Even though we have all the latest technology to connect with people from other parts of the world, it can be more difficult than ever before to build meaningful relationships.
Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook get flooded with "hey girl" messages that are anything but genuine, making us feel disconnected. Social media is a fast-paced environment where everyone is just double tapping and scrolling away without really connecting on a human level.
We all crave real conversations, yet we are often afraid to have them. WHAT?!?
How often have you avoided sharing your honest opinion for fear of offending someone, losing followers, or going against the grain?
How often have you held back from promoting your businesses because you didn’t want people to think you’re pushy?
The question becomes: how can we foster authentic relationships online while still promoting our business?
As a social media expert who has supported over 30 clients, it is my mission to educate entrepreneurs on how to enjoy the content creation process and effortlessly forge meaningful relationships that feel authentic and real.
Truthfully, the first step of this process starts offline. You need to adjust your mindset. For a while, I found myself feeling guilty for creating a presence online while keeping to the sidelines waiting patiently for people to come seek me out.
I expected my inbox to be inundated with gushing messages of praise and enthusiasm for working together. But, as I waited longer and longer without any response, it slowly dawned on me that if I rarely extended the same courtesy to other businesses by popping into their inbox going “let’s work together”, then why should I expect anyone else to do it for me?
If you're nodding your head in agreement then allow me to recommend Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt for some amazing personal development reading to break free from your imposter syndrome!
If you’re not a reader, let me sum it up for you. It would be wrong of you not to provide your services if it could make someone else’s life easier and solve their problems.
Once more for the people who are too busy scrolling to really read this blog.
If your product or service will help make someone’s life easier, better, or more joyful then it’s a disservice to them for you to stay in your corner of the internet.
Think about this: If you held the cure for cancer, wouldn't you want everyone else to have it too? Give them the gift of your expertise! One of the best ways to do that is by sharing your passion on social media.
I'm a work-from-home mom of three - two toddlers and one infant, I can't count the number of times I wished there were more hours in the day. Nevertheless, I know it's critical that I build my online community, so regardless of how busy life can get, I make it a priority to interact with my community, and you should too! Dedicating even 10-15 mins a day to community engagement activities will have a tremendous impact.
If you’re an ambitious entrepreneur or small business owner who wants to build a thriving community with meaningful relationships, I have three simple tips for you:
1. Give a warm welcome by sending an introductory message!
Eradicate the “hey girl” mentality and show the world there are genuine humans on social media. When you get a new follower send them a personalized welcome message expressing gratitude as soon as you can. Invite them to ask questions and learn more about you without trying to sell them anything. This is a surefire way to begin engaging in conversations while getting insight into your audience's wants and needs.
2. Offer value-added content
It might seem like pre-school level knowledge but give more than you take. Create your content strategy around the concept of either:
Informing - sharing real-world news and events
Educating - tutorials, tips & tricks
Entertaining - get in those haha’s
But also, don’t forget to sell your products and services because your business kind of needs revenue 😉. When people love what you’re putting out they’ll keep coming back for more
3. Don’t post and ghost - get social!
If you want people to interact with you then you better interact with them! Respond to comments, thank people for their likes, and share funny stories or behind-the-scenes clips in your stories - let them get to know you!
Showing up on socials is a great way to build relationships that can help boost your business. People like to support businesses they know, they like and they trust so give them what they’re looking for to put check marks in those boxes.
I feel like this should go without saying but, to build genuine relationships you have to BE genuine. Don't just go through the motions and like and comment just to do it, your followers are allowed to check boxes but you aren’t. Your followers can sense inauthenticity like a mom can sense when her baby is hungry. It’s instinctual.
If you're a casual and relaxed individual who utilizes plenty of emojis and slang phrases when chatting with your family or friends, then do the same online. If you end each sentence with 6 exclamation marks - go ahead!!!!!! Your followers will appreciate getting to know the true you, not some persona you believe is necessary.
Construct your social media posts as though it was a discussion with your bestie; after all, that's precisely what we are aiming for - turning our supporters into close friends! Use interactive stories with stickers, polls or question boxes. It doesn't require too much time but people get very enthusiastic when they see responses from you - it's like the spark that ignites conversations!
Spark a conversation with me, I hang out on Instagram @brittanymillersocials. While you’re at it, join the conversation by tuning into Go Get Great with Brittany Miller Socials, my podcast featured on Spotify or Apple Podcast that focuses on blending life and business to take life from good to great.
I can't wait to chat and connect with you soon!