Now it's time to start talking about engaging with your audience. This is a big, big topic. And this is something that everybody needs to learn how to do when they're building on online community. Communities are a social entity. And, when we talk about social things, we think about relationships. Relationships between two people, relationships between brands and people, relationships between customers. All of those relationships matter, and by cultivating your online community properly, you can make sure that your relationships are good with all of your customers.
Rule number one, and really, the only rule when it comes to dealing with customers online, you have to care about those customers. I have a saying that I use all the time when I'm giving speeches on social media. If you don't care, you won't convert, period. It's as simple as that.You have to care about people and attend to their needs across all of these networks in order for them to become lifelong customers. And caring, is the number one way that you do that.Whether you know it or not, your being reviewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by everyone that's used your product or service online.
Whether it's on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, it doesn't matter. People are having conversations about you, and your customer service, all around you. You need to join into those conversations and become part of your own narrative. If you don't, you're going to be left behind. And also, you're going to let other people write the history books on what your business was all about. There are three basic rules when you're engaging people online. Number one, you have to answer questions. People are constantly asking me questions, whether it's via email, Twitter, Facebook, you name it, I get questions, dozens of them every day.
Number two, you have to start conversations with people, that means you're searching relevant topics. So for instance, I teach a lot of online design courses. So when I'm on Twitter, I'm searching for design topics. So I search for hashtags like, graphic design, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I find people talking about those, and I engage them in conversation. Maybe they're just talking about a blog post that they read.
Maybe they're sharing a video tutorial of mine. In any case, I take the time to respond to those people and those people then start to follow me and become one of my customers online.Finally, you need to make sure that you're providing value with the content that you create. You never want to use social media as nothing more than a mouthpiece. If you use social media as a mouthpiece, you're really defeating the purpose. You're not interacting with people, all you are doing is asking for something over, and over, and over again. You don't ask people for things, you give people things.
More on how to engage your audience on social media: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Online-Marketing-tutorials/Engaging-your-audience/151648/163647-4.html