Building a following for your personal brand via social media requires not only expertise and a point of view, but also the ability to be perceived as genuine in your interactions. Many people attempt to build a brand on social media only to spout off statistics or opinions, without taking the time to truly connect with their audience on a personal level. Below are four tips for creating genuine connections via social media.
- Create posts based on your personal experience that are also the shared experiences of your followers. Last week I created a post on Facebook in celebration of the six year anniversary of the day that I quit my job and started working for my own marketing firm full time. Shortly after being created, the profile post had received over 425 likes and 115 comments from Facebook friends who either had done the same thing, planned to do the same thing, or dreamed of one day having that same opportunity. The post hit a nerve, increasing engagement and allowing friends to share their own stories.
- Highlight your connections’ accomplishments. Remember when you made honor roll or won an award as a child and your family/friends bragged on you to others? We never outgrow the desire to be acknowledged and oftentimes, as adults, we are not highlighted as much as we should be. Take the time to create posts and/or post hyperlinks about your friends’ accomplishments and be sure to tag them if you’re mentioning them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. They’ll appreciate you and will likely reciprocate in the future.
- Create updates based on the needs of your connections. Have you noticed several connections needing help with the same items? Create updates or post links to helpful articles and then tag your friends who needed assistance.
- Take online relationships offline. There is no substitute for phone conversations and face-to-face meetings. Schedule coffee with a Facebook friend, call your LinkedIn contact, or support your Twitter follower in a charity fundraising event. While most of us ignore them now, take a peek at Facebook events you’ve been invited to and attend one.