7 Steps to Becoming More Engaged With Your Clients Through Social Media

social media - social networking

social media - social networkingYou’ve created your social media platforms with high hopes of really connecting and building a large audience of current and prospective clients.

You feel you’ve done everything right but anytime you post or tweet, all you hear is the sound of virtual crickets. You aren’t getting the engagement you thought you would have when you created your accounts.

Take heart, engagement doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be cultivated. You must “train” your community to engage with you.

Here are seven steps to cultivating an engaging relationship with your social media communities.

1. Truly care about your clients

The first step is an internal one. You have to come to a place (if you’re not there already) where you truly care about your clients and prospects.

This means you care about them on a level higher than what they mean to your business.

It means you care about them on a personal level. You care that it’s their birthday or anniversary. You care that they just had a baby or that their only child just graduated from high school.

It means you see them as people with lives and problems beyond the scope of what you have to offer as a freelance writer.

When you attain this level of caring, your authentic personality comes through in everything you post or tweet and people are naturally more drawn to engage with you.

2. Put your community above your sales

Now that you’ve done some soul-searching, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. Show your community that you value them for more than just your bottom line.

Social media is not the place to bombard your audience with your sales pitch.

Instead, provide them with things that benefit them, both in ways that are related to your services and in ways that aren’t.

For example: If you specialize in SEO copy for websites, provide them with tips, articles, videos, etc., that pertain to optimizing websites. But also provide them with other items that they may find interesting and that may be of help to them in areas outside of SEO.

Just make sure it’s not totally unrelated to your services.

You wouldn’t see The Coffee Detective posting a video about how to make homemade cheese on his Facebook page. And so you should not post things completely unrelated on your social media channels.

3. Think benefits not features

One way to easily come up with topics that will provide your social media community with value is to think of the benefits your services provide, rather than the features.

This is a well-known method of copywriting but is often overlooked in social media.

When you focus on the benefits of your services over the features, you begin to see many new ways in which you can provide valuable content to your online communities.

4. Create and share engaging content

As a freelance writer, you’re likely well acquainted with content creation. In fact, it’s something you probably do on a daily basis. But what makes content engaging?

Content is engaging when it is both conversational and makes a strong point.

Some of the most engaging content, and the most shared and retweeted, is the content that was created from a strong viewpoint.

Have you ever read an article that was written from an unpopular perspective and had hundreds of people commenting, sharing, and retweeting? That’s engaging content.

Content can also be engaging by posing thought-provoking questions. This is effectively done in the ending paragraphs of an article, or the last moments of a video.

5. Create an open atmosphere

Many business owners make the mistake of limiting access to their business Facebook page, feeling that if they open it up for others to post or upload pictures they might be asking for trouble.

This creates a closed and untrusting atmosphere.

By allowing your community to post to your page wall and share pictures with others on your page, you show them that you care about them enough to trust them and that creates an engaging social media atmosphere.

6. Respond to all questions, posts, and comments in a timely manner

You simply cannot log on to your social media accounts once or twice a week and expect to create an engaging community.

While it’s not necessary to be on 24/7, it is important that you post something on each of your accounts at least once a day (more often if you’re on Twitter).

And, it’s even more important that you answer questions, comment on posts, and respond to comments in a reasonable amount of time.

Social media is fast-paced. People expect nearly instant response when they reach out on social media.

You must make a point to give them that response quickly — within an hour is best, but definitely within the same day it was posted. Otherwise you not only lose respect and credibility, you just may lose a client or prospect.

7. Show your appreciation — highlight your biggest fans

People love recognition. You can greatly increase your engagement factor by publicly recognizing members of your social media communities.

Ideally, you might recognize people who engage with you on a regular basis. The guy who is always commenting on your posts or tweets. The woman who always Likes, shares, or retweets your content.

But if you’re really struggling with engagement, there are other ways of doing it.

For example: Matthew Loomis of Kaboomis Copy highlights a Facebook follower each week during “Thankful Thursday.”

Get creative and I’m sure you can come up with many ways in which you can highlight your fans.

Engagement doesn’t happen overnight. To create an engaging atmosphere among your social media communities, you have to put time and effort into it.

Follow these seven steps and you’re sure to see an increase in engagement on your social media channels.

Do you have a method for increasing social media engagement that’s not mentioned above? We’d love to hear about it. Please share it with us in the comments below.

[Editor’s Note: If you don’t use social media as one of your marketing channels you need to. It’s become an essential part of any business strategy, and if you don’t have a social media presence, you’ll lose clients. Learn more about using social media to build your business when you order Nick Usborne’s How to Make Money as a Social Media Marketing Expert.]


Kendy Sproul

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