Use Social Media for Conversation, Not Just Broadcasting
Use social media for conversation, not just broadcasting. Social media encompasses more than just brand-promotion; if we can welcome more engagement with our customers, we can build authentic relationships, long-term trust, and more sustained growth of our businesses.
Can you think of someone you've met who LOVES to talk, but not really engage in conversation? As in, exchange ideas and words with another person? This person may be incredibly nice and fun to listen to, but there isn't much reciprocity going on. It's a one-way street. Not so fun after a while, right?
At first, social media started out as a forum for broadcasting. But it's a lot more than that now! Customers aren't necessarily interested in seeing a direct promotion of your business without feeling some sort of emotional connection to YOU. That doesn't mean you avoid making a sale or promoting your services. But having a social media strategy that encompasses more relationship-building and conversation can have many benefits in the long run.
Cons of Using Social Media for Just Broadcasting
Using social media simply as a forum for broadcast can have the same effects as the person who just talks AT us, instead of with us. Day in, day out, all we see is self-promotion of a product or service. No conversation starters, no serious engagement with the community.
This may not necessarily have negative effects on your business, but it probably won't be incredibly helpful for your growth. Using social media solely for broadcasting PREVENTS you from:
- Making meaningful connections with your current audience
- Starting conversations with potential and existing customers
- Being relatable, approachable, and personable within your community
How to Use Social Media for Conversation AND Broadcasting
If we can practice using social media for conversation - with some broadcast sprinkled in - we can work towards a social media presence that has more substance. One that invites conversation, connects with customers and has a more meaningful presence in the community.
Incorporating both conversation and broadcasting builds trust with your readers. They will be accustomed to emotionally connecting with you so that the broadcast (AKA "sale") doesn't seem "salesy" and intrusive. Instead, it'll be a natural part of your brand...the end-goal, right?
Try these three tactics for inviting more conversation within your social media channels:
1. Ask questions! Like in-person conversations, that's how we get to know each other and build relationships. Get to know your audience, and try to invite more than "small talk" with your customers.
2. Respond to comments and direct messages: If someone takes the time to ask you a question, comment on your posts, or send you a direct message, respond to them in a timely manner! That may be the easiest way to connect with your readers since they've already gone out on a limb to get to know you. We just have to remember to respond ;-)
3. Make your broadcast about THEM: your social media presence should be for your READERS, first and foremost. That being said, when you are ready to make your broadcast or sale, find a way to emotionally resonate with your audience. If customers can emotionally connect to a product or service, they are more likely to purchase! Simply saying, "Here's my stuff. Buy it!" will not be as effective as finding a way to show people that you will help them solve a problem.
Social media has evolved to be more than promotion and broadcast. Customers are looking for more substance in brands that they're interested in, and we must rise up to meet their needs! Incorporating more conversation into your social media posts can encourage more connections and build relationships, which leads to long-term trust and overall growth of your business.
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