Promoting your brand on social media is useless if you don’t gain your audience’s trust. Social media is more than a tool for dumping your links. Without active engagement, your social media site will simply be a social media graveyard. That said, it’s important to know that each social media site has its own formats and rules of engagement. The ones highlighted below are some general guidelines to help you build stronger connections on the most popular social media sites:
Aim to be relevant
How do you get your audience to notice your content? You have to create content that’s relevant to others. The more popular posts are those that shock, challenge, inspire, and make people laugh. These are the posts that speak to people’s needs or motivate them to take action. Instead of ranting about your personal life on social media, think about how you can use the tool to add value to people’s lives. You can write words of encouragement, tips and tricks, reviews, and how-tos. Whatever it is you post on social media, aim to be relevant.
Give more, and you can expect more. When you write a blog post or make an update, always give credit where credit is due. Consider mentioning other users or writers whenever appropriate. Point readers to services or products they can love. Also, be generous with your time. When someone gives you a mention or comments on your updates, acknowledge this and create conversation whenever possible. Contribute to existing conversations and don’t be afraid to start some small talk on your own social media site. While some of the conversations you think of can sound trivial, they also get across the message that you’d like to connect to your network.
Complete your profile
Nobody wants to connect with a profile that doesn’t have a credible face. If you’re on Facebook, the idea of someone stalking your updates sounds creepy. On Twitter, people are more likely to add people whose descriptions match their own interests. Take some time to personalize your profile on each of your social media sites. Choose a nice-looking profile picture and write your “about me” using compelling and descriptive language. Go over your profile and ask yourself if this is someone you’d want to connect with.
It’s important that you refrain from trolling or making crass comments on social media sites. If you have nothing of value to share, then opt to shut up. If someone leaves an offensive comment, consider responding with grace instead of loading your own ammo.
Some practices that disrespect social media space are:
- leaving links that have absolutely no connection to the topic on hand
- multiple and repetitive comments
- offensive language
- spreading lies
While your social media site is a private space, it can also be seen by a lot of people. You can’t expect your audience to trust someone who isn’t likeable online.
Join reputable communities
Find online communities that have the same interests as you do. This is a great opportunity to connect with thought leaders and other active social media fans in your industry and to share your content to an interested audience. You can join Facebook groups, Google+ hangouts, blog rolls, or online forums, to name a few options. Check if these communities have official badges that you can display on your own blog site.
Building a trustworthy social media reputation takes time and effort, but this is the best way to gain a loyal following online.