You Love Them, You Love Them Not…

In the form of flowers that will die eventually, chocolates loaded with low-quality ingredients, and candles that don’t even smell that nice, love is in the air!

It’s unfortunate that the most powerful force in history has been monetized. “Selling” sincerity has become our generation’s greatest boss battle. So many brands use the term “family” and “community” that you feel like you’re at an awkward dinner with your relatives, pulling out and plucking a metaphorical daisy with the famous adage, “They love me, they love me not…

The good news is this: people still recognize what being genuine is. Actions still speak louder than words should you choose to use them. Here’s three ways to let your customers or your community know that you love them behind the screen.

1. Set up an away message and frequently asked questions on emails and social media accounts.

No matter what the relationship is—personal, professional, or romantic—communication ranks as one of the most important skills to make things run smoothly.

Your first thought may be, “It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I’m not available when my customer needs me!” 

But your customer or future fan wants to talk to you and know more—that’s why they’ve reached out! If anything, they’ll appreciate the heads-up that you respond to messages at a certain time of day, or that you’re not available due to a holiday or weekend hours. It also saves them the time of having to check that message constantly (or even worse, see that read receipt 😬)

Learn to set up an away message on Facebook and Instagram here.

As a bonus action, you can add other links that they can peruse as they’re reading: such as other social media links for them to follow or a mailing list. And speaking of that schweet, schweet list…

2. Offer exclusive discounts, codes, and insightful information on your mailing list.

One of the easiest ways to build a listserv is with a promise: that the signup will be worth a person’s time or money.

A discount of ten to fifteen percent off, free wallpapers, or other evergreen content that you’ve put out make great gifts for loyalty. A welcome email about how passionate you are for your small business or your services can inspire a subscriber about how you love to do what you do, and bring that to others.

And, you get a free way to learn more about your customer! When they sign up for a mailing list on MailChimp, for example, you get to see what sort of links they interact with, what they value, and what sort of things they like to see from you. Sending feedback surveys becomes easier than ever. And with the social media ‘rithms constantly changing, a person’s inbox becomes the easiest way for them to see new updates from you.

Find out how to make beautiful welcome emails on MailChimp.

3. Talk to them!

Think of the last time you reached out to a favorite brand via message, or on a social media comment. What world of difference did it make to have a reply instead of a simple heart back? It was exciting to receive that ❤️, but it was nothing against the euphoria of knowing that a company or person you really cared about took the time to respond to you. That action crescendos louder than the words they typed!

So the next time someone comments on your post, or DMs you with praise, spend a little extra time striking up or even continuing a conversation with them. You want a two-way relationship with your fans. It takes two to tango, and if you’re not trying to dance, they’re going to find another partner. Or even a competitor. Another content idea from this is asking to share what they’ve said or a photo they’ve taken as a post of your own. They’ll love being featured and more of your followers will see how your products and services equal happiness.

If you’re reading this blog post, you may have some cognitive dissonance (that’s a big word for Elmo…) about whether your people really, really like you. It can be demoralizing to spend hours on an email or even on one little photo caption to be met with little communication from the people you work so hard for. Stay consistent and persistent, and you’ll find that those who really love you will stay with you for years to come.

This social media advice is “free sabil illah.” Please share with business owners, nonprofit board members, and your local masjid uncle.

Leave a comment to let me know what you’d like to learn about social media.