Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Use Social Media to Get People Talking

It didn’t take long for social media to start playing a big role in our lives, so we shouldn’t be surprised at how many businesses and public figures use it to build up a following. While many of them know how to create profiles on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, they seem to have more trouble with the “social” part of social media.
Even if a lot of people like or follow your feeds, they’ll eventually stop visiting if you don’t post anything interesting, let alone interact with you. If your social media presence is going to be social, you have to get people talking. Here are four ways to do it.

Take Informal Surveys
Some businesses spend millions on sophisticated market research, but you can use your social media pages to get the same insights for a fraction of the cost. Ask followers to name their favorite foods, cars, or whatever else is relevant to them. If the holidays are approaching, ask people what they’re doing. Ideally, your questions should relate to your brand, but even generic questions can generate the kind of chatter you want.

Make Exclusive Offers
Companies selling Ford products use social media to keep people up to date on everything pertaining to the business, from new products to happy customers to commercial use. You’re not yet a household name, however, so you need to more aggressively motivate people to interact with you. Exclusive deals might do the trick. Many start-ups offer special discounts and freebies to attract a loyal following, but the right offers can convert followers into loyal customers.

Hold Contests
Everyone loves to win things that’s why lotteries earn so much money every year. It’s also why a contest open to followers could give your feeds a healthy boost. For instance, followers who submit photos or videos of your products could enter to win a cash prize. To make it more interactive, ask followers to choose their favorite, and then give the prize to the winner. The more active your followers, the more chatter your profile will generate.

Invite Feedback
One of the reasons consumers follow their favorite brands on social media is because it provides another way to communicate with them. In fact, many customers use these pages to read product reviews, get technical support, and issue complaints, often because it takes less time than calling customer service. Make sure you’re encouraging this kind of feedback; more importantly, make sure you address issues as soon as someone posts about them.

If people aren’t talking about you or your business, they probably aren’t buying much from you, either. Create social media profiles to start up the conversation, and follow the steps above to keep it going.

Adrienne Erin is a social media marketer and avid blogger who writes regularly for Search Engine People and SiteProNews.

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