How to Build Stronger Relationships with Followers
Convincing someone to follow you on social media is only half the battle. Unless you nurture your relationship with him or her, they may stop following you. So, how can you build stronger relationships with your followers?
Post Content at the Right Time of Day
Normally, users follow brands on social media because they publish content that’s relevant to their interests. Even if you publish high-quality content, though, there’s no guarantee that your target audience will see it. To increase your chances of connecting with your audience, you should post content at the right time.
The folks over at CoSchedule have developed a posting guideline, revealing the best day and time to post new content on social media. According to their findings, the best time to post on Facebook is Thursday through Sunday, between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM. However, CoSchedule found weekday posts were more effective on Twitter. With that said, brands in different niches may experience different results. Perform A-B split-testing by posting content at different times to see what works for your brand.
Reward Followers for Posting Content
You can also build stronger relationships with your followers by rewarding them for posting content. Look no further than GoPro as the perfect example: the company behind the popular HERO action cameras rewards users who post new content to their social media profiles and pages with a discount.
GoPro has a “Photo of the Day” and “Video of the Day” contest. A single user-submitted photo and video is selected each day for these contests, with GoPro rewarding the winners with a 50% coupon. Perhaps this is why more than 10 million people follow GoPro on Facebook, making it the perfect case study for social media marketing.
If you plan on running a contest or sweepstakes on Facebook, though, you’ll want to follow all applicable rules and laws. Check out this page for more details on what’s allowed and what’s not.
Respond to Questions and Comments
Don’t underestimate the importance of responding to your followers’ questions and comments. You should put forth the time and energy to read each person’s comment, responding to them in a timely manner. Doing so shows your followers that you are an actual person and not just an automated “bot.”
JetBlue, the 5th largest commercial airliner in the United States, responds to users on social media in just minutes. Don’t believe me? Check our their Facebook Page, which has thousands of user comments and responses. Given the sheer size of JetBlue and its following, that’s pretty impressive.
And as a side benefit, Facebook displays a special “Very responsive to messages” badge for Pages with a response rate of 90% or greater and a response time of 15 minutes or less over the last 7 days. When a user sees this badge, they’ll feel more confident engaging with the respective brand.
Go Easy on Promotional Content
Social media is a cost-effective platform on which to promote products and services. However, you should diversify your content with both promotional and non-promotional posts. If one of your follower sees countless advertisements in his or her feed each time they log into Facebook, they may stop following you. Following the 3-to-1 rule is a good way to prevent this from happening. Basically, this means you should publish three pieces of non-promotional content on social media for every one post of promotional content.
Consider live-streaming content to forge stronger relationships with your followers. Any brand can record and edit footage, but live-streaming is pure and untouched. According to a study of more than 200 brands cited by MarketingCharts, 79% say live-streaming offers a more “authentic interaction” with their audience. Following a similar approach by live-streaming relevant content to your audience builds deeper and more genuine relationships.
While there are dozens of paid live-streaming service providers, there are also free solutions available. You can live-stream on YouTube, for instance, as long as your account is currently in good standing. Here are the instructions for live-streaming on YouTube.
Don’t Automate Everything
You can use a paid service like HootSuite to schedule your social media posts in advance, specifying certain dates and times when you’d like to publish new content. So instead of logging into your social media profiles several times a day, you can focus your time and resources elsewhere.
When using an automated social media posting service like HootSuite, it’s easy to overlook the importance of posting messages manually. As such, some brands focus solely on automated postings, only to realize later that it hurts user engagement. Don’t make the mistake of automating all of your social media marketing. Rather, use automated services to post “evergreen” content and messages, while posting the rest of your content by hand.
‘Piggy-Back’ on Trending #Hashtags
Adding relevant #hashtags to social media posts boosts brand visibility while engaging followers in the process. But if you really want to take your social media marketing to the next level, you should post content surrounding #hashtags that are currently trending. This creates a viral effect while opening the floodgates to tons of new traffic.
In 2013, for instance, the pizza company DiGorno live-tweeted a funny take on the Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti tune, along with several other tweets, using the #hashtag “#SoundofMusic” during NBC’s broadcast of The Sound of Music Live!. In just two hours, DiGorno generated 44 million impressions and attracted several thousand new Twitter followers.
These are just a few tips on how to build stronger relationships with your followers. For more tips, contact me today.