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How to Get People to Listen to You on Social Media

November 24, 2012
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225039

Time magazine recently announced the "Four More Years" tweet sent from @BarackObama's Twitter account, which included a picture of the president and first lady sharing a heartfelt embrace, as the most popular tweet of all time. The tweet went viral with hundreds of thousands of retweets and favorites, just 12 hours after Obama was re-elected as president. 

The previous owner of this top-tweet title was Justin Bieber. 

With such excessive jabber in cyber space these days, how can anybody get heard? 

It's unlikely your social media posts will enjoy the level of popularity as these public figures, but you certainly don't need to be a White House resident or have a trendy chili-bowl haircut to make your voice known. It just takes a few key strategies to put your company out there.

Make it count.
Whether it's a 140-character tweet or a blog post, be clever with your words. Consumers don't have the time or attention span to read through several paragraphs. Make your posts short, sweet, and to the point.

Don't overdo it.
On social media, there is such a thing as over-doing it. Feel free to share pictures of company events, post about new product launches, and share any upcoming news, but don't clog your audiences' feeds with unnecessary information. Consumers will start ignoring you if they feel bombarded with information, and you might end up losing advocates.

Listen to your audience.
Have you ever been on a bad date in which the person wouldn't stop talking about himself or herself? It's a huge turnoff. The same "it's not all about me" etiquette applies to social media interactions. 

A key part of business-to-business and business-to-consumer communication is two-way engagement. If somebody asks you a question or tweets at you on a social media channel, respond in a timely manner. If something negative or inaccurate is posted, apologize, offer a solution, or clarify the discrepancy. Listening pays off, and you might end up actually learning something.

Analyze your results.
There is a plethora of social media analysis software out there--programs that analyze sentiment, activity, top influencers, engagement patterns, and more, so you can watch your progress and learn what it takes to get the better results in the future. By observing what works and what doesn't work over time, you can make your outreach better suited for your audience.

Patience, especially in the case of social media, is a virtue. Growing a following takes time, and you need to build trust and nurture relationships that you want to keep.