For many small business owners, establishing a relationship with Facebook followers can be a bit like a relationship. First they like you, make the commitment to follow you and let you into their hearts -- and news feeds. Then the real work begins. In order to keep those followers committed, you have to cultivate that relationship. And like any solid, loving relationship there are some ground rules:
1. Be consistent.
My husband is the most reliable person I know. Some people might say that's boring, but I love that if he says he's going to do something, he does it. The same thing goes with your relationship Facebook and Twitter followers -- don't tweet 14 times in one day and then drop off the face of the earth for the next two weeks. Establish a pace and be consistent about it so they know what to expect.
2. Give and take.
Not to brag, but our marriage is super balanced on the give-and-take scale. This is important in your social love affair as well: give your followers content and updates that they want so that you can then take their business/money/endorsements/flowers and rainbows.
3. Be spontaneous.
A dash of spontaneity is good for your relationship, and good for your social profile, too. Comment on late breaking events that are local to your business, or post a cartoon that you thought was funny and relevant to your customers. That displays your lighter side and increases engagement.
For the indoctrinated, that means "define the relationship". At some point in your (personal and social media) relationship, you're going to need to make an ask to convert the follower/fan/person you're dating into your loyal customer/top advocate/partner for life. Just make sure that you woo them first with your consistency, spontaneity, and top-notch content.
I'm no relationship expert, but I do have a kickass marriage and we've done lots of cool stuff on social. So get out there and play the field, and within a few months you'll be well on your way to DTRing.