Daily Archives: November 14, 2013

How To Connect With Your Digital Audience

It is no longer enough to connect with people in a physical realm. Although the value of making connections in person cannot be undermined, building relationships people often happens online. It is through social media that brands and business can connect people based on a common passion or interest. Community managers for these brands have emerged to combat new problems: captivate an audience and keep them coming back for more. These new digital challenges certainly comes with obstacles. Blogger Britt Michaelian has written a piece about ways in which strong social brands connect with their audience, and how to best keep users engaged.

Give Them What They Want

One of the things that Michaelian highlights in her piece is to remember that “strong social brands are givers.” The society that we have grown accustomed to floods us with information. Thus, social media brands must continue to give to their community. Learning how to give back socially can make a brand stand out from its competition.

Michaelian participates in a panel at UCLA about social media

Michaelian participates in a panel at UCLA about social media

How Do You Do That?

Michaelian shares her tips for how to be a socially giving brand. Some of these tips include:

  • Engaging in meaningful conversations with followers on a consistent basis – Don’t tweet just to tweet. Make sure that posts are meaningful.
  • Share, RT, comment and like content on the profiles of their supporters – It’s important to encourage a positive vibe within a community. Share that support.
  • Keep their social exchanges positive and uplifting – No one likes to hear bad news. Make sure you’re a voice that people want to hear.
  • Realize that without their audience, their message would not be heard, so they express and show gratitude often – Community managers can’t be community managers without a community. Be thankful for the people who interact with your brand.

Be Realistic

The tips that Michaelian provides in her article are all uplifting and positive. While it is important to constantly have a positive attitude online, it is also important to be realistic. Online, it’s crucial to remain transparent and be as human as possible. This allows people to feel more comfortable and connected with a brand. It’s important to remember that the news brands have to share will not always be positive. Community managers should be able to show a range of emotions in order to better connect with the news that they are trying to share. Although Michaelian shares tips such as admitting when you’ve made a mistake, many of the tips she leaves discuss remaining happy and positive. Your community will appreciate if they feel like they are talking to a real person at the other end of the computer screen rather than someone who is always happy go lucky. Remember to be real!

How else do you connect with your audience online? Share in the comments below! 

What NOT to do in your community

This week we learned about listening and planning when it came to your community. A great article by Deb Ng titled, “How to Annoy Your Community and Ruin Your Brand’s Reputation in the Process” showed ways in which your presence in your community can ultimately become annoying. We all want to find ways to increase likes, or increase the presence in our community. However, there is a difference between times when you go too far, or what the article says as what is personal and what isn’t.

Photo courtesy of Gail Williams via Flikr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Gail Williams via Flikr Creative Commons

 

What NOT to do

So many people think that personally reaching out to people and asking them to like your page is appropriate. To me, it sounds desperate. People will come and I don’t think it is professional to do that. It’s better to have earned likes and followers rather than buy them. A quote from the article states,

“Here’s when it’s ok to auto spam all the people who follow you on Twitter to ask them to Like your Facebook page: NEVER.” 

Even if you are trying to be nice and tell them that you will “like” them back, that is not okay. All that it is doing is being annoying and can ultimately hurt your brand.

Suggestions on things TO do

Some suggestions which are not too invasive can be to share content people like, ask people to join your page publicly but acknowledge WHY they should, participate in the community, and respect the community. During my semester long social media strategy project last year, my client started with 50 likes. By the end of the semester and the suggestions that offered, he was over 100. While that might not be too much, it doubled which in my eyes is pretty good. He didn’t reach out personally to people for them to “like” the page. Rather, he posted great content relating to auto enthusiasts and also sparked interesting conversations and offered contests. This is the type of content that people like and will follow.

The other big thing is my client Nick listened to the people. He effectively altered his business to what the customers wanted. He listened to their opinions and stories on what they think he should offer and have in his shop. That brought about more followers and “likes” without him having to do what you shouldn’t do: spam your community. In my opinion, if someone did that to me, I would be a little stand-offish and wouldn’t like it. I think the big thing is we have to think about what we would feel in that situation, and if we wouldn’t like it done to us, then don’t do it.

Conclusion

Finally, it’s up to you to figure out how to effectively market your brand and build the community the way you want it. But, you can’t be desperate. I think my biggest takeaway from this week is that in order for you not to annoy the community and ruin your brand, you have to let them come to you, and it’s ultimately up to you how you rope them in. With interesting content, respecting the community, and participating, the community can be successful.

Some questions to consider:

Are there any other suggestions to consider?

Can you think of a time where it’s okay to spam your followers?