It used to be that all it took to make a new friend was a few hours in the sandbox and a shared peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Flash forward a few decades and things have gotten more complicated--and only half of the problem is having become a full-fledged grown up. We play out increasingly larger chunks of our social interactions online. In fact, some relationships take place entirely on social networks. Tangled in with electronic missives from friends and family are attempts by brands to build ongoing relationships with their customers. So how does your business figure out how to keep and entertain friends once you’ve made them? Here are eight tips.
Leave the Selfie to Somebody Els(i)e
Instead of sharing your own selfies, create a campaign to encourage fans to share theirs, like this inspired “undead yourself” campaign aimed at Walking Dead fans.
Create Interactive Content
Quizzes, polls, and open-ended questions are few ways of easily creating interactive content. Try it yourself: craft your own quiz (from Interact) and share it on social.
Don’t Respond Badly to Criticism
Don’t create your own public relations crisis by responding poorly to negative comments. Even big companies like Nestle forget this and end up mired in bad publicity.
Don’t Be Annoying
It’s important to know how much and how often people want to hear from you. During busy times (like the holiday season), be aware of how many people unfollow you. It might be because you’re posting too much.
Show Them You’re Listening
If 90% of your followership is telling you they want longer hours at your store, show them you’re listening by pushing closing time back just a bit. Responding to comments is good form, but integrating feedback is even better.
Post Original Content
Your fans and friends are following you for your unique point of view. Leveraging the power of memes and viral content can be good in small doses, but generating your own material is the best way to personalize your brand.
Give Them Breaking News
Make your followers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club. Break news about special deals, new store locations or a brand new product to them first so they feel like VIPs.
Showcase Fan Content
Invite your friends and fans to show you how they interact with your brand every day. Check out this campaign from the North Face, where loyal fans were encouraged to share their love for outdoor exploration through pictures.
How do you keep your online friendships strong? Share your strategies for building strong relationships with followers in the comment section below.