The popularity of social media is no secret, and love it or hate it- that's where the people are. Studies show increased anxiety, depression, loneliness, and many other problems associated with social media use, which may cause you to wonder if you should be using it at all. Should we abandon these platforms because of the downfalls and the dangers? We at KBM believe social media can be used to build positive relationships that open the door to deeper connections with your followers. In the case of Christian radio stations, building those connections can give you the opportunity to lead people in a closer walk with God. These relationships will take time and effort to form, but the benefits are long-lasting and of eternal significance.
The Benefits of Positive Social Media Relationships
1. Increasing trust with your followers
It's common to pump out content without paying attention to the effect (aside from the reach, likes, etc.). When creating social media content, try to picture the person on the other side of the screen who might see that post. What would you like them to feel or think when they see it? How could that content provide something they need? Being a source of valuable content will increase your follower's trust in you as a station/non-profit/small business. But don't stop there. Taking the time to interact with people who comment or message you shows that you care and are interested in what's going on in their lives. Responding to your audiences' comments shows that you value their time too. (More on engagement later.)
2. You get to share the truth
One of the reasons people face increased anxiety, depression, and loneliness due to increased social media use is that they believe lies. They see content that communicates that they are less than someone else: less valuable, less successful, less loved. We have an opportunity to fight back against those lies with the content we post. For example, knowing that it's in our followers' best interest to use social media less often, we should be putting out the best content we can and spending the most time engaging. That's where relationships are formed.
3. Engagement shows your followers they matter
Have you ever talked to someone that wouldn't let you get a word in edge-wise, or if you were able to say something, they didn't listen anyway? That's not a good feeling. No one likes being "talked at." It's possible that putting out post after post and never engaging could feel like that to your followers. I know- engaging on posts is the first thing on the to-do list to get pushed to tomorrow…next week...or maybe until you have more time. Try this: make it your first task when you get to work. Set aside 15 minutes (or more if you have it) and thoughtfully respond to as many comments as you can. Do not simply copy and paste the same response to each person who comments. Take some time to make each comment personal in some way. Try to further the conversation with your responses. The benefit is two-fold: you're starting to build a relationship with your follower and the conversation triggers the algorithm to show more people your post. We call this the "engagement loop." They'll see you care and might be drawn to interact with you more and more each time they comment on one of your posts. Here's an article to help you learn more about how to increase your engagement on social media.
Keep Up With The Digital Buzz
4. Don't forget there are real people with real problems on the other side of the newsfeed
With social media, it's easy to get caught up in numbers of likes, comments, shares, etc., and to forget that there are real people on the other side of the newsfeed. People are hurting, isolated, and lonely, and the way you interact on your platforms can directly affect your followers' lives. You've been given an amazing tool to connect with hurting people who need you to be uniquely you. Make digital personal. Remind yourself often that the numbers are not nearly as important as the people who follow you.
5. Understanding the needs of your followers
Even starting slow with engagement will give you more information about what your followers are thinking, needing, and dealing with. Use their feedback and let that inform what you post in the future and how you interact with them. For example, one way for a Christian radio station or non-profit to find out what your followers are dealing with is a prayer request post…but if you go that route, it's very important to have someone (or several people) lined up to respond and pray. Over time, you'll notice people who always engage with your content, your "superfans," you might call them. Keep track of what they comment on and check in with them periodically. You might think it's no big deal, but they obviously connect with you and hearing from you will mean the world to them and shows them you do care. When people notice you care, they'll tell others about your radio station or business.
If you're going to invest time on social media, do it with purpose. With the wrong focus, people get hurt, but we have the opportunity to do better. Get clear on your mission and use your platform to build positive relationships with the people who connect with you. After all, your ROI on social media should be the people you serve. Serve them well.
If you find yourself struggling with creating a strategy to super-serve your followers on social media, schedule a free 30-minute ZOOM session with Killer Bee Marketing and let's see how we can help you today.