Let them come to you. Constant requests for Facebook fans, or spamming Twitter followers with endless promotional messages is the quickest way to get ignored. Take a subtler route and encourage people to follow your brand by posting unique content that captures their attention. If you become a resource for your customers, you’ll find that they’ll share your content across their own networks. This, in turn, will hopefully help you attract a larger audience. Get followers by being worth following!
Respond to your followers. Think of your social media efforts as a garden: you wouldn’t go to all the effort of landscaping, and then forget to water your plants, right? Well, as a business using social, the last thing you want to do is to ignore your followers. Respond to their questions and comments sincerely, and always try to offer opportunities for more conversation. Handle complaints with tact and respect. Ensure that all your responses are prompt–don’t leave them waiting. Remember that your customers deserve the same great service online as they do when they call or come to visit you directly.
Get a proofreader. Bad grammar and spelling won’t help you gain any followers, even if your kid’s Justin Bieber fan may indicate otherwise. It sounds extreme, but even a minor error can go a long way towards discrediting all your hard work. You’ve spent a lot of time crafting the perfect post, so why not go beyond a basic spellcheck and ask a friend or co-worker to read over your work to make sure everything looks great. No matter who your audience is, carefully proofreading your posts will ensure you look polished, professional, and capable. And isn’t that something we all want?
It might seem a little counter-intuitive to hear that focusing less on promotion, and more on engaging with your current customers will increase your fan base, but social media isn’t about selling–it’s about conversation and building relationships. Becoming a reliable, trustworthy resource that users actually seek out will do more for your brand, and in turn, your business, than pushing your message ever will.