Introducing Part 3 of our series on Reaching Out With Social Media!
Now on to the good stuff!
The Best Way to Reach Out is to Be Dependable
Being dependable means doing your homework
It might sound like an easy thing to be, but being dependable when it comes to social media can be difficult and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want to be someone that others can come to for reliable and trustworthy information, and in order to accomplish this goal you are going to have to put a fair amount of work into researching your material and double-checking your facts before sharing anything with your social media connections. When you reach out and make a connection with someone, you want to have all of the information you can and be reasonably sure that information is accurate. This will help you to make the best impression possible!
Being dependable means being consistent
Being dependable also means posting and sharing regularly. This is one of the more difficult things to do with social media because so many other things are on our agendas that social media sharing is often put off or given very little time at all. It should not matter how often you can post (every day, every other day, etc) but rather how consistent you can be. Being consistent lets people know that come rain or shine, you are going to do what you say you will and live up to your promises. Even though it is such a small thing, regular posting can make a big difference on someone’s opinion of you and improve it for the better.
Ideally, you want to be someone that people can come to for reliable information on a regular basis!
Video: Delivering the Message: Keep the content coming – by lorenweisman
While this isn’t entirely in context, it does prove a very valuable point by example; Loren is illustrating exactly how life can get busy and posting frequently can become difficult. In his case, it is the Christmas holiday with his family, but for other professionals it might be a big meeting or project that they need to prepare for that takes them away from social media for a while. As there is a direct correlation between your account activity and the number of people paying attention to what you have to say, it pays to post frequently and consistently. While automated posting systems are not the ideal go-to solution, they can be used to publish material when you think there might be a gap in your ability to do so personally. If you are like many other people you have a few thoughts in your head or links to great content that you can share, you just haven’t gotten around to doing so yet. SO why not queue these up to go out while you will be away? This way you are avoiding the “canned content” problem that often comes with the use of automated tools and are instead merely scheduling a few things that you would have posted later on anyway!
Social Media is All About the Give and Take
When reaching out to your connections via social media, take the time to really interact with them. “Engagement” is something we hear about all too often, but what does it really mean when it comes to social media? No one has really pinned down an exact definition yet, but for us engagement is what happens when someone reaches out to someone else, and a connection is made. This can be business to customer, customer to business, or even communications between one customer and another or between two businesses. These connections can be positive, negative, or neutral; each type has its merits and can be shaped and directed towards a more positive and beneficial state as long as all participants are willing to adjust their attitudes. Got a complaint from a customer? See if it can be handled calmly and professionally; even if the customer does not leave with their issue completely resolved, they will know that you have responded and are aware of their situation.
Who gives and who takes?
Giving and taking with social media might seem simple at first; businesses give information, consumers take information. Or perhaps consumers give information and then a business takes that information from them. In reality things are a little more complex; a businesses gives information to others when it posts to a social media network, but it is also taking time away from those who consume the information that is being shared.
What’s in it for everyone?
There can be value for both parties in the give and take of a social media exchange; for example, a business asks a question or posts an idea and leaves it open for comment and debate. The business has done this to gather information and increase engagement with its social media connections… so what do the connections get out of the deal? They get a chance to give their thoughts and opinions to the business and to take some of the business’ attention and direct it toward something the consumer is interested in.
As a business you can also answer the questions posted by others, both business and consumer. This is another way that you can give back to your social media community that has direct and indirect benefits for your business. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make a good impression!
Infographic: Do Facebook ‘Likes’ Mean Loyal Customers? – by Our Social Times
((Click for a larger version!))
This graphic shows that many people are not receiving the experience that they expect from the businesses they connect with, in this case on Facebook. What can you take away from this? You can leave with a greater understanding of what your social media connections want and need, and the knowledge of how to give these things to them. Do so with a smile, and you will be glad that you chose today to reach out with social media!
What is one thing that you have learned about social media from this post?