First Sight to Forever: Use Social Media to Develop Lasting Relationships
Have you ever been set up on blind date or gone on a first date where you didn’t know the person all that well? If so, you understand all the anxiety that it can cause. Figuring out what to wear, what to say and what to do can really stress you out and so can managing your company's social media accounts. What to post, what to like and what to share while still managing your company’s personality and authenticity while striving to become the thought leader in your area, can also cause anxiety for some. How do you minimize that anxiety on a first/blind date? Make it a group date - invite your friends and have them invite theirs. How do you minimize that anxiety when it comes to your social media? Share, retweet or repost other companies’ social media - as long as you have a method to your madness.
Show Off Your Personality
When you’re with groups of people, you’re less likely to be awkward because you are no longer in the spotlight, so your date is more likely to get a better sense of your personality. Same goes for your marketing on your social media platforms, but instead of your personality, give them an insight into your company. What are your values and what is your company’s culture. Did you see a post you liked on someone else’s social media? Share it!
Whether it’s comical or constructive, if something aligns with your company’s voice, goals, industry, products or services, it’s probably worth a share. Go ahead and share that funny post you saw this morning about the IT industry and chocolate. Share the post about the projected marketing trends for the upcoming year. As long as your re-posted content offers value to your followers and target audience and is complementary to your industry, then it’s golden. Here’s some tips and tricks to help you fit this into your day:
- Set a recurring appointment to allot yourself about an hour per month, to follow other companies’ accounts.
- When searching these other companies, start with the auto generated suggestions from your social media platform. Essentially the platforms are doing half the work for you by giving you these suggestions as they focus around your habits. For example, Twitter gives suggestions based on patterns from your following history.
- Also, when searching, think about your audience’s interests. If you know a lot of your clients are in the medical field, follow a group that reflects that so you can connect with your audience on another level.
Demonstrate Your Leadership Potential
Don’t be afraid to show off your skills. Are you awesome at pairing wines with meals? Suggest a wine tour for your group date. Are you a trivia buff? Get everyone to head out to a local trivia night. You want to highlight your best attributes and show off what you’re good at, do this by taking charge and making the plans. The same idea applies to your social media accounts - they’re there for you to market yourself, so show off what you’re good at and what you know.
Becoming a thought leader is a huge move into the positive for a company, but it can be tricky. Thought leadership status comes from being able to provide genuine, valuable information to your customers and in your industry without hinting at self-promotion. Show them that you are the expert in your field and that you are 100% worthy of their trust and they will become loyal clients. It’s like being on that wine tour and one of your friends doesn’t understand why the cabernet was served with that specific cheese. If you can explain it to him and give them the reasons why without appearing condescending, then he’ll probably call you on Saturday night to ask you what wine he should serve with his dinner and the person you're trying to impress will ask you for suggestions on your second date.
To do this with social media you need to avoid making every post a hard sell. You want to share a mixture of things like industry trends, relevant quotes and stuff about your business, proving that you know what’s going on in your industry, but that you’re a real person with solid, applicable content, too. “Business buyers don’t buy your product; they buy into your approach to solving their problems.” says B2B Marketing Professional Laura Ramos. The follower gets a takeaway that can potentially solve a problem, help with making a decision or service their career and you get to be the company that had both the knowledge and willingness to help them. That’s a win-win in our book.
Want a helpful tip for staying up to date on your industry? Check out Google alerts. A Google alert is “a content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google. The service sends emails to the user when it finds new results—such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs—that match the user's search term. By doing so, you’ll receive an email notification any time Google finds new results around a specific keyword that you specify.” These alerts can be customized in your Google account in a number of different ways, depending on what you’re most interested in seeing. Are you only interested in seeing news about your industry? Maybe you’re only looking for video content about a specific topic? You can customize your Google alert in that way, and that’s all you’ll see.
Sharing content is important to your social media content strategy, not only because it helps you develop your personality and present yourself as a thought leader, but it shows those you follow that you’re actually paying attention to them and appreciate their ideas too. Making your clients feel important can help develop a stronger bond with those you have and show potential clients that you actually pay attention to your clients. If you want to invite us along on your blind date with social media marketing, contact one of our marketing professionals today.