(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – By now most small businesses realize the importance of social media to marketing and customer service. But it is easy to forget that the actual point of social media is to be social. Platforms like Twitter or Facebook are for creating a community within your brand where you can have valuable conversations with customers. Are you having trouble starting conversations? Here are some tips to keep your conversations on social media reciprocal.
- Follow the conversation. If your business doesn’t follow other Twitter users, or like other Facebook pages, you won’t know what they are talking about. Follow customers, competitors, bloggers, industry news aggregators, etc.
- Actively participate first. Before shouting at the world all about your brand, become part of the conversation. Get involved with already active conversations before you start your own. This will make your business more approachable and human. Converse with people on the things they tweet about even if it isn’t your brand or business.
- Create conversations. Try to avoid selling on your social media accounts too often. Share relevant updates and information about your brand as needed. Another great way to have your status updates shared is to aggregate content that your readers want to know about. Also, try to create conversations about subjects that may not necessarily relate to your brand. For example, if you are running a business selling jewelry, update on events like fashion week because it is information that your customer is interested in. Last, creating effective calls to action will help increase conversation by asking readers to participate.
- Stay informed. Many people are turning to social media as their primary news source. Stay updated on current events and local news. You can easily update on these subjects or give condolences when necessary. This keeps your business feeling human. If possible, stay away from controversial stories to avoid losing customers.
- Hashtag (when applicable). For twitter, conversations using a hashtag can help give your business a wider audience. Hashtags make finding conversations about a certain topic or word easily searchable. There are always trending topics shown on twitter. If applicable, contribute to the conversation using the trending hashtag.
- Use an authentic voice. Customers are more likely to converse with your business on Facebook or Twitter if you are approachable. No one wants to talk to a robot so use a real voice on your social media platforms.
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