Whether you’ve got a handful of dedicated, vocal connections or a large, diverse group of followers, every single one of us has a “social bubble,” a finite group of people who connect with you and stay connected to engage in some way. The size of your bubble depends on how you approach social, what your goals are, and how willing you are to truly engage, but there’s no doubt that your bubble is one of your most important assets on social media.
These are the people who check to see what you have to say every day when they log in, engage with you when you share content, share your stuff, and promote your social presence to others. However, they don’t (usually) do all of those things purely out of the goodness of their hearts. If you want your bubble to do its part, you need to do your part to keep them motivated!
The simple fact is that social success depends on human interaction, and members of your bubble each have their own reasons for checking in with you regularly. Your closest social connections won’t always be people you’ve met personally, but you likely did something important (in their eyes) to earn their attention. Maybe it was a content series you shared, a bit of free, friendly advice, a deep conversation, or simply a common interest.
Now That You’ve Got Them, What’s Next?
No matter how people enter your social bubble, getting their attention and keeping it are two very different things. You can only expect to benefit from your social connections if you make the effort to maintain the relationship. In other words, keep doing what you did to earn their attention in the first place, and look for new ways to add value to the relationship. No matter what else you do, always try to engage with members of your bubble on a regular basis.
Remember that these are the people most likely to:
- Consume your content when you first share it, engaging through blog comments or social feedback.
- Share that content with their friends when it contains something interesting, increasing your reach and allowing you to demonstrate your expertise to a new audience.
- Recommend your social pages, business website, or your business itself to their friends and social connections.
- Engage regularly with you in public conversations on social, which other users may see, read, and choose to join themselves.
- Ask for advice in a public setting so you can share your answer and your expertise with others in a natural way.
- Check your page regularly for updates, especially if you make a habit of posting fresh content on a steady basis.
- Provide social proof by discussing the merits of the products or services that you have to offer through channels that consumers regularly use to make purchasing decisions.
The list goes on and on, but the point is clear. These are the people who you want on your side, and earning their attention is very good for business. By all means, get out there and earn it! Talk to people you don’t know, share interesting content even if you didn’t create it, offer advice without a price-tag, and put in the effort required to turn social connections into real, meaningful relationships.
For so many marketers, social is treated as little more than a numbers game, but it’s hard to build real relationships when a “high score” is your only focus. Take some time to get to know the people in your social bubble, treat them with respect, and recognize how important their participation is to your social success. By focusing your effort in the right places, you can maintain your connections and build relationships that benefit everyone involved.
This first appeared on Ted Rubin.
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