First, some statistics, in case you aren't already convinced that using the tools available is a really good idea for building community around your brand.
- over 50% of the world's population is under 30 years of age
- 93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media
- by 2020, video will account for over 3/4 of mobile use
- more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush
- the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is grandparents
I caution every business I consult: "use the tools, don't let the tools use you".
Easier said than done, I realize.
If you are already a social media user, you will easily follow the terminology here.
Otherwise, it might be a good idea for us to have a brief phone conversation about your business model, including your social strategies.
If your goal is to grow a social presence, social proof for your brand, and, generate leads for your business, based on trust and loyalty, it's imperative to learn how to share strategically. Click To Tweet
Here are two expanded elements of how to make your content share-worthy, which can lead to true community building:
1) Human beings learn and engage in various ways.
Visually appealing content does make a difference, especially when the desire is to have your messages shared by others.
So, make sure that whatever you post is
1) shareable (completely),
2) public, and
3) includes every detail it needs to attract attention.
What are those details?
A solid title,
thumbnail images, and
appropriate hashtags, for starters.
Employ simple & organic SEO tools, using relevant keywords, which are tied in with your website copy and newsletters you send out via email. By creating shareable posts, did you realize that you are generating organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? It's true - and it's explained here by my smart friends at Convince and Convert.
2) Human beings want to be acknowledged.
After you post, be sure to respond to all comments, regardless of the channel you are on. Over on Twitter, there's a lot more to watch for.
In my role as a Community Director, each social media channel is treated differently, because each has it's own particular set of "characteristics" and "etiquette. Because of my background in marketing since I was a young entrepreneur, starting and growing businesses, I place a lot of emphasis on acknowledging others. If you are on Twitter, you know that there are many moving parts (just like on the other channels, only different). There are four ways a viewer of your Twitter feed can engage (and one mis-use of the LIKE button, which is not engagement, in my opinion).
Sharing an article/post or anything else YOU created, from your website or other avenue.
This is not to mention the engagement and relationships inherent in Twitter Chats.
I'm using Twitter as an example here, because I find that it's largely misunderstood. If you are a Twitter pro-user yourself, I'd love to know your ideas on this, and I welcome you to fill in whatever I'm missing here (in the comments below).
Acknowledgment comes in the form of simple manners and common sense. Conversations start up every day on Twitter. It's like being in a giant conference room, with many "side conversations" happening around myriad topics of interest. Starting conversations, also known as engaging with others on social media, begins with acknowledgement (which is the "coin of the realm" for human beings).
So, it's simple.
And, by the way, a LIKE on Twitter is not, in my mind, the same as a "LIKE" on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. It's a wasted tool, unless you are using it as a way to organized tweets you'd like to save for future reading or reference. I won't go into my rant about the Twitter "LIKE" button. Suffice to say here (and I'm happy to discuss; be convinced otherwise), a "LIKE" on Twitter is simply non-engaging. In fact, it puts a stop to engaging before it can even start.
How would you actually implement this strategy?
Say "thank you", by REPLY (for example, on a Retweet), if you want to acknowledge someone on Twitter. Don't just "LIKE" it.
That says nothing. It's not implied, like it is on the other channels.
Say "yes", or "right on", or "you GO"…you get the idea.
In turn, be sure to Retweet/Share with your own (curated) comment as often as you see tweets (Twitter)/posts (Facebook & LinkedIn) that resonate with you, or are relevant to you and your interests. Do this ESPECIALLY when others do the same for you. Not in a fake or forced manner, of course. When you engage in a genuine manner, taking a few extra seconds to acknowledge in YOUR words, in some way, you'll see a difference over time.
With the growing numbers of people using social media (with the greatest percentage being on mobile devices), it makes sense to consider small details that can make a big difference. Building relationships through these channels is not free. It takes time, effort, and yes (gasp!), money. It's no different than the way business has gotten done for hundreds of years. The good news is that we have more ways to bring community closer, faster, because of ever-enhanced online tools, which can be woven into our offline strategies. These are the makings of a holistic business approach.
I encourage you to try this out on your own social media channels.
See if you notice a higher level of engagement that leads to real conversation starters, which can then convert to results that help everyone WIN. For even more ideas, take a look at this post from my friends at Curatti by Norman Arvidsson. If all this is overwhelming, Augie Ray brings us back to social media basics in this post.
I appreciate you for reading this far, and I'd love to have your input and ideas here in the comments. What are some of your favorite ways to engage on line? How do you build true community that flourishes and grows in to relationships that pay?