Being authentic is something I preach on the daily. In social media, it’s easy to get lost in the cacophony of constant @replies, “buy this now”, “check out my book it’s on sale!” and hashtags. As a social media marketing fanatic, that’s not lost on me. I get how overwhelming it can get.
I make it a point to instill the following tips in my personal strategy, and know it will help you to be irresistible to your audience as well. You’ll see, that a lot of it is living the Golden Rule. If you’re here from The SITS Girls, you’re already 8 tips in! Bravo for wanting to grab a few more!
1. Get to know that new follower
When someone follows you on social media, don’t just automatically follow back. That’s phoning it in and not being intentional about the relationship your forming and trying to cultivate. Automatically following back without checking the person out shows that you don’t care about relationships, you only care about numbers.
Do this instead: when someone follows you, friends you or adds you to one of their circles, check out their profile. Find something you can relate to, and then follow them back with that relatable nugget of information.
There’s always something you can connect with someone on. If they’re a Yankee fan, tell them you love the Mets and shame on them! With a smiley face of course. Even if it’s just to say that you love the flowers in their header. It shows that you took a beat to check them out.
Bottom line, you don’t have to wait for the other person to start the conversation and you shouldn’t. Be the “real-ational” social media user and cultivate your community. It starts with finding common ground just like in real life.
2. Be helpful
In my latest exclusive VIP weekly email, I shared how to listen in on conversations on Facebook, like a ninja. You know, stealth mode style. I listen in on conversations going on in over 30 groups on Facebook alone! I do it to keep my finger on the pulse of what other bloggers needs are and to help in brainstorming blog topics. But mostly, to help them out.
Genuinely sharing your awesome, expecting nothing in return is just good business. You’ll instantly become the one people go to when they need help.
Blogging and social media takes a lot of knowledge about a myriad of subjects to really pull off. If you can help a fellow blogger who is frazzled, stressed or tapped out, why wouldn’t you?
3. Use first names
Use first names when you can. I use first names when I reply to tweets, craft emails replies or respond to comments. Your readers aren’t just handles, they’re people. Showing that you took some time to find out what their name was, and personalize a response just to them? That sets you apart, my friend.
Those touches make people feel special. It’s done so rarely that you will look like a diamond amidst coal. Ok, maybe not that dramatic. But you get my drift. If their mother saw fit to give them a name, you should use it.
4. Reply via email to new subscribers
I know what you’re thinking: “Cristina, I don’t have time to reply to email subscribers!” Yes, you do. Think about it, do you have swarms of people flocking to your subscription list (If you do, let’s talk)?
How much time does it really take to respond and say thank you for subscribing to an email list? Yes. I still hear you. “But Cristina, doesn’t my subscription service do that automatically?” Yes, it does. What I am doing here is an automation disrupt!
Don’t know what I mean, here’s a sample of what I write:
Dear Real Name that I took a moment to include 😉
This isn’t an automated e-mail. I received a little note saying that you signed up to receive my emails in your inbox and wanted to personally say thank you.
I don’t give out my email to just anyone, and I’m sure you don’t either. So thank you.
I can’t wait for the weekend! Heading to NYC! Hope you have a good one.
Is that hard? How would you feel sending something like that? You’d feel like you were connecting with a friend. I rest my case.
5. Mention your readers in your blog posts
I love doing this. I take comments that readers leave and respond to them in full on blog posts. Like this and this. One of them even went viral (I didn’t plan that part). I did learn something, taking the pain points of your readers and fleshing that out into a blog post shows your readers you really listen and care. More often than not, it’s not just the one reader who has that particular question (as was the case with the viral post) but a whole slew of other people are looking for the same information.
Lately, I have been leaving a call-to-action in my posts that give them the opportunity to ask questions and in return, I include that I will link to a social platform of their choice.
Do what works for you, but remember that blogging isn’t a one way street, a monologue or a solo dance number, you get my drift.
6. Give ’em a peek.
Everyone wants to know everyone else’s business. Don’t believe me? What posts are you most interested in? How to’s with pictures of how they got this amazing thing done, right? Lifehacks, tips, tricks and listicles. Or maybe you like personal reflections sharing how someone overcame a terrible time in their lives?
Regardless, people want a peek behind the scenes. We want to know the real you, so don’t hide behind your laptop. Share your process, share your wins but share them in a way that you’re teaching your readers how to replicate the win for themselves.
Winning alone isn’t really fun. Right?
Did you want more? Head over to read the other 8 tips I shared on this very subject over at The SITS Girls. Read Social Networking and Blogging: How to Authentically Connect With Readers.
In the meantime, get out there and start delighting your audience. They’re waiting for ya!