I spoke at the strategic entrepreneur conference over the weekend, with an attendee list of over 500 people. The conference was help for entrepreneurs that wanted to get more out of their business and I was interviewed by Siimon Reynolds on the topic of social media for businesses. When asked about the best thing they learnt on the first day, a lovely lady stood up and said that she was inspired by my interview and went home and asked her Facebook page fans a question she had been wondering for some time and she was completely surprised at the response rate. She had been spending so much time trying to plan all her social media, and forgot to just ask for what she needed to know. This is why I want to share the following post with you, so you may become inspired to act on what you already know to achieve amazing results.
When we were children, we would just ask for what we wanted. If we wanted that toy over there, as soon as we were able to talk, we would ask for it – no matter how impossible or inappropriate. We seem to lose this ability to be direct as we grow up, it’s almost as if our communication skills diminish with age. The following is an example I’m sure we are all guilty of:
You: Do you know what time it is?
What you really mean: Why are you late?
I mean, did you really want to know the time? No. It was just a roundabout way to emphasise their tardiness without directly saying it. I’m digressing here but I just wanted to highlight the communication habits we get into that may not work out well for us on social media.
When brands communicate on social, some suffer from the same issues, they want engagement but they aren’t direct enough about it to get any. When us consumers participate in social, we are usually in our wind-down mode. Our we want a break from thinking mode, and we just want to enjoy ourselves. So do your fans a favour and just be direct with your communication. If you want like’s on your post – just ask for it. From my experience, posts which contain “please like us if _______” get double the amount of interaction than posts without it. This makes total sense because we “asked” our fans for what we wanted and most of them would be happy to give us what we wanted.
I’d use this with caution however – don’t just ask ask ask. There is a simple rule that you can apply to this “just ask for it” method of getting interactions. Remember to give 6 times more than you receive. For every “ask” you need to make sure that you’ve have given sometime of value to your audience 6 times prior to your ask. This will not only increase your interactions, your fans would be completely happy to do it. In addition it’s also a good idea to explain “why” you are asking – especially for gen-y’ers and younger. A heartfelt plea for help will be greatly rewarded if you communicate it properly. This works extremely well when you are face to face with your customers – allowing you to build the human connection. If you are a small business, you just need to ask one customer a day to join your fan page, and that is 365 new fans with little or no effort on your part. In fact these fans may be more likely to engage with you because you asked them personally.
I hope that you enjoy getting in touch with your inner child and learn to ask for what you need from your fans online. I’d love to see the growth in interactions you have from applying this simple rule with your audience. If you have any breakthroughs or comments please pop them in the comments section below.