Have you ever stopped to consider why consumers follow brands on social media? Is it because they need to know more about the brand or the product or is it for a different reason?

Most consumers follow companies on social media that are fulfilling a need or a want. This need or want can be for information that is meaningful in their lives, or to find a person or group where they feel valued, understood and most of all, a part of that community.

By thinking of your followers as individuals within a community with a common interest, which is your company, product or brand, you have a way to reach out and connect. It all starts with getting to know your followers and then finding ways to interact to build a sense of unity, connection, and brand loyalty.

To help to get started, here are some easy to implement connection strategies for new businesses building a target audience and existing businesses wanting to strengthen the personal connection with their customers.

  • Create meaningful content – finding out what is of interest and relevance to your audience is critical in reaching out for a connection. By generating a blog, article or post on a relevant, timely and personally important topic to your followers, they will respond, providing the opportunity for greater connection and communication.
  • Connect to and from your website – people may get to your website through your social media posts, but can they get to your social media accounts from your website? Add links to all your social media platforms prominently on each page. Have a welcoming message that goes out to new followers as this makes a powerful first impression.
  • Follow the followers – as people contribute to discussions on your posts, make it a point to follow them. This is a positive for most people, and it also allows you to learn more about your followers to continue to generate content that is of interest.
  • Get into groups – Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups are an ideal way to connect with other professionals or target audience members. Additionally, if people that are following you are in specific groups, joining those groups provides you with additional information on your target group and what is of interest to the demographic.
  • Hashtag help – using hashtags in posts, even on Facebook or LinkedIn, is a great way to find a way to connect with followers on Twitter or Instagram. Hashtags can focus on areas of interest to your followers, allowing them to determine if they want to connect with you over a specific topic of interest. Just be careful to be accurate with the hashtags and never use a “bait and click” type of hashtag as this will have the effect of breaking connections.

It is also a great idea to comment on accomplishments of your followers. Wishing them a happy birthday or commenting on a post of something they have done is a great way to make a connection and have a positive and meaningful interaction.