Some people might assume that forming genuine connections through social media is a near-impossible thing to do, but when done correctly, you can build relationships that last a lifetime.
For both businesses and individuals alike, social media is a tool they can use to find like-minded people with similar interests and values. People are busy in their day-to-day lives to the point where they might find it challenging to meet others they truly connect with. One thing most people have in common—3.5 billion people, to be exact—is being active on social platforms. Here is where you can come together, form bonds, and boost your brand.
Whether you run a business or simply want to make meaningful connections with others online, here are three tips to help you get started.
1. Follow the right people
It’s difficult to form connections if you aren’t following the right people in the first place. If you follow anyone, you’re choosing from a wide pool of people with different interests, personalities, values, and more. This makes it even more challenging to narrow down who you should reach out to.
Just as you’d create buyer personas to pinpoint your target market, you need to create an idea of what kind of people you want to build authentic relationships with. What values do they hold? Are they laidback and easygoing or hyperactive and full of energy? What are their interests and hobbies? Can you relate to them on any level?
If you try engaging with people you have little in common with, the chances of it turning into a long-lasting, fruitful relationship are slim. It’s important to know what traits and qualities you’re looking for so when you find someone who has them, you can start a conversation.
2. Give meaningful responses
The entire purpose of social media is to connect people, and a huge part of that is engaging with others. If you give responses with little thought or enthusiasm behind them, people will catch on and won’t bother replying in the future.
Show your followers you’re present when you read their comments by actively engaging with them in conversations. Whether you run a business or personal account, the rule for both is the same. To grow your following and do so with people who care about you and your brand, put more effort into your interactions. Add emojis, refer to them by name, and comment on their social media content as well.
You can also show your followers you care by offering customer support if you’re a business account. In one study, 89 percent of consumers said they switched to a competitor after experiencing poor customer service. More people are turning to social media to voice their complaints with brands because it’s quicker and more direct. You can use this to your advantage by replying to customers’ inquiries and providing solutions.
3. Be transparent
Don’t be afraid to show your followers what happens beyond what they can see. Take them behind the scenes of your business and show them what they normally wouldn’t get the inside scoop on. People love seeing how things operate, so this is a great way to practice transparency. In a recent study, 68 percent of consumers said that it’s more important to know how companies operate than what they sell.
Use live streams to take the experience one step further. Live streaming provides real-time communication and conversation between you and your followers. It differs from regular video because users can engage with you and you can respond to them at the same time, no matter where you are in the world. It takes the conversation to the next level.
Being transparent also means you’re honest about who you are and what your brand stands for. When people garner a bad reputation, the worst thing they can do is run away from it. It’s better to be open and admit your faults when you mess up. It shows you’re willing to do better, and that’s the kind of person people want to know better.
Forming genuine connections on social media is no easy task. With so many users, it’s easy to get lost in the sauce and become just another brand online. You can stop that from happening by changing your intention and working to create connections that last. How will you use social media to build authentic relationships?