Posting to a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, a forum, or any other social media platform is akin to starting or participating in a conversation. Keep this in mind, and you’ll soon be a master at social media!
For example, let’s say that you are a dress shop owner who enjoys chatting with your customers when they stop by your shop or when you bump into them at social functions. Knowing that your customers are interested in fashion, you might talk about the latest spring fashion trends. You might ask something like, “What do you think about peach-colored lipstick?” or “Did you hear that Michelle Williams is back with Louis Vuitton again this year?”
While you might ask about their kids or talk about the weather, you’d most likely stick with a topical subject. The same is true when striking up conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. With that in mind, use your social media mindset to stay relevant and on topic.
Adjusting your social media mindset in this manner can:
- Help you overcome writer’s block
- Keep you focused on your followers’ interests
- Lead to a more conversational and engaging social media presence
Social Media Conversation Starters
Start by writing down a list of categories or topics your customers, prospects, and followers are interested in. Using our fictional dress shop as an example, sample topics might include:
- Fashion trends
- New arrivals
- Designer spotlight
- Celebrity fashion
Once you’ve identified about five to ten go-to topics, you’ll always have something to talk about on your social media pages. You might assign each topic its own day of the week, making it even easier to get started. For example, if it’s Monday and you’ve designed Monday as the day to showcase a fashion designer, all you need to do is pick a designer, post a photo, and start a conversation.
To get even more engagement, ask questions – ideally open-ended ones. For example, “What do you think about wearing sleeveless dresses to work?” is an open-ended question that prompts others to share their opinions.
On social media, another way to drive engagement is with “this or that” questions. For example, “What do you prefer: pleated skirts or ruffles?” This approach allows users to share their preferences and often results in a give-and-take conversation between those who prefer one choice and those who prefer the other.
You don’t necessarily need to start each conversation with a question. In fact, you might want to share interesting information. Let’s say you’ve just discovered some interesting statistics about your industry and think your followers will find them interesting. Go ahead and share a link, special report, infographic, or other information and see what your followers have to say. Once they start commenting, join the conversation. Answer questions when they crop up, add your insights, and thank people for sharing their thoughts. If comments are sparse, take charge. You might talk about one of the statistics that was an eye-opener for you.
Social media may be a marketing tool, but it’s also a social environment. Change your social mindset and get the conversations started!