by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor
It is no secret that social media makes connecting with your audience easy. But some people assume that “easy” means that it does not take any time or effort. This is not the case. “Easy” just means that you are now capable of connecting directly with consumers, while before you had to go through a middleman like a journalist or an advertising firm.
The power to connect with your audience directly is not to be taken lightly.
Social media has completely changed the way that consumers interact with brands, and vice versa. If you want to connect with them, it is not enough to simply dole out information on your latest products. For a truly engaged following, you need to facilitate communication and generate real interaction.
In other words, you need to talk with your audience, not to them.
A connection between a brand and a consumer base does not pop up overnight. However, here are four steps in the right direction you can begin taking today.
People on social media want to be part of something. Creating a hashtag for fans or consumers to use can help to fulfill that desire.
Twitter and Instagram are the platforms that benefit most from this, naturally. Making it easy for consumers to find each other means that you will be able to encourage them to talk with each other about your product. It will also make it easier for you to find them, as well.
Hashtag campaigns that promise a reward are especially effective. People will be much more inclined to get involved if they think they can get something out of it.
Of course, using hashtags goes both ways. While encouraging your consumer base to use certain hashtags, you should be doing the same — making yourself visible and making it easier for potential consumers to find you.
A statement is not likely to generate much conversation. A question, on the other hand? That makes it easy for consumers to respond and engage with you.
Get into the habit of asking your consumers questions. They should not be complicated, either — most questions (and answers) should easily fit into Twitter’s character limit.
Ask your consumers how they are using your product. What their favorite thing about it is. What they would like to see changed or improved upon.
You might be surprised by the amount of engagement you will see back. However, this is only the first step. In order to really facilitate conversation, you need to …
It is not enough to just ask questions or encourage your consumers to talk. You need to acknowledge them, too.
When people say something nice about your product, thank them. When people complain about it, reach out (politely) and tell them that you are looking into it.
When people ask a question, answer them. When people answer your questions, comment on those answers.
Being seen as engaged and approachable is one of the best things you can be on social media. After all, it is called social for a reason — you should be able to hold your own in a conversation.
People do not want to talk to a brand — they want to talk to a person.
So when your brand is active on social media, it needs to come across as friendly. Brands that succeed are ones that have a personality of their own. Take the time to figure out what your brand’s personality is going to be.
This will ensure that people will actually want to talk about your company.
Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.