The days of simply reading and liking social media posts are over. The most active and engaged social media users spend time asking questions, starting conversations about topics that are important to them, and sharing content that is meaningful to them. If your business wants to engage in meaningful conversation on social media, you need these top 4 tools.
1. Be Professional But Not Stiff
Think of social networking as virtual cocktail parties: charm, wit, and jokes are encouraged while maintaining professional boundaries and keeping the conversation relevant to all involved. There is an element to this type of conversation that I want to call social hospitality—inviting your guests (clients or peers) in and making them feel relaxed and at home.
2. Don’t Forget to #Tag and @Mention
These days, most people are part of a dozen or more groups or circles on Twitter and Facebook, so it can be easy to miss responses to conversations. To ensure the person or people you are engaging know you’re responding to them, @mention them and #tag their business or product where appropriate.
3. Broaden Your Sphere
If you aren’t a part of at least a dozen professional, social, and consumer circles, start joining! It is helpful to belong to groups that are relevant to you personally and professionally as well as groups that are relevant to your clients and peers. This is important for three reasons:
- You’ll gain greater insight into the consumer and social activities of your target market.
- You’ll broaden your network.
- You’ll be able to jump in on conversations or threads within groups that are about an interest that the conversing members share.
If you join one of these conversations, make sure that what you are adding is relevant and that you aren’t just butting in.
4. Stop Selling!
Success in this economy comes from showing clients the personality and value your business has to offer. This is partially why business blogs are so popular and helpful—they offer relevant, free information for clients to click, read, discuss, and share. It’s OK to offer promos and advertise events on your social channels, just make sure those posts are part of a healthy mix of other, more conversational posts.
Ready to create your social media strategy? Social content management is a specialty of mine and I’d love to help!