Building Relationships on Social Media

I think some businesses are forgetting about the key part of social media, and that’s the being social part. We’re all wrapped up in this big drive to deliver content, increase followers, engagement and site visits but many are forgetting the very thing that makes social media what is it – talking to people.

It’s hard thought right? I mean, your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest & Snapchat so where are you going to find time to interact with people when you’re busy finding content to share, writing it, polishing it, creating images and tailoring the message to the platform. Where on earth do you find the time to talk to people in amongst all that?

Well, how about setting yourself a challenge in the coming weeks? What about taking a week and switching the time you allocate to these two tasks so that you spend the 80% of your week engaging with people and 20% creating content. Rather than writing a blog post and creating all of those images to share on Instagram use that time to go and talk to people. Talk to people on all of the platforms you’re on, search for conversations happening around your domain or people who’ve mentioned your business.

Do that but here’s the key part. Be authentic. Don’t talk to them and jump in with a promotional comment on your brand or product but help them, talk to them and have a dialogue.

I find social media’s no different to my experience when I walk in to a shop to buy something. I’m happy for a salesman to approach me but I’m put off if he’s going direct to the sale and isn’t too personable. I need to feel some trust, some engagement with him and to warm to him before I think about whether I want to follow his view on the product I might decide to buy.

Social media’s the same. Invest the time to build relationships, understand people, what their challenges are and develop that rapport before coming on to how you might be able to help them.

It might be that you need to spend some time developing a relationship but that’s ok, it’s like any relationship in life. You ever find there are those people who you immediately bond with but after time they drift away? On the other side of the coin there’s the people you know who you don’t immediately connect with but over time you realise you have common interests and they become long-term friends. No different here, relationships develop at a different rate and that’s as true in social media as it is in real life.

Social media users know what they do and don’t like. They’ll look at what your posting before the decide to follow you and hence if they see it’s a one-way flow of promotional content being pushed they may decide not to press that “Follow” button and that’s bad news. Show them some personality, show them you’re there to interact and they’ll want to engage with you.

In this rapidly moving world of social media it can feel like there’s a huge race to reach engagement targets or a certain number of followers but you mustn’t forget to talk to people. And, if you do this, I have no doubts you’ll have a positive response from it.

Do you find taking the time to engage a problem? How do you manage your time? I’d love to here what you think!

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