Social media is a phenomenal way to promote your business and interact with existing or potential customers. The most important realization that you need to have about your profile pages is that they are your own little communities within your larger industry community. They are living, breathing hubs for communication. Although the aim of your social media profiles should be to attract a following of people who are interested in employing your services, recognize the importance of community, and the power of association. When a potential follower comes across your profile and finds something that makes them feel as if they’re a part of something – an association of like-minded people- they’re going to stick around.

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4 ways to promote a sense of community and belonging surrounding your social media profiles:

1. Two Way Communication – Received a comment on a post? Fantastic! Don’t let that go unnoticed. As soon as you directly acknowledge that someone has interacted with your page, that person is more likely to engage in future conversation. Additionally, people who view the interaction are more likely to engage. Do not think of your social media profiles as reducing face to face interactions! That’s a negative way to view your community. Treat those who visit your community as if you are speaking to them in your place of business, at the grocery store, or even in their home. Two way communication is based on respect, appreciation of effort, and a genuine interest in building a relationship.

2. Teach, Don’t Preach – Try not to think of yourself as the mayor of your community. Yes, we know you’ve created the page and put the hours into building the reputation, but no one likes a dictator. Welcome people in so that you can offer your knowledge and experiences. Educating your followers on why you do what you do gives them the opportunity to confidently pass that information along to others. Hello! Bingo!

3. Keep it Persessional – Yup, I did it. Persessional = Personal + Professional. There is certainly a fine line between what is and what is not acceptable language, use of proper grammar/punctuation, and slang on your social media profiles. This is of course a good place to consider your audience. If you sell neon rave wear to teens, you might send out a YOLO and get
200+ likes, but that is certainly not unanimous across industries. The second half of keeping it persessional pertains to your tone. Your company’s likeability positively correlates with friendliness, and easiness. That’s not to say that your followers don’t appreciate a challenge. What I mean is that you should present information in a way that makes reading enjoyable. Use a mix of industry-specific and common knowledge rhetoric. Absolutely nobody wants to feel like they’re going to be tested after they leave your social media page.

4. Reinforce – Make it a point to do more than check your business page insights weekly. How about sharing some of that information with your followers? “Whoa! As a huge thank you to the 25 people who liked our page this week we’re raffling off 3 T-shirts…tell us one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend and we’ll enter you in the drawing.” Now what have you done? For starters you’ve told people that your company is still growing in popularity, and that they’re already a part of something that other people want to join. You’ve also positively reinforced your followers by presenting them with an actual gift (that’s going to bare your logo when they wear it), and you’ve given them a reason to come back to your page in the future- to see if they won. Another key factor in the example is that your follower got the chance to tell YOU something about THEIR personal life…what they’re looking forward to this weekend. Your business and that customer is now connected on a whole new level.

At the rate that companies are expanding their social media presence today, there is no time for uncertainty. As a business you need to know your social voice, be proud of it, and use it! If you’ve read this article to this point, that’s good because it means I’m practicing what I’m teaching. What are some ways that you use your social media channels to reinforce follower engagement?