates into conversation and engagement.
And all of this is so easy to do with social media!
But none of it can happen if you don’t show up where your potential clients are and then give, give give.
Whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, think about what the biggest problems are you solve.
The key to #SocialMedia Engagement is:
Clarity – Knowing who your audience is and what problem you solve.
Purpose – Understanding the purpose of your content and how it supports your business goals
Action – A plan without action is just a plan. #socialmediatip
— Rebekah Radice (@RebekahRadice) June 17, 2018
What do they need and how can you bring it to them in the format they want to consume?
For example, could you:
- Share a tweet with an answer to customers most FAQ?
- Make a video that walks them through a feature within your app?
- Create an Infographic that breaks down a specific solution to their biggest problem?
Of course you can! The opportunities are endless when you begin to sync up your transformative solution with each social network.
After all, if you’re only a series of automated posts, tweets and videos…
… The “social” aspect of your social media interactions become stale, lifeless, and boring.
3. Use Automation Wisely
Automation is terrific tool for ending time wasting tasks. It can free you up so you can focus on authentic conversations with prospective clients.
Investing time into meaningful discussions, answering questions, and providing feedback offers a lot of benefits.
- It establishes you as an expert
- Brings traffic to your website
- Let’s you to connect with your target market
- Nurtures prospects through your marketing funnel
- Drives sales through awareness and lead generation
But those are the pro’s of automation. There’s also a dark side that can hurt or hinder you if overused or used improperly.
Because let’s face it, we’ve all seen it. Spammy tweets, bots double tapping and commenting on posts, regurgitated content to the point of extreme.
I imagine it leaves an awful taste in your mouth, so think about how it makes your audience feel?
For responsible automation… remember this:
The idea that you can outsource and automate every part of your social media life is preposterous. You might save some time, but you sure won’t save your reputation.
And the price you pay for not engaging with your audience is the ultimate one.
You lose the respect and trust of the very people you were looking to connect with in the first place.
Social Media Marketing isn’t about play time on Instagram or Facebook. It’s about getting social.
Make the commitment today to engage with your audience, fans, readers and fellow bloggers.
And for goodness sake, take them on a date, don’t try to get married right out of the gate.
They’ll thank you for it and your success will be created because of it.