The Art of Conversation.
Yes, it is, in fact, a thing. Although lately, it’s become somewhat of a lost art. Over the past several months, endless text threads and direct messages have replaced the type of communication that really hits the heart. We’re talking about conversations. You know, those thoughtful, voice-to-ear communications that really connect people with one another.
So, when business owners first reach out to us asking why their social media posts haven’t resulted in stronger connections with, and reactions from, followers– we’re frank with our answer. Connections aren’t established by ‘posting’ alone.
Sure, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn are somewhat casual, but they can help facilitate meaningful and productive relationships with clients, colleagues and referral sources if the business is proactive and interactive with comments and conversations. Done in conjunction with posting, engaging with and responding to followers is how strong connections are made.
And this means communicating beyond ‘liking.’ Businesses’ not only need to acknowledge likes and comments, but they also need to reply to followers’ comments, and follow select accounts in return– commenting and/or DM strategically.
Now we certainly appreciate that small biz owners have too much on their plates with the ‘day-to-day’ already, but communications and relationships should always be a priority. And the key to effective marketing– be it on social media or TV– is layering consistently. And while we can’t say enough about the value of consistent communication, posting on social media alone– even if regularly– isn’t going to dramatically move the needle to create conversations and strong (a.k.a. valuable) connections.
In order to connect with your audience and to get people to respond to your social media posts, you ALSO need to reach them by folding-in stories, reels, comments, e-newsletters, and blogs. This way, they will hear and receive YOUR brand, YOUR business’s ‘voice’ in concert with your various post types. YOUR voice adds value to your business’s social media marketing and, subsequently, will help engage followers and establish stronger connections.
Okay, so this may sound like somewhat of an ‘intangible thing.’ And connecting with an audience doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution; however, there are THREE things every business can do TODAY to communicate and connect more effectively with an audience on social media:
Stop selling. Seriously, enough already. If every one of your posts tells people to buy what you’re selling, then: You. Need. To. Stop! Consider if every time you ran into the same friend, he or she told you the same story, you’d be over it pretty quickly, right? Well, the same goes for social media. So mix-up your posts types to include more than sales pitches. For example, offer expert tips, or information about ‘how to work with your business,’ or how to use your products or services. This is particularly valuable if your business doesn’t have a website.
Share professional insight. We’re not saying to give away the farm, but there are helpful recommendations you can post to demonstrate your professional expertise– no matter your industry or how your business is set-up.
Posts with tips, how-tos, information about your service, or product types– well, they add value. Subsequently, they prompt followers to continue to check your account and even to look to your business as a resource that they may be willing to patronize or engage professionally.
We hear it constantly: business owners wish they had the time and means to share with clients, colleague and referral sources more about what they do. They wish people would “get it.” Well, by sharing professional insight through your social media posts is the chance to educate people about ‘HOW’ to use your services.
Define your why? Yes, you’ve heard correctly, it is all about the ’why.’ WHY are your products or services great? WHY are they different from your competition? WHY does what your business offer make a better choice for people? It’s the WHY behind the what that makes the difference to consumers, so make it apparent and make it appear in your feed, often