I recently caught up with a friend who also happens to be one of Canada’s leading voices on all things mom. As we chatted about our families and jobs, I realized that our offline friendship had originated from our online relationship on Twitter. While I know I’m not the first person to make a real-life connection through online conversation, it did get me thinking. How many meaningful relationships with online influencers have I built through social media? The number surprised me. It’s larger than I thought.
You see, I spent a few years “living” on Twitter as the community manager for a large packaged goods company. The brand wanted to participate in conversations with moms and as a mom of three myself, I could authentically participate in this dialogue. Although the content I shared on behalf of the brand was never about me, it struck a chord with this demographic and generated wonderfully engaging conversations.
I spent hours on Twitter each day and in the process I learned so much about the women with whom I was engaging. I knew about birthday celebrations and anniversaries, family vacations, first day of school jitters, and dinner fails. Through these online conversations I got to know these moms and through emails, in-person meet-ups at conferences, coffee chats, and phone calls, they got to know me. We worked together on many successful client projects and gave each other family and career advice too. The outcome: great relationships and great results for my client. While I’m not currently working as a community manager, my connections with these influencers have endured—both professionally and personally.
Want to cultivate relationships with social media influencers? Here are 4 quick tips:
1. Know your audience. The whole world is open to you on social media, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk to everyone. Figure out who you want to reach and zero in on that market.
2. Be transparent and authentic. You know what people hate? Liars. If you can’t participate in a conversation authentically, don’t participate at all. Start your own conversation or wait to join a different conversation where you can participate truthfully. The more “real” you are, the better your relationships will be.
3. Exercise good judgment. Tonality is really important in social media conversations. If you think your sarcasm might be lost or your comment could be misinterpreted, rephrase it before hitting ‘post.’ A few inappropriate comments are all it takes to ruin an online relationship.
4. Have fun! Enjoy the banter and new-found connections.You never know when these connections will turn into real, lasting friendships.
About the blogger:
Jennifer Brown, Felicity Social Media Specialist
Jennifer Brown is a creative and passionate communications professional with over a decade of experience. She has successfully managed strategic communications for numerous consumer brands, and is an established online community manager and social media content developer.