Imagine going out with a group of your friends for dinner and instead of engaging in two-way conversations about your lives, you set up a podium and give a speech. You enthusiastically tell them all about you and your life. You ask them for money to help you reach your goals. You ask them to tell all their friends about you. You invite them to another event, which of course will also be all about you. You feel a sense of deep satisfaction for giving such a great speech about you. You nailed your main points. You were eloquent. It was great. Then you leave, without thanking your friends for listening, taking any questions or asking your audience to share their own experiences.
This same scenario is happening on Twitter and Facebook every day. Nonprofits are doing an amazing job of giving the best speeches they have ever given. But there’s a big problem: What you are doing may not be social media. The “social” in social media is the same as it would be at a dinner with friends. There is an exchange of ideas, some mutual admiration, a sharing of things that are important to each of you, unscripted conversations and some etiquette.
There are some very simple ways to improve your social interactions on Twitter and Facebook:
1. They like you – but do you like them? If someone “Likes” your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter, do you like or follow them back? Granted, you may not be able to “friend” individuals on Facebook if you have a business page, but have you “Liked” all the businesses who “Like” you? Twitter is much freer. You can follow anyone on Twitter. When you don’t “Like” or “Follow” others, it means you aren’t interested in anything they have to say. It implies that you only want to give them a speech about you.
2. Are you forcing people to press buttons? On Twitter, there are two ways to retweet. If a follower hits the retweet button, your tweet appears exactly as you tweeted it in their timeline. That is fine – sometimes. But your followers have their own following of people who are looking for their tweets by their name in the timeline. Your tweet can easily get lost because those followers don’t know you. If someone who follows you instead uses the RT @mention, their followers can pick it out more easily. When your tweets are too long, you are forcing people to hit the retweet button.
3. Are you double-speeching? If you use Facebook as your main “podium,” and your posts are going directly to Twitter but you never look at your Twitter account, then you are missing any retweets that are happening. That means you are missing part of the conversation and an opportunity to engage.
4. Are you listening? Do you read your timeline feeds on Twitter and Facebook? Do you know what your followers are talking about? Are they talking about you? Look for opportunities to comment on the posts of others. It is surprising how often there is something that can be said or reposted or retweeted that shows your followers that you are engaged. When people comment on your Facebook posts, do you respond? When people send you an @mention on Twitter, do you acknowledge them?
5. Do you say thank you? If someone mentions you on Twitter, a thank you goes a long way to letting people know that you are interested in continued interaction with them. Do you read the papers that mention you on Twitter and thank the people who are producing them? Do you thank the companies that are supporting you both on Facebook and Twitter (with their Twitter handle)?
All of these things are going to give your social media efforts a lot more value. Spending the additional time will help you to gain more engaged followers. Social media has a multiplier effect. People build loyalty to you and your message when you are genuinely interested in them as well.
So if you read this article, send us an @mention on our @CommUlinks Twitter page or “Like” us on Facebook and post a comment to this article! https://www.facebook.com/CommUlinks