Every day, social media is abuzz with updates from everyone from Kim Kardashian to Oprah to Donald Trump. It’s an equal playing field where people are free to share and discuss any topic under the sun. And, with billions of users around the world on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc., social media is a great way for entrepreneurs to get known and connect with potential clients and customers.
But, many business owners fall into the trap of using social media as a soapbox, rather than a tool for conversation. Below are five social media formulas to try that will engage your clients and customers.
Social Media Formula #1: Ask a question
This is one of my favorite ways to engage my audience online. People love to share their opinions, recommendations or stories, so asking questions is a great way to spark a conversation.
Let’s say you’re an executive coach. You could ask your audience for suggestions on what new services, products or programs they would like to see you offer. Or ask them to share how they’ve used your strategies to get results they wanted (which gives you something good to share further with your audience!). Or share a story on what working with you has meant to them.
If you’re traveling to a new or different city, ask locals what restaurants or cafes they recommend. Checking out the types of places your clients like to frequent could not only open the door to new connections, but you can also get a better understanding of what attracts your clients.
Social Media Formula #2: Show some personality
Your job online is to show that you are not just a business, you are also a person who owns a business. So posting updates that show some personality are always a hit.
During the recent holiday, I posted about how I was celebrating and included pictures of the amazing mahogany smoked ham we had and where I went skiing those days… People respond to small “slice of life” tidbits that are fun and relatable, but be sure to mix it up with more business-focused updates, too.
Here’s another idea: If you’re traveling, reach out to your contacts in the area to let them you’ll be there and would love to meet. For example, I’ve messaged my LinkedIn contacts and set up face-to-face meetings. Not only was it a great opportunity to cultivate my relationship with those contacts, but it also allowed by to deepen our relationship through meeting.
Social Media Formula #3: Share useful tips & content
In addition to sharing your promotions and content; share tips, articles, and resources you think would interest your online audience. I love sharing inspirational quotes that get me (and my community) fired up for success.
Don’t be afraid to share other resources with your community. It helps position you as an expert in your field, especially if you add your own commentary. Just make sure you always credit or link to the original source.
Social Media Formula #4: Use hashtags
Most social media sites are searchable using hashtags (#). This means when you use a hashtag before a keyword in your update, anyone on that site who’s following or searching that keyword will see your update.
For example, if you’re a business executive and team coach promoting your upcoming free teleseminar, you could use hashtags like #business #executive #team #coach in your updates. Prioritize the top 1 or 2 for each post for maximum effectiveness.
You can also follow hashtags to listen to what’s being said about your topic online and then respond to create a new relationship.
However you use them, hashtags are a great way to make new contacts and attract a specific type of audience that’s interested in your topic.
Social Media Formula #5: Respond to comments, mentions and messages
How you respond to your customers online can be very telling about your business’s customer service philosophy. That’s why it’s so important to be responsive to your customers’ and clients’ updates, especially if they mention you. For positive or neutral posts, feel free to respond and/or share as appropriate. If a client or customer posts something negative, try to mitigate the situation by inquiring for more information, or by deferring the complaint offline to your customer service department. But always post a public response so others see you take care of your customers! For example: “Thanks for letting us know. Lisa from our service department will be in touch today.”
If you’re interested in getting more details on how to quickly and easily get better results from your Social Media, click here to schedule your complimentary Social Media Results strategy session with me to explore that and to find out what you can do to have a results breakthrough. I have a limited number of appointments available and request that only people who are serious about dramatically increasing their results schedule a time to talk.
Question: Have you tried any of the above Social Media formulas? What’s worked best for YOU? Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite Social Media strategies.