It doesn't take long to realize that social media followers do not translate to money in the bank or committed volunteers. It does not even translate to fully paid events - if it did, popular event conveners will not need to advertise. Having said that, social media is a very useful tool for Founders and Conveners. It is good for building your personal brand and for attracting those who need what you have to offer.
Whether you work from an office or your dining table, you can build a social media presence that connects with your audience and get raving fans to spread word about you. Genuine humans who are willing to partner with you actually exist. There are fantastic volunteers out there looking for a serious cause to be a part of. They are among the 2.46 billion people on social media today. That’s why social media is a great place to attract and retain the people you want to serve and who want to serve with you. The only way to do this, is to get them to like you and believe in what you do. Your well-designed logo, core values and beautiful pictures alone will not endear people to you. Your mission statement may be inspiring, but it is not enough. What more can you do? I’ll tell you in 4 quick tips, and that’s it for now.
Be human: Those people liking your photos and commenting on your posts want to know you, they want to trust you. You need not post your entire life on social media or share information you are not comfortable with but let your posts reveal a bit of humanity; your capacity to feel – joy, tiredness or delight. Make others feel better with humor, encouragement or affirmation (as long as it stays true to your brand). Everyone knows that a person opened that social media account, not a robot, so why not just be human already?
Be valuable: Be a resource. Let people know they can come to your timeline for something. It could be education, entertainment, inspiration, or an interesting point-of-view. Give value. Think about the type of people you want to attract. What is important to them? What is worth their time? What would make them smile? Test this on yourself. Does it make you smile? Does it make sense to you? If it does, chances are it will elicit the same response in your target audience. As Fela Durotoye puts it, ‘Birds of the same feather not only flock together, they eat the same type of food.’
BONUS TIP. Offer a freebie or special. Who doesn’t like giveaways? Some people think that freebies only attract cheap people. Not true. Free things arouse curiosity in people. While some may not enter for your give-away, they’ll take interest in who you are and what you do. Be a giver. Don’t say ‘we can’t afford a giveaway’. Think ‘how can we afford it?’ Partner with an organisation/business you are friends with. If there is none, take the next Tip seriously.
Be friendly: Connect and nurture relationships. Social Media is a good place to meet other people in your field. Check out what they are doing right, you may get a few ideas. Like their posts, comment, lend your voice to the conversation, re-post something you like. If you want people to talk to you, talk to them too. You know what Scripture says: ‘He that has friends must himself be friendly’. Post about other people as well. Selflessness is reciprocal. if you always post about you and your organisation, you may be hurting your growth without knowing it. How would you like a friend who only talks about herself all the time? Would you find such a person interesting? I doubt it.
Be consistent: Like every other thing in life, the power lies in consistency. So, don’t stop. Connecting with your audience on social media is time consuming. It can be tough sometimes. The channels change often, rolling out updates like they are changing diapers. You have to keep the conversation going. Keep your eye on your accounts, respond to messages and inquiries. ‘Like’ comments if you want to respond but do not have the time. In all of this, stay true to your brand. Social media takes time to gain traction organically, but be consistent.
Be safe: (Yes, I said 4 but take this as a bonus from a good friend). While trying to make people like and trust you, don’t overlook security. Hackers can get in your accounts to do things you wouldn’t do. Review your security settings and change your passwords often. For an added layer of security, go to your account settings and activate Two-factor Authentication (even Instagram has this and it’s pretty intuitive).
If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you. – Zig Ziglar
This is not an exhaustive list, so please share, what is one thing you have done to improve your social media relationships?