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Show you are human and win human followers

By Tim Fuell - April 5, 2014

Social media is full of boasts about this number of followers and that number of followers, but the people that do best in social media are those not with the largest number of robotic or virtual followers, but those with the largest number of human and engaged followers. How do you engage human followers? By showing you are human yourself and giving your social posts an injection of your personality and plenty of honesty.

Admit your mistakes

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and as we’ve pointed out before mistakes actually make better business people if you learn, re-group and go again. You don’t want to hurt your credibility but it often pays in the social sphere to admit when you were wrong or perhaps made a mistake. People will criticise but it takes a bigger person to put their hands up and say yes I got this wrong but… Sharing how you bounced back, your post-mortem on the issue and sharing insight so that others don’t follow the same mistakes will gain you respect, followers and probably plenty of social shares too.

Tell your story

Even if you are sharing a great post by somebody else, make sure you give it a personal touch. Show you understood the post first and perhaps summaries in your won words. This will not only win attention, trust and respect from your followers and the author of your share, but it will also help hone your skills in summarising and posting engaging social media posts.

Saying thank you says more than just two words

If somebody mentions you favourably, re-tweets or shares your content or even follows you, saying thank you goes further than just acknowledging that one account. That says a lot anyway and will encourage them to perhaps engage more again in the future with you, but any thank yous may also be seen by your other shared followers who will notice your tendency to be nice but also do social in the right way. Again this will encourage them to engage with you again in the future, both on social media but also in business in general.

It’s not ROI but ROR

If you start out with a need to measure your return on investment (ROI) you are always going to fall short on the human element. You will find yourself forced to give more sales patter via your social channels and focus your messages just that little more towards calls to action than you would with a conversation, which social was designed for. Build your messages and your strategy upon finding a return on relationships (ROR) instead of an ROI. So if you spend two hours conversing with a certain customer every week to keep them happy, make sure that two hours of your time is reflected in the lifetime value of that customer. Is the input justified?

It is a constant fine-line between making social work and making social workable in terms of spend available for the clear benefits it provides, but following the human approach, your social channels will be much more progressive and important over a longer period of time. Make sure  you keep  it real and your customers and would be customers will soon see the reality.