You’ve started a Twitter account, built a Facebook Fan Page and are considering jumping on Google+. But if you’re subscribing to the theory of “if I build it, they will come,” you’re in for a pretty disappointing ride.
Social media is an incredible vehicle for connection, but once the connection is made, then what? You’ve got to engage if you’re going to grow your community and your business. You can’t expect that just because you slap up a profile picture, a link to your website and a daily post, that your ideal clients will be banging down your door to get in.
Let’s look at a few of the steps to help you get more engagement:
Get clear about your values. Knowing your core values and allowing them to be at the root of your social media messaging will help you to attract your most ideal clients. In other words, people who believe what you believe – clients who value the things that you also value most.
Create your content categories. What do you want to be known for? What topics are most important to you? Write out at least 5-10 topics that interest you. For example, if you are a small business coach and mother of three, living in San Francisco, who loves cooking and travel, your content categories might be: entrepreneurship, being a mother, work/family balance, family recipes, images of San Francisco, travel musings. You will share information from each of these content categories on a regular basis. And people who share these interests will want to learn more from you and share with their followers!
Know your audience. In order to effectively engage, you’ve got to understand who you’re engaging with. What are your followers hopes and aspirations? What do they strugge with? If you’re not sure, ask them! Ask questions through your social media channels, send a survey to your list, call up your last 10 clients and interview them. Get to know your community so you can engage and serve them well.
Have a point of view. Many people avoid posting their opinions or original content for fear of ridicule and judgement. But if you’re only regurgitating other people’s content or merely promoting your products and services, you’ll come across as a Broadcaster, or God forbid, boring. Share your thoughts, give your tips, create original content and most importantly, be yourself and let us see your personality.
Be consistent. Your social media platforms are off-shoots of your online hub (your website.) Think of them as your satellite offices. If the light is never on, people are going to assume you’re either never there or have gone out of business. If you’re serious about growing a community around your brand, then you’ve got to engage on a regular basis. Yes, that means daily. 10-20 minutes a day will do, but you’ve got to be consistent.
Note: Advanced strategies ahead
Now let’s take your social media engagement to the next level. You know your values and your audience, you’ve created your content categories and some original content and you’re signing in daily. Now what?
It’s time to put your community to work for you.
Daniel Zarrella of Hubspot created a fantastic infographic on How to Get More Clicks on Twitter. These are a few advanced strategies to get more engagement – specifically through Twitter – but I do think that a few of the recommendations are applicable to other social media platforms as well.
The formula here compares the number of clicks against the number of followers in a Twitter account at the moment of that tweet to calculate CTR (Click-through Rate).
Number of Clicks / Number of Followers = CTR
With this formula, Dan is able to look at which tweets perform better depending on:
- The length of the tweet
- Where you position the link
- The frequency of your tweets
- Some of the most common terms used when you tweet
If you want to have some fun with this, use a link shortener such as bit.ly and track how many clicks it received at the end of the day, along with how many RT’s and mentions you’re getting from each tweet.
Also look at your follower count at the beginning of the day, and then again at the end of the day to see if certain tweets attracted more followers.
©2012 Liz Dennery Sanders