people expect relationshiips online

People Want a Relationship Online

A trend I have been happily reading about is the growing expectation of a relationship online. People are savvy enough about social media that it is not enough for you to push content at them. They expect you to interact, engage, and be about them as much as you are about you.

Yup, relationship building. It is the approach that always wins.

Your online strategy needs to be far less about follower count and much more about how you interact and engage with your online tribe. Social media must be about building relationships. A healthy relationship means give and take. It means that both parties have equal footing.

Here are five ways you can show appreciation, connection and concern online. Doing these things will help you build a tribe that matters.

Share their content.

Take time to see what your active followers are posting on their channels. Share the things that represent a good intersection of their interests and yours. In a relationship, both parties should have the opportunity to initiate discussion.

Say thanks.

Appreciate your network by taking time to say thanks. Thanking your network for input, or simply for being connected, is easy to do and can help strengthen connection.

Acknowledge that your followers have lots of choices and limited time. Thank them for making you part of their online engagement.

Make comments into content.

Getting comments and feedback? Use them on your social channels as content! Make a post about a review or comment. Create a meme that uses a follower’s quote.

Sharing feedback is a great way to showcase social proof. This also highlights that you do read and care about comments and other input from followers.

Let followers set the agenda.

Get your followers by giving them a vote in what you do. Be sure to ask people what they want from you online. Point out what you do to deliver.

This also helps with specific business needs. Considering a new logo or tag line? Get input from your tribe. Need to name something? Give them options to choose.

Offer exclusives.

One of the best parts of a relationship is knowing more than people that don’t take time to be connected. Share thoughts and inside information with your followers that add benefits to their relationship with you.

Tell them about your plans. Share the back story on a product or service. Share personal stories about the people behind the brand.

None of these relationship-building tactics needs to be difficult. Develop relationships in a way that is natural for you and your brand. Those connections will really help you tap into the value of social media in creating connections for your brand, now and in the future.