If social media marketing doesn’t feel second-nature to you, treat it like something similar that already does. In fact, the best way of finding quality followers is to go about it the same way you do finding quality friends.
1) Be yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with social media for your business is hiding your personality. The fact is, people want to socialize with people, not companies. This is not to say you cannot engage as ABC Coffee Shop; just do so with a personal touch.
Start with your social media profiles. Fill them out as completely as possible, including the basics of your business, as well as your purpose and point of view.
Then post and comment in as conversational a tone as possible. This need not mean you use the first person “I” though you very well could.
Finally, take advantage of every opportunity to introduce and highlight the individuals at your business. For instance:
- Use Google Authorship to highlight blog and article authors on the search engine results page, as Google may use this to display the author’s picture, byline, and Google Plus following on the SERP beside search results.
- Ask your employees to add their position to LinkedIn (if they haven’t already). Then ask them to engage with your company page posts and commenters.
- If appropriate, consider changing your business name and logo on Twitter to your real name and picture (while still maintaining @ABCCoffee). This can be a particularly effective tool for businesses in which one individual can be the face of the organization — the chef of a restaurant, for example, or a blogger.
- Spotlight members of your team in a monthly blog post.
2) Look for things in common.
The more you’re enjoying yourself while social networking, the more likely you’ll be successful. So do yourself a favor and engage with people who have expressed an interest in topics relative to what you do. In this way, carrying on conversations won’t feel like work, but a natural extension of who you are.
3) Share thoughtful things.
If it’s insightful, informative, or entertaining, you could have thoughtful (i.e., shareable) content on your hands. But if it’s overtly-promotional, or completely out-of-sync with your target audience, think twice.
Certainly, you can promote your company now and then, but keep it to a minimum. Social media users aren’t attracted to companies that talk incessantly about their product or services anymore than they are by people who talk incessantly about themselves.
As for the nature of content, try to avoid anything that would seem to come out of left field from a company like yours. Like viral cat videos. Perfect for a pet grooming business? Yes. Appropriate for a law firm? Maybe not.
4) Support their endeavors.
The best way to get what you want is to help other people get what they want. This is true of meeting a need via products or services. And it’s true of social media networking. If you like, share, and comment on the posts of others, they’re far more likely to do the same for you.
5) Stay in touch.
One of the surest ways to lose friends is to lose touch. Don’t let that happen with your social media network. Far too many companies engage hard-core one week then disappear that next. That’s no way to build quality relationships. Show up and share on a regular basis.
Any other friendly tips you’d add to the list?