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Communicating With Your Followers

05.12.2011Are you sending out regular social media updates but not seeing an increase in followers?  It might have something to do with the content you are sending.  The following are a few tips to improve communication with your social media followers.

Do your messages tend to be a little self-centered?

Many people fall into a rut of producing content that is only self-promoting and “salesy.”  This is the worst possible way to build an online community.  Don’t just drone on about how fantastic you or your company is – it’s not as reliable coming from you as when other people say it anyways. Instead, try providing your followers with educational, valuable and engaging content.  People are going to be much more willing to share educational information than a self-promoting or “salesy” message.  So go ahead and set a goal to start creating content worth sharing.

Are you a repeat offender?

Nobody wants to be bombarded with the same message over and over again.  Repeatedly posting similar messages will not only prevent new people from following you, but you might see a drop in your fan base.  In theory it might seem like a good idea to remind people of an important message or try to reach new people who may have missed your first posting, but really you are just spamming your followers.  There are a few occasions, such as event promotion, when you need to send similar messages over a couple months to remind your followers.  But this is the exception not the standard. Don’t think you can “sneak repeat” content by folks – most of us will remember and not be pleased.  Be original each and every day, and for those days when you can’t be original, don’t post.

Are your messages a little text heavy?

One of the best attributes of social media networks is that it provides snap shot views on the latest news.  People tune into your social media channel for quick updates.  For those days when you have content that won’t fit in the 140 character Twitter message, put your content in a blog post.  Once the blog is ready send a short message through your social media accounts to check out your blog post.  A short and catchy title in your social media message will help capture the attention of your followers.  To keep your social media profile pages from getting too text heavy we recommend posting videos, photos, or links to content with photos in the headlines.  These photos and videos will help break up the text on your profile pages and give visitors a quick glance at what you and your company are about.  Keep your messages short and sweet, and post images to add some personality to your profile page.

Are you a social media spammer?

We all have that friend who sends 10+ Facebook status updates a day.  Don’t become that friend or company that continuously spams its followers.  Since there is no golden rule for the “appropriate” number of postings on social media accounts, it is recommended to check different sources to determine your optimal frequency.  Here are a couple practices to find out what might work best for you.  First, you can take a look at your competition and see how frequently they post and determine if they are building a good community with their schedule.  Another idea is to research what people in the industry are saying about the recommended frequency on each platform.  Recent studies have shown that people on Twitter expect to receive more updates than people on Facebook and that 5-10 Tweets a day is expected.  Facebook is entirely different than Twitter when it comes to messaging frequency.  With its current set-up it is pretty easy to tie up your Friend news feed with messages.  So be respectful and try only posting Facebook updates a couple times a week up, or up to once a day.  Lastly, try asking your loyal followers what they think about your social media communications.  Do they feel like they could use more information or less?  A blend of all these techniques above should help you find the right amount of frequency for sending messages on your social media platforms.

Please share what has worked for you when communicating with your online communities.

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