Last week we discussed what it means to be a leader or a follower in the social media landscape. This week, we wanted to offer you some suggestions for how to keep your followers engaged and enthusiastic if you’re trying to stay on top. A few basic rules are:
• Don’t post too much. This mostly goes for Facebook status updates and tweets. You don’t want to flood someone’s stream with commentary. Give them time to miss you and look forward to your next post. Research the best times of day and days of the week to post, so that when you do reach out you’ll get the greatest possible impact.
• Don’t post too little. This mostly goes for blogs. You want to post regularly, no less than once per week. You need to remind your followers that you’re there.
• Don’t bore your audience. Only post relevant and interesting updates and information. They don’t need to know tiny details, nor do they need your opinions on sporting events just because it’s a hot topic of the day — unless, of course, your business has to do with sports.
• Don’t tell them what to do. Treat readers like your friends, not your employees. Social media is probably where you want to use the most subtle calls to action, or people will feel like they’re being used. Directional posts like ‘Read this!‘ ‘Subscribe here’ ‘Click like!’ and similar phrases are sure to get your audience to tune out. If you do a good job with your content, people will do those things just because they like you, not because they were told to do it.
• Post what you would like to read. We all have those feeds coming to us from various channels where we signed up as a show of support or interest, but day after day we realize we don’t actually care about most of what’s being shown to us and quickly hide the feed or hit unsubscribe. You don’t want to be that guy; before you hit ‘send’ or ‘post’ make sure that everything you’re typing is funny, relevant, interesting or some combination. Remember your audience! You’re looking for that sweet combination of information and entertainment.
• Show your appreciation. Remember that your readers are real, actual people — and possibly clients or customers — and they don’t have to pay any extra attention to you via social media. Acknowledge them, thank them, give them content that will make them think or smile — and, if it’s relevant, you can even give them games, giveaways or contests every now and then as a sign of recognition and gratitude.
Do you have any social media horror stories? How about posting trends that have really impressed you? Share them with us!