If you ever waited for that special someone to fall “head over heels” in love with you, then you understand how difficult it can be to turn a stranger into a lover and then into a lifelong partner.
Your fans and followers will go through these same stages of a relationship…
1. Initial Attraction
First appearances are everything, right? There’s no sense in meeting your potential love interest in worn-out jeans and a ripped T-shirt. This is the time to put your best foot forward.
Your social media first impression is just as important. You must “wow” your audience and make a lasting impression they won’t forget.
How do you make a great first impression?
- Twitter profile pics should be either a professional pic if you are branding yourself, or a logo for your business. No default egg-like images please.
- Spend a little time on your Twitter profile. Include your website information and let it display some of your brand’s personality.
- Facebook Page profile pics and welcome pages should also follow suit.
Similar to how you may obsess over wearing just the right clothes and fashioning your hair perfectly when meeting a potential love interest for the first time, take the same amount of time to ensure your graphics look like they were professionally done.
If you are short on cash, you can find some inexpensive options for Facebook welcome pages in this article: The Facebook Plan
You can also use the website Fiverr. It is made up of people willing to do just about anything for $5. Zeerk is a similar site but the costs extend up to $25.
These sites can be great resources for inexpensive graphic work. Just remember to sort the providers by rating and choose those who received rave reviews.
2. Making a Connection
Now that first impressions are a success, the next step is to connect by communicating effectively.
Listen and interact! Any woman will tell you that the key to her heart is a man who will take the time to LISTEN to her. She wants to feel like you honor what she has to say and her words are valuable.
In the art of communication, listening is just as important as spreading valuable content. If your love interest is spewing out great information, even if you pause and allow your date to talk, if you are not truly listening, you will respond with information that is sub-par.
Never assume you know what your audience wants to hear. Listen first, then respond.
Quality content + Information your audience wants (discovered by listening) = Great Communication.
How do you LISTEN to your audience?
- Monitor their conversations
- Put yourself in their minds. What would they want? What are their problems? What solutions can you provide for them?
- Take polls and request feedback in exchange for prizes and gifts
- Subscribe to Google Alerts for an industry keyword that describes your business so you can monitor the web communication.
- Use Twitter search and input your brand name, your competitors’ names, and any keyphrases your customers may use so you can discover what people are talking about.
3. The Dating Stage
The next stage of a relationship involves the courtship and dating. At this point you must show your potential partner that you are someone who can be trusted. It’s a time where false pretenses are shattered and your partner can see the “real” you.
When running a business online, and even as your business grows, it can become harder to show authenticity. But this should not deter you. You will never earn the trust of your fans and followers unless you are authentic.
A lack of authenticity only lasts for so long. When relationships hit a certain mark (usually 6-12 months), either you are “real” with your mate or the relationship will not last. People cannot trust others unless they feel they are interacting with the “real” person. If you display something other than who you are, it comes across as fake, which is actually a lie.
How can you be authentic in social media?
- Develop your unique voice. What makes your business great? What is your brand’s personality?
- Talk like a real person. Avoid professional and boring “5 dollar words” (unless that is authentically you).
If you think you need to talk exactly like someone else to succeed in social media, you have already failed. Emulate, but never imitate.
You tied the knot! You are committed to each other for a lifetime. Getting married is a joyous occasion, but in order to be successful in marriage, you must know how to resolve conflicts. Amidst screaming children and in-law madness, we often say or do things we regret later.
If you messed up and did something to make your husband or wife angry or hurt, what would you do after?
In a marriage or in any relationship, it’s important to remember to fess up to your mistakes. The same holds true in social media.
Businesses are bound to screw up from time to time. Everyone is fallible. The important thing to remember is to handle the situation properly and not hide it under the rug. Respond swiftly to any mistakes and show people that you care about their experience with your business. In most cases, showing your vulnerable side and acting with sincerity will be a great boost to your overall brand reputation.
5. Make it Forever
What is the secret to longevity in a relationship? Keep things exciting and create events that will always make your partner smile!
Keep your fans and followers entertained and excited to interact with you. Make them want to visit your profiles and spend time there.
How can you add a little excitement?
- Add the element of surprise – Similar to how your spouse would love to be surprised with a dozen roses, surprise your fans and followers with a free report or the chance to win a product or services.
- Think outside of the box and draw people in. For example, if you sell womens shoes, branch out into other elements of the fashion industry and surprise your audience with some different, yet related content. This creates an unexpected twist which can help to “rekindle the flame”.
- Inject some comedy into your campaigns – There is nothing wrong with making people laugh as long as it remains professional. According to Social Media Examiner, the New York City Department of Health started the “NYC Condom Campaign” and searched for people on Twitter using keyphrases such as “going out partying” and “looking to hook up”. The Department of Health would surprise these tweeters by responding with funny tweets like “Pick me up, I’ll keep you covered”.
Would I ever run a campaign similar to the Department of Health? Never! But, it does give you food for thought and can help you to think outside of the box to keep your audience surprised and happy.
It’s All About Relationships.
Whether you are simply courting your audience or going for longevity, one principle always remains true. If you focus on “relationship” first and keep the needs of your audience as a top priority, you will experience the true meaning of social media and your business will reap the rewards.
By Jenna Scaglione