Is Anyone Out There? Making Social a Two-Way Conversation

You’ve created a social media strategy, and you’ve started posting content, but you’re getting radio silence from the outside world. Sound familiar?

You are not alone — this is a common problem. But that doesn’t mean you should get discouraged. Starting the conversation just takes some (additional) work.

Here are some easy ways you can get the social conversation flowing:

Build offline relationships, too.

Even in our increasingly digital world, you cannot underestimate the value of building relationships IRL (in real life). How you do this is going to largely depend on your brand. As an individual, you can attend conferences and go to networking events. Social is a great way to deepen the relationships that you establish offline.

Keep it simple.

Chances are good that no one is going to find inspiration from a social media post to fill out a 10-minute survey (unless they are really bored – sorry!). They are more likely to write a brief comment directly underneath the post (no clicking necessary), which is still valuable.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Host a contest/giveaway.

People like winning/getting things. I would advise against running too many of these, because you want your social media presence to have a deeper meaning than simply “hey, win these things!”

Remind your audience to say hello.

If your DMs (direct messages) are looking a little light lately, it can’t hurt to let your followers know you’d love to hear from them. Again, doing this too frequently looks a little desperate, but an occasional reminder that you are welcoming messages and will respond to them can be inviting.

Initiate the conversation.

Show that you care by going on prospective (or current) followers’ profiles and liking and commenting on their posts. I highly recommend that you read Gary Vee’s advice on building an Instagram following. It really applies to any platform: comment on someone’s profile and that person is more likely to comment on yours. Join a Twitter chat. Comment on someone’s Facebook Live video. Make the first move.

On that note, I invite you to contact me at any point. Had to sneak that in there 😉

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Hello and Welcome: My First Post

Hello, world! My name is Hannah Werthan and I am the social media manager at Molloy College, a medium-sized institution located on Long Island, New York. Here is my story and the story of how this blog was born.

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My Background

Seven years ago, I graduated from college and flew up to New York for what I had hoped would be a long, fulfilling career in print journalism. I got my feet wet at American Baby magazine, which no longer exists, at least not under that name. I had the most supportive mentors and attended swanky events and learned a lot about pregnancy and new motherhood (great preparation for becoming a mom down the line, by the way).

Unfortunately, print magazine staff, always a small group, shrunk even more since I received my college diploma.  When the opportunity arose to move a few rows down on the floor and work on the digital side of Parents magazine, I took it. When I was asked to assume the role of associate social media editor, I had no idea what the heck I was getting myself into, but I took it. (Seriously! Looking back, I see how lucky I was to be in the right place at the right time.)

So, yes, I didn’t set out to “do Facebook for a living,” and it’s OK if you didn’t either. (But, if you are still college-aged or younger, please take a few new media, marketing, journalism, and statistics classes. It will do you a LOT of good.)

If you want to know a little more about my personal life, here is my About Me page.

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Creating the Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help those who may not have a background in social media but want or need to start using this avenue to market themselves or their business. I want it to be the kind of thing I wish I had in the beginning.

I find that people are resistant to use social media for the following reasons:

  • It seems like a lot of work.
  • They don’t know how to navigate social and use it effectively.
  • They don’t understand or know how to measure the return on investment (ROI).
  • It seems too “casual” for the work they are doing.
  • It seems like something millennials/pivotals are using, not their generation.

I hope that this blog with convey the following:

  • Spending time on social media effectively is time well-spent. And you can do it anywhere at any time.
  • Anyone can learn how to use social media. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take it one step at a time.
  • The ROI on social can be HUGE. There are free ways to measure analytics that don’t require a ton of training.
  • There is a social media platform for everyone.
  • EVERY generation is using social media in some way now. It’s a great time to jump in; there is no age restriction on using social, even if you just end up using it to look at photos of family and friends.

I hope that you will let me know what questions you have about social media so we can discuss them together.