No, I’m not talking about posting endless selfies or chronicling your day in hour-by-hour increments. I’m talking about being real with your audience. To me, this goes far beyond what you put in a tweet. It’s a business philosophy.

Let me explain.

I’ve probably written it before, but I hate gimmicks. With every fiber of my being. To me, a gimmick screams lack of confidence, lack of morals, or lack of expertise. Either you don’t believe in your skills, you don’t care if you’re executing a bait-and-switch, or you don’t have the ability to generate leads without tricking the general public.

I think there’s a far better way to attract your target audience that leaves gimmicks in the dust. Ready for it? Here it is.

Get personal.

No, it’s not the sexiest approach, because getting personal often means putting in hours of work and then waiting … and who wants to do that? But it’s the right thing to do to build a sustainable business, because you will foster genuine and trustworthy relationships that will convert to clients and customers.

What does “getting personal” on social media look like? Here are a few basic ideas you can put into practice with your own business:

1. Help By Answering Questions

One of the best ways to gain new clients or customers is to help … no strings attached. One of my favorite tools for doing this is Twitter. Search for the most popular hashtags or questions relevant to your business and answer them without asking for anything in return.

Not only will answering that question create a positive rapport between you and the person you’re helping, it will educate your other followers and show them that you are truly out to help.

2. Ask For Genuine Feedback

Asking your audience for genuine feedback helps in a number of ways. First, it refines your messaging. So often, we think we know what our target audience is looking for, but we’re actually off base.

Second, it creates engagement around your brand that has nothing to do with you getting anything in return. You are once again showing a helpful attitude to the person you’re engaging with and to the rest of your followers.

Third, this method will generate content ideas you can use in the future. Since these ideas were suggested from your target audience, they will probably be popular posts!

Suggested tools to use:

  • Facebook. Post a question asking for feedback on your Facebook page and boost the post to your followers for $5-$10. This will ensure more people see your post and will generate a much higher level of engagement than just posting it organically.
  • Email. If you are just starting out, you could actually send one-on-one emails to your subscribers to ask for individual feedback. This would foster relationships with those people, building trust and loyalty. If you have too many to do that, you can send an email to your entire list soliciting feedback.
  • My suggestion is to set up a dummy email address with your name that forwards to your regular email address. That way you aren’t giving away your primary email address, but your audience feels like they’re talking directly to you.
  • Blog. Write an entire blog post around a question you have for your audience and send it out to all of your social media channels.
  • Video. Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, using video to ask your audience for direct feedback is personal and genuine. Embed it into a blog post or post to your social channels.

3. Give Out Positive Attention

Much like answering questions for those who don’t yet follow your brand, offering attention to influencers or others in your industry can give you a great reputation with your colleagues and your clients.

This is actually one of my favorite things to do on social media — I love recognizing others for a great article, podcast, or business achievement! By bringing attention to someone else, you show that you are in it because you care and you’ll expand your circle of influence.

Final Thoughts

I understand that social media can’t be “personal” 100-percent of the time. If it were, we’d be spending all of our time on our phones or computers with zero time to run our businesses.

But working genuine conversation and engagement in with scheduled posts is a great way to showcase your human side and build a following of raving fans.

Are you looking for help in this area? Reach out for a strategy session.