A good friend of mine is an expert in his field.  He is a great guy and is booked regularly for speaking engagements.  He jumped on the social bandwagon over a year ago with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The problem is he has outsourced the posting of content on his pages to someone who obviously does not know how to LISTEN to the community he has tried to engage.

There are regular info-dump posts with tips or links to his site with information about where he is speaking next, but you never see comments on the Facebook PAGE or replies in the Twitter feed.  There is no conversations going on. Why bother?  Your website is already playing the role of stagnant information dumping ground (assuming there is no blog).  There’s nobody home.

Nobody's Home

Social engagement tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and your blog are about conversations and building relationships.  Part of a good conversation is listening and responding to the people you are wanting the relationship with.  If you don’t believe me, try maintaining a healthy relationship with someone (significant other, children, co-worker, etc) without responding when they speak to you.  That relationship won’t last long.

Here are 3 tips for making sure the lights are on and people know you are home:

1. Mix in questions with your tips and information that get posted.  Asking questions shows you care about what your community thinks. For example, your Twitter profile and Facebook PAGE should be sprinkled with great content and conversations.

2. NOW LISTEN and respond to the answers your community posts.  Yes this means replying to every single comment.  You can bundle your reply to several people at a time but show you heard them.

3. Look at what your community is saying (this is made easier by using a tool like Hootsuite or SproutSocial to filter the flow of information) and jump in on the conversation occasionally with a comment, a LIKE, a ReTweet, or a reply (shoot for 5 times a day to start).

Be sure you are applying these tips to all of the places you have hung your SOCIAL sign out–your blog, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, etc.  Remember, don’t leave your lights on if no one is home!

Like Tom Bodett, I’m @GinaSchreck and I’ll leave the light on for you~

 

Join me on our Facebook PAGE (someone’s alway home there)