8 Success Principles for Engaging and Building Rewarding Social Networking Relationships

7 Principles for Engaging on Social NetworksLet’s get engaged. No, I’m not proposing wedded bliss. What I’m talking about is the art of engagement when interacting on social networks.

When you look up “social” in the dictionary, it is defined as living in community, related to the life of human beings in society and friendly companionships. Go to the post office, grocery store or the office, and when you see someone you know, you often ask, “How are you? How are the kids? What did you do on vacation?”

Get the picture? When you’re out and about, you’re engaging offline. So when it comes to social networking, simply apply the principles of engagement online.

Here are 8 principles you can apply:

1. What do you want to accomplish? What’s your goal?
• Get exposure
• Drive traffic to your Web site
• Build leads (e-mail opt-in)
• Provide value & improve relationships w/customers & prospects
• Announce events, special offers & promotions
• Sell products/services

2. Don’t forget a human touch.
If you’re not the only person posting on social networks, include your name each time you post. Social Media Examiner has a team that posts on Facebook and each one signs their name when they post. Likewise, when someone comments on your post, reply to them and tag them so they’re notified of your reply.

3. Create and post fresh, new content.
Think about “Does this matter to my fans? Will it pique their curiosity so they’re enticed to “like,” share or comment? Consider posting, quotes, videos, statistics, photos, thoughts, or questions, etc. Use tools like pixlr.com or canva.com to design unique images. If you have an iPhone, check out WordSwag – a very cool app for adding text to images.

4. Cultivate a conversation. ENGAGE and get your peeps to take action by asking a question and:

a) Make it fun. “What was the last vacation spot you visited? Was it a winner or never again?” Dunkin’ Donuts posted a photo of a cup of coffee in a nature setting and asked, “Where’s your favorite place to drink DD coffee?” They received more than 2000 “likes,” over 1000 comments and close to 200 shares.
b) Let your fans promote themselves. Each Friday, Boom Social with Kim Garst posts a “Facebook Friday” where she posts “If you would like to network, meet some new peeps and build relationships, TAG your Facebook Fan page link…”
c) Make it easy. Use questions with one word answers such as “What’s one word that describes the first job you ever had?”

5. Don’t forget a call-to-action (CTA).
For instance, create an image with a quote and ask “Do you agree?” Or, if the CTA is to visit your web site, be sure to include an active hyperlink.

6.Create a buzz with word-of-mouth.
90% of people trust the reviews of their friends and other customers more than they trust advertising. So make sure your satisfied customers are talking about you. Develop the KLT Factor – know, like trust. Two ways to do this are:
a) Do a Fun Contest on FB. Ask fans to submit photos and let Fans pick the winner. The winning photo can become your Timeline Cover photo for the week/month.
b) Showcase Your Fans. Dunkin Donuts showcases a Fan of the Week on their cover timeline.

7. Create a bridge from your social network to your web site.
For instance, in the “About Section” of Facebook, the “Contact Info” section of LinkedIn (where you can list 3 website links) and on Twitter, be sure your URL is a hot link so customers can click on it and go to your web site instantly.

Last, but not least:
8. Treat others like you want to be treated. Short and sweet – just be yourself, be genuine and authentic.

What about you? What is one of your tips for engaging on social networks? Please share it below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.