Get involved with people and understand that behind every profile 90% of the time is real person that has values, motives, friends, egos, and first names. Get involved in people’s lives don’t be afraid to share something about yourself that’s genuine and take the first step. Social media is all about connection so why not be the first to take that step?
If you run a community or are trying to actively generate a following for anything, be open with the people that follow you. Sure there are a lot of things you can do if you have dollars and just going after numbers, but that doesn’t create genuine interaction.
Whatever your ideas or opinions are, creating a long time community should be fun, enjoyable and rewarding. Great communities/ followings bring people together and people should meet and become friends through you not just with you. If you are not that big of a people person or don’t truly understand why people interact with you, I would suggest hiring someone to get you off the ground and maintain things for you.
You might hear things like “oh man I know a great program that auto updates everything for you” sure there is a ton of great programs, but if you don’t have the foundational principle of being genuinely interested in people’s lives and making connections then don’t even worry about it. Now someone that likes to engage people with like ideas, conversations, and critics using those tools is great!
If you don’t want to pay someone then I would suggest either start reading some short people skill books and work on becoming genuinely interested in people’s lives, or don’t even bother venturing into social media stick with dollars and internet marketing.
Don’t be afraid to accept friend requests or follow back people that you know are regular users that’s what it’s all about. People appreciate genuine interaction if they follow you; heck that’s why they follow you right? It’s okay to reveal yourself with a personal message to them thanking them for following as long as it’s genuine and not a copy and pasted “slogan”. If I’m the Director of Marketing/ Communications for a company running all their social media, it’s great to let them know who the real person is running and interacting as the voice of the company. Even if you don’t work at the same company forever, along the way you probably met and interacted with some really great people and expanded your personal network right? Who knows you might have even got some new friends along the way by even meeting some of your top users.
Think about this: offer an event for users to meet you or your company in person! Talk about building a long standing quality community, that will start to grow more and more with less and less active daily work.
Here is a great mix of some great communities to follow for awhile to understand how they interact with their users. Look at what they post about their own content, photos, videos and engage with users. They all go about it differently but all are effective.