My friend Srinivas Rao of BlogCast FM and The Skool of Life spoke at a great session last week at BlogWorldLA called How To Maximize the Engagement of Your Audience. This is a hot button issue with brands and businesses because of how difficult it is for them to look at an audience and not be pushy or convincing to get their sales pitch out there.
If you haven’t learned anything from me yet, relationships are really friggin’ important in this business. And you need to portray that you value those relationships in your content as well as your conversations. Here are some of the top points that Srini made that you should make make note of:
What is your core message?
People have a hard enough time remembering things you say to them in person, like what you do or where you’re from. And Srini proved that by having us turn to the person next to us and exchange that information with each other. You might think you’re listening, but the information isn’t sticking. When it comes to your blog, is your core message sticking? Does a visitor know what you’re all about within 5 seconds of landing on your site? You have to make sure it’s there because if you aren’t getting your core message across, you’re missing the boat on a lot of opportunity.
Tip: If you have a friend that isn’t familiar with your site, you should sit them down in front of a computer and see what they interpret. Make improvements where needed.
Co-create content with your audience
When you blog, you are blogging for them, right? So why give yourself the burden of coming up with all the content ideas?More than likely they have a few topics that they would like to see you cover that would help them out. So take any opportunity you can to have those conversations with your audience and brainstorm those topics together. You’ll be helping yourself by helping them out. This may aleviate some of the pains of content creation that Jay Baer and Joe Pulizzi were talking about in their session.
Tip: Ask a question on Facebook or Twitter. You might find that your audience leads you into a whole new territory of content.
Make friends. Not followers.
No matter how many readers, followers, friends, fans, etc. that you have, it won’t matter unless you have created a real relationship. It won’t matter unless you’ve helped them in some way. It won’t matter unless you’ve invoked some sort of emotional reponse at some points, if not many many times. Just because you have a high following doesn’t mean you’re going to be making a ton of money from the Internet. I can tell you this for a fact as I know many people who have 100,000 followers or more than don’t know what the heck to do with them and don’t make any more money than they did before.
Tip: Instead of focusing on your Twitter follower increase strategy, watch your feed and tweet with people who are already interested in you. Be relaxed and talk about things off topic from your industry. You just might come off as human… which is a GREAT thing. Build relationships. One at a time. This is how you make social media work.