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How to Build and Engage with a Loyal Social Media Following – Part 2

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How to Build and Engage with a Loyal Social Media Following – Part 2

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: June 30, 2011 Updated: March 13, 2013

Is your business using social media to get the word out? How engaged are you with your social media following? Is your following growing? 

Being “social” on Twitter or Facebook isn’t simply a matter of following basic Twitter etiquette and thanking folks for retweets.   Being “social” in an online world involves strategic planning and execution.

In Part 1 of this series, I outlined some tried and tested ways of growing your social media following through careful planning and engagement. In this post, you’ll find five additional tips for interacting with your audience and growing your following.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is perhaps the best way to get conversational on Twitter and Facebook. If your question is engaging, the responses you get will show up  in the feeds of others and increase your visibility among their followers too, and hopefully result in more follows for you. Tie your questions to your business, your product, or to your audience’s needs. For example, a restaurant might ask its following: “What’s missing from our menu that you’d really like to see on our specials next month?” 

Give Answers

Just as important is to participate in other people’s Tweets and answer questions. These may come from your followers, but you can also search Twitter (using Twitter Advanced Search*) to find specific question-based Tweets using specific keywords or hashtags, that might relate to your business or industry.  In replying to relevant questions, you keep your profile busy and encourage more follows.

Give Credit and Mention Others

People like to be recognized on social media. So, whether you are ReTweeting content, mentioning loyal customers, or highlighting a news story that you think might be relevant to your followers – be sure to mention the Twitter or Facebook ID of the person or entity in your Tweet. If you don’t know what their Twitter ID is, you can easily search for it on any search engine, or Twitter.com.

For example:

Thanks to @XYZ_County_News for the great review of our new menu! The secret is in the sauce! <Link to article>

Or

“Now following @SupportLocalBiz – Great source of info, coupons, reviews and more”

Be Strategic about who you Follow on Twitter

You don’t need to follow everyone who follows you, but be strategic about who you follow and focus on attracting followers who are involved with or related to your business, your target customers, or the media community that influences them. You can even narrow down your search to relevant Twitter accounts in your city, county or state using keywords, hashtags, and geographic criteria (Twitter Advanced Search* can help with this, as do other readily available free applications).

Promote Your Social Media Presence

Whenever you have an opportunity to talk about your business – whether it’s with prospective customers, new customers, or whomever – ask them if they use social media and mention that they can stay in touch with you on Twitter and/or Facebook too.  And don’t forget to post and promote your social media link and usernames everywhere – including your business cards, email signatures, website, business signage, product menu, brochures, newsletter, press releases and so on.

Additional Resources

The "Ultimate" Small Business Guide to Social Media Marketing

 Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Finding the Right Fit for Your Small Business

Putting the “Social” into Social Media Marketing – 3 Tips for Interacting with your Customers

10 Social Media Benchmark Statistics: How are You Doing?

*Note: Hyperlink directs reader to non-government website. External links to do not constitute an endorsement.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

This is an old post thought but really useful. I have bookmarked. Thanks
I think that social media website's are a great help to find new customer's all over the world, 'well as long as you product is worldwide of course' Facebook is definitely my favorite site, twitter is great as well, but Facebook for myself has a lot more features, but that's just my opinion.Thank you for this thread! http://www.srmiet.org
I don't believe it really matters if Facebook or Twitter are doing better than each other. They both have different uses I believe. Facebook is great for deeply engaging with my customers. They are much more responsive to questions and often provide better feedback. If I want to get a message out to a lot of people very quickly though I use Twitter. As a broadcast service it wins hands down. This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Thank you for the valuable tips. I certainly appreciate the information however, I hardly believe that Twitter is or will be outpacing Facebook anytime soon. I don't think any Social media program or website will be able to catch up with facebook in the foreseeable future!This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
googd share. thnakyou very much. This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
googd share. Thanks.
Twitter is definately outpacing the likes of Facebook but I would really susgest users that are serious about networking join Linked In

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