By Abigaelle Mulligan
One thing many people forget to remember is that social media is firstly, social.
Social media is made-up of individuals. It houses their own pursuits, own opinions, and own reasons for being online. These platforms are where individuals go to learn, share, and connect.
It’s not meant to be free advertising space. And this is where many brands go wrong.
There are three simple rules companies who use social media platforms to connect with their audience needs to understand:
1. Listen, then engage.
As much as you want to promote your brand and its products to increase sales, you need to know what you’re audience is already talking about. After finding out what that conversation already looks like, jump in. But listen first. The worst thing a brand can do is stick out like a sore thumb in its audience’s already happening conversation.
2. Don’t just talk about yourself. Become a resource.
Share meaningful content. Your audience doesn’t follow your accounts just to hear about your products 24/7. They want to connect with your brand in a more meaningful way. If a consumer follows you, know that it’s because that person will look to you to provide content that’s trustworthy. Many times consumers will follow your accounts because you provide an idea of a lifestyle they want to be a part of.
3. Respond to everyone.
Bad customer service is bad for your business. Negative comments are inevitable. By making sure you’re consistently checking in with these people will be better than letting these side conversations fester and become bigger than it may be.
In the end, being on social means you need to be social. Brands can influence and create communities on these platforms by first listening, then becoming more than selling a product or service. Give your audience something to connect with and make it easy for them to want to share your content.
Feature Image Credit: Jason Howie “Social Media apps via Flickr CC by 2.0