Growing your business these days has so much to do with creating and sustaining a community online. From tweeting to blogging, your goal is to start a conversation and then keep it going, but that’s easier said than done. In fact, it’s downright hard. Here are a couple ways that you can keep the chatter going back and forth to create a deeper engagement between your fans and your brand.
Never respond to hello with hello
Someone sends you a direct message or Facebook post that simply says “Stopping by to say hi!”. I’ve seen way too many people respond with “Thanks! Hello to you too!”. Rather than do that, use this opportunity to engage them. Thank them for reaching out and talk about something you know is going on in their life. “Thanks so much for reaching out. How is that new project going that you are doing for X client? Hope all is well” is far more engaging and it shows your fans that you care about them and are following their success.
Always ask a question.
To start a conversation, ask a question. “I’m traveling to NYC and want to see where the best places to eat are. What do you suggest?” gets a lot more engagement than “Headed to NYC…” It’s all about giving people a reason to talk to you and then keeping that back and forth going.
Reach out to followers and fans
Don’t wait for people to reach out to you all the time. Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to reach out and say hello to a fan you haven’t heard from in a while. You don’t have to write a book, but people enjoy knowing that you think of them. Be genuine and remember that the best conversations are two-way.
Jump in on other peoples conversations
Emails and private messages are the perfect place to have a discussion that you don’t want public. But if two or more people are going back and forth about a topic online (in public), it’s totally fine to jump in. Ask questions, be helpful and show that you are engaged. Just be careful not to kill the conversation.