Give your audience a reason to “like” you

attracting audiences online

photo credit: daynoir

I follow a number of companies in the online space, mostly by email, on Twitter or on Facebook. Over the past week, I’ve noticed that the companies are promoting all of their social media channels – YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook, etc. – asking me to connect with them on each platform. Yet they’re not giving me a reason to, because from what I can tell, they’re delivering virtually the same information about their company on email as they are on Facebook and Twitter. In short, they’re not giving me a reason to connect with them on more than one platform and stunting their social media growth by setting the bar too low.

Sure, it’s better to be in social media than not at all, but once you’re there, there’s no time to rest on your laurels. After all, if you’re delivering the same content across three or four channels, you only prove that you don’t quite “get it” and you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to engage with your audience.

What’s the solution and how do you get there? Spend some time getting to know each platform better and think about what content you want to share with your audience. Exploit each platform to maximize its benefits and connect with your audience in a more meaningful – and ultimately lucrative – way.

Twitter is a simple, quick way to demonstrate customer service, product intelligence, industry know-how while developing a personality for your company. Don’t just use it to broadcast your latest direct email – take the opportunity to interact and engage with your audience…and your future audience.

Facebook provides an opportunity for your audience members to interact with one another and collaborate in a forum-style setting. Many companies garner valuable feedback and input from their customers via Facebook groups.

attracting social media followers

photo credit: Anne Helmond

Connect with your suppliers and past clients and contacts on LinkedIn with an eye to maintaining contact and developing business development opportunities.

While you might start Flickr and YouTube accounts to host the photos and videos that you have to do for your business, think about how you can use the platforms for your business.

If you’re strategic, you’ll soon see that you don’t need to create content for content’s sake. In fact, you may find that the platforms allow you to be more effective in communicating: maybe you’ll find that it makes more sense to film a quick video instead of drafting a lengthy email to customers? Perhaps a set of photos accompanied by a brief explanation would accomplish what your e-newsletter or industry ad used to? The more you use a platform, the more efficient you will become, and your audience will inevitably follow.

Finally, get busy cross-promoting each platform as you see fit: by sending your Twitter followers to your Facebook page to see the conversations they’re missing out on, or ushering your LinkedIn contacts to your YouTube channel to view your latest behind-the-scenes manufacturing video. That way, you can show your audience what they’re missing out on by not participating across all platforms – and they’ll be sure to “like” you all the more for it.

Erin McConnell

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~ by Wilcox Group Team on July 22, 2010.

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