creating a real connection on social media
One of the (many) benefits of social media marketing is the opportunity to create a real connection with your audience. Whether you’re an author/coach who is the face of your business or the marketing director at an enterprise business, there are a ton of different ways you and your organization can start the process of building a relationship with your ideal customer. I’ve written before about understanding who they are. That’s going to be the foundation for this entire article, so make sure you take a look at that if you’re just starting the process because you can’t connect with an unidentified customer. I’ll wait :p. Assuming you’ve done that, here are some basic ways to connect more with your social media audience.
It starts with a visit to your client’s closet.
A figurative visit to their closet to figuratively put yourself in their shoes. One of the reasons it’s so important to understand your ideal client is that you’re constantly putting yourself in their situation. You have to think about:
- Their pain points and daily struggles
- The type of language/words/ideas/concepts that matter most to them
- What you can provide via social that will be valuable to them
If we’re targeting working moms, pain points from those involved in targeting teenagers or senior citizens. Even within a specific category of a target market, there are a lot of different ways to connect, so you have to think about how your brand fits into their needs. Let’s take the example of a working mom. What’s your role in making their life easier? Do you provide quality time with their children, help make home life smoother, provide technology that allows them flexibility, or are you a company that wants to hire them to work for you? Can you think of the different types of content you could provide based on how you ultimately want to connect with them in your business? If you truly want to provide value, the first step is to always insert yourself into the mind of your target.
Next, you have to fire your robots.
Again, this is figurative. It’s not related to changing any marketing bots you may be using (that’s another topic for another day). This concept is about making sure you’re humanizing yourself in your social media and presenting an authentic version of you/your brand/your company. One of the biggest mistakes I see on corporate social is sounding completely inhuman. And don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you have to go ultracasual or that you can’t come across as polished and professional.
Your brand voice should ultimately be dictated by who you want to be as a business and part of your larger branding strategy. I’m just also saying that sounding like a human who has never been involved in the process is a great way to alienate your audience. You can start using pictures of your staff, connecting about mutual struggles, or leveraging live video. It’s also so important to be genuine because people can smell in-authenticity a mile away, and it’s a great way to kill any trust with your audience. Show mistakes you’ve made, be silly, share your struggles as a business . . . not to the point of whining or begging but in a real “we know where you are because we’ve had issues with that too” kind of way.
Put the engage in engagement.
There are two different factors to this process. The first is to encourage engagement from your audience. The best way to get your audience to engage is simply to ask for it. But get creative. Ask for a response in a certain format: a GIF, a photo, a certain type of reaction on Facebook (i.e., “like” or “love”). People like specific instructions about how to respond, and they love playing games. Make it fun! The second half of the equation is to make sure you respond to their engagement. My rule of thumb is to “like” every comment and respond sporadically to about 40%. This is a manageable strategy that is realistic for about 90% of brands out there.