It’s pretty exciting when the likes and comments start rolling in on your social media posts, especially if they are complementary. After all, isn’t that why you post? To engage with your community?
You probably answered yes--but here’s another question for you. Are you really engaging with your audience? Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, you are only half done once you hit that button to post. The important part is what you do next—the response.
In order to take full advantage of social media, you need to have a two-way conversation. You expect your followers to engage so you need to do the same. Think of it this way: those who respond to your posts are your cheerleaders. They know who you are and they can be your best advocates. But you need to let them know that you hear what they are saying and that you appreciate it. In other words, you need to give praise to your cheerleaders. Here are four foolproof ways that you can make sure that you are letting your social media universe know that you appreciate them.
While you don’t have to acknowledge every like or follow, you should respond to every comment that requires a response. Keep it brief, on point, and appreciative. If you have lots of comments you can prepare some ready-made responses to use when appropriate. Videos, gifs, and images can all be strategic tools in letting your community know you are engaged with them.
Keep it positive.
Face it: not all of your commenters will think you’re a 10. That’s ok. There is always the chance that someone will be less than pleased. You, however, always need to be positive. If it’s a problem you can fix, do your best to do that. Remember to follow-up to make sure that the problem is taken care of.
If you go from master poster to radio silence, your followers will be confused. Respond on a regular basis and stick to a schedule. Carving out a particular time of day or day of the week for responding can help you stay on track.
You may not know each of your followers personally but they are just like everyone else. They want to be appreciated. Regardless of the type of feedback they provide, say thank you. Look for appropriate ways to return the favor. Perhaps send a commenter a link to a helpful article, run a special promotion for those who are active on your page, or add a positive review on their page.
Socialmedia can be much more than just a way to get the word out about your business. When you engage with your audience you can create a virtual community. Even if someone never buys a product or sends you a referral, they can be a valuable resource. Take a few minutes to let them know that you are glad they are there.
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