This posted was originally written by and posted on March 21, 2013 by Ali Brown
With so many voices on social media, from angsty teenagers to big brand marketers, it’s easy to get drowned out in all the noise. So how do you add your own unique thumbprint that attracts the right people to your profile?
It all starts with being truly thoughtful about the content you post, and how you choose to share it. Remember, it’s not just about getting your business noticed in a newsfeed once—it’s about getting people to want to come to your page to experience the real connection and value YOU offer. And they’ll do this when they resonate with your style and your mission, and truly trust in your expertise and insights.
Below are four habits you should put into practice to get noticed by your ideal market and build trust, rapport, and long-term client relationships (and that means more revenues too!).
HABIT 1: Offer both useful information and resources, mixed in with your promotions.
If all you do is offer useful info, that’s great and you’ll build a following, but you may suddenly find your business bank account bare. But if you promote yourself all the time, you’ll tick people off. The key is developing a nice mix of content and building relationships along the way, so your followers will be happy to hear about what you have to offer.
Over time, my team and I have developed a simple schedule to post great free resources, helpful articles, and info along with making sure we are continually promoting the valuable courses and programs we have to offer women starting or growing a business. Here’s what a typical week’s social media schedule looks like for us:
Helpful Business Article or Interesting News Item – 1 post per day
Inspirational Quote – 3-4 posts per week
Notifications of New Blog Posts and Articles – 2 posts per week
Promote Free “Top 10 Success Secrets” CD – 2-3 posts per week
Promote Free Reports – 2 posts per week (a different one each time)
Promote Spotlighted Product or Program – 1-2 posts per day, depending if there’s a special offer, deadline, or time-sensitive event happening
TIP: Use Google Alerts to receive daily news updates or web posts on any keywords or topics of interest, and share items you feel your followers would appreciate. For example, I’m always looking for positive stories on women around the world and the huge shift we’re making on the planet, so I receive alerts on women and world issues. I also get alerts on small business topics, and share any items of interest with my followers.
HABIT 2: Share personal or relatable stories or images
If appropriate, it’s important to let your customers, clients, and community see who you are as a person, beyond your brand. When I share a funny story about my fat cat Milo, an awe-inspiring moment like seeing dolphins during my morning walk, or rant about a common problem I see in my industry, my community chimes in with support, laughs, or even disagreement (which can still be good if it gets conversation going, drawing even more viewers to your account).
Sharing these moments gives people a chance to see what moves you deeply and personally. It lets people see you as a unique individual, who shares their hobbies, interests, and perspectives. Remember, people will buy from you again and again because something about your voice, your unique way, resonates with them. So don’t be shy about sharing some natural, candid posts that add a little color to your page. (On the flip side, you don’t want to over-share either. It’s just crazy what some folks will share online, and via their business social media too! Some details are better left discussed over a bottle of wine with close friends.)
Images tend to engage more people than words, and they’re also a great option when you’re on the go and don’t have time to write something up. It’s a quick yet high impact way to “touch” your audience. Whenever I host a strategy meeting for my Elevate Premier members, I make sure to get a pic to share the experience. Lately, I’ve been sharing a few photos of my home as my fiancé and I get the nursery ready for our twins. Sometimes, a snapshot is all you need to share a slice of your life.
If your business isn’t personal or a personal brand, or you’re a more private person, look for stories or images your followers can relate to in some way, and preferably related to what you offer or do. Success stories from happy clients or customers go a long way.
HABIT 3: Respond when you can
If you receive a comment on something you’ve shared, it’s always great to write back to that person and acknowledge them. A simple “Thank You” or “I’m so glad you liked it!” goes a long way, and it only takes a matter of seconds. Every day or so, I pop into my social media accounts to send a few notes of gratitude and acknowledgements. It helps me stay connected, and it’s one of the best ways to keep my ear close to the ground so I know what my customers want and need.
It’s also important you regularly scan your page responses so you can catch any customer service requests. This is where my team is a huge help, as I can’t keep up with it all. It’s becoming more and more common that customers will write on your Facebook page or send you a Tweet to complain they haven’t gotten their package instead of calling your toll-free number or writing your support email! If you need a few pointers on how to handle, see my article on “How to Use Social Media to Deliver Stellar Customer Service”.
And of course you may get a few buggers who write critical or insulting comments on your page, which you can judge whether to respond to or just delete. If it’s an interesting point and you want to dialogue, go for it. But be careful about getting sucked in to a nasty conversation. A good rule I learned from my friend and social media expert Amber Mac is “Don’t feed the trolls.”
HABIT 4: Participate in the network—not just your bubble
It’s important to show that you’re not just feeding information to the public, but that you’re also absorbing other knowledge being shared. That’s when you truly become an active participant in your social circle. No successful entrepreneur has all the answers. It’s great to get out of your bubble and take some time each day to browse your community member’s pages and posts and engage with them as well. This is especially important when you are getting started and looking to gain ground by expanding your social media networks. Look for other pages or people who also interact within your industry or with your target market. Comment thoughtfully on their posts, articles, images, and more. Offer insightful add-ons and responses. Be a contributor. Feel free to disagree in a respectful manner to encourage dialogue and stir the pot.
Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.