You can have the most innovative content out there, the most eye-catching graphics and fantastic calls to action, but if you do not have a social following, your branding can end up pointless and be largely invisible to your target audience. Because good networking is one of the cornerstones of effective social media marketing, we have put together a list of seven expert tips to help you grow your followings and fan bases online.
Forget About Misleading Your Audience
Every business wants a solid and organic database that is actively interested in their products and services. Writing misleading headlines or using link baiting practices is not going to engender trust in your online communities. Headlines that do not deliver will over-promise and ultimately end up disappointing your audience.
Honor Your Source
Always give credit where it is deserved. If you want to build long term relationships with people, be sure to give them credit for a story, joke, meme or picture. And, similarly, if you find that other pages are sharing your material, try and do the same for them.
Positivity and Friendliness Can Go A Long Way
Sure, there are plenty of political debate, economic disparity and general disagreement in the world, but on social media channels we should engage people subtly and light heartedly. Positivity, jokes and humor can go a long way in touching people.
Show That You Can Save People Money
Money – something everyone would like to have more of and something lots of people spend a lot of time trying to save up. Content which shows you are considerate towards finances indicates you have an audience’s best interests at heart.
Remember You Are Dealing With People
Flattery will get you everywhere online. It is something you should try to dish out liberally if you want to build an audience. Liking comments, statuses and posts, and replying to questions and comments left by your audience is important to build an online following.
Be True To Yourself
One of the basics of online branding and developing an online persona is just being true to yourself. Your brand also has a narrative that audiences want to hear. Through your analytics and insights find out what it is that online audiences would like to learn more about, and give it to them. Share stories rather than “talk at” your audience. Copyblogger describes how to find the balance in your tone of voice:
Set the example by taking a thoughtful, measured tone, and being mindful of how your audience interacts via comments and responses, nipping negativity in the bud. In this way, you can help shape a culture that promotes responsible sharing, while crafting the image of a leader that people find desirable.
Everything You Do – And Say – Has a Consequence
This is quite a safe one because it actually means that it doesn’t matter what you do, just do something. Any effort you put in will return some kind of consequence, it is just waiting for you to activate it. Entrepreneur.com explains it like this:
There is no neutral in sales: A sales rep’s interactions with customers will either be positive or negative. Every action you take matters. It’s not just about being on your best behavior, it’s about knowing your strengths and lining them up to reach your desired outcome.
So, to clarify, you do not have to unleash your inner sales person on your prospective audiences, but thinking like one, and taking every opportunity, will make a big difference. Also tied to this is the fact that you have to be prepared for the unexpected.