For some marketers, it may be a first instinct to shout louder in an effort to drown out the other messages and voices surrounding your company’s message – but before you pick up the mega phone, you may want to rethink that approach. If your goal is to create meaningful relationships on social media, you will want to seek a strategy that allows your company’s voice to sound authentic and relatable to your target audience.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming an “ego marketer,” but just like creating relationships in real life, a truly affective approach to social media involves active listening and human conversation from your brand.
Here are 5 steps to approach social media in a way that will create an authentic voice:
1. Actively listen. Social media users love to share and get involved in conversation, but not if that conversation is completely one-sided. On the path to becoming more authentic, start spending 10 – 20 minutes each day just listening to what your target audience is sharing on social channels. An understanding of what and how your audience is sharing information will give you a better understanding of how you can interact with them on their level. Once you’ve listened, start reaching out to your audience by asking them direct questions or complementing them on what they’ve shared. From there, the next step will come easily.
2. Stay engaged. Successful social media marketers leverage both live connection and optimized, scheduled content to ensure that engagement is happening. Once you’ve spent time listening, don’t interact directly with someone and then disappear. This is essentially like walking up to someone, asking a question and then walking away! To stay engaged, you have to first make yourself available to carry on a conversation and continue to listen to what your target audience is saying.
3. Show genuine interest in your audience. Asking sincere questions and paying attention to what your audience’s needs and pain points are will drive more loyal connections with your brand. The best way to show interest in your audience is to make sure that you know them first. You can learn a lot by listening and engaging, but you can take it a step further by reviewing your analytics and use polls or forms to really dig deep into their inner psyche.
4. Share helpful content. Once you understand who your audience is, delight them by becoming a helpful resource to them. Determine their pain points and be ready and available online to share solutions through the content on your website and/or blog. Stay clear from click-baiting too – be upfront about what your content is and why it will be helpful to them. Trying to lure clicks with catchy phrases that don’t stand up to what they promise will drive your audience further away. An authentic voice should be a truthful one!
5. Be human. Have you ever thought about what it would sound like if we had conversations in real-life the way we did on social media? While we love the hashtag and all this indexing tool has to offer, don’t drown out your message with 10+ hashtags just to increase the reach of your message. It doesn’t sound human! Humanize your social media presence by staying conversational with your audience, and keep the hashtags to a relevant minimum. Try updating your Twitter or Instagram description to include the name of the person who is sharing and where they are located. You can go even further with your human element by signing your name at the end of a tweet so consumers can see the name of the person they are tweeting with.
Adding this human element to your social media channels can be implemented by any brand with the right mindset and approach. To achieve optimum success and a true human element, we recommend having one person dedicated to monitoring, listening and engaging on your social media platforms, including a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes of live tweeting, commenting, liking, and replying across all your social networks each day. With a mindful and dedicated approach to your social engagement, you will find that you can create loyal followers for your company or brand. Watch the video below to get further inspired to humanize your brand!