In today’s online climate, the name of the game is audience interaction.
Long gone are the days when a website was a novelty and if you built one, people would eventually find you. Now you have to work hard to build your community and relationships with your members, all while fostering and encouraging people to engage with you. It’s not something you can be passive about. If you want the relationships and the community, you must do the work.
Of course, I wouldn’t tell you this unless I had some suggestions on how you can do just that. So here are my 5 best tips on how to improve your audience interaction and really build relationships.
Tip #1 – Know Who You Are Targeting
In order to have the best relationship and engagement with your audience, you have to know who you want to engage with. There are different types of engagement depending on where you are and what type of audience you’re interacting with.
For example, you are going to interact differently with people on social media than you are when you meet them at a live event.
Spend time developing an avatar that represents your ideal audience, and know how you want to attract them, speak to them, and start to build a relationship with them.
Tip: Use your analytics programs to determine who your ideal audience is. If your stats are showing you something other than who you want to serve, you know you have to tweak your targeting to get in front of the right people.
Tip #2 – Ask People To Engage With You
Don’t expect that people are going to climb all over themselves to engage with you. Unless you really are a rock star with a massive following, you’re going to have to work for your audience interaction.
A good way to get people to interact with you is to ask them to, and be specific about what you want.
This works well on social media where you can ask specific questions, start discussions and invite comments and input.
It also works well when you are building relationships with your email subscribers. Ask them questions, and then ask them to hit reply and let you know their thoughts on the subject. You’d be surprised how many people will answer you privately that will never say a word on social media.
Tip #3 – Interaction Requires ACTION
Imagine that! If you want people to interact with you, you must take some sort of action to get them involved.
When you’re building audience interaction, what you’re really doing is building a community of people who share common interests with you and with each other. So, if you have a Facebook group or a page for your business, your action can be to “go live” and get people to interact with you by asking questions or commenting on your video feed.
On your blog, you can foster interaction by asking for comments and ideas.
Another way to foster interaction and community building is to ask people to post photos of themselves. Most people on social media love to share what they’re doing, and by giving them a safe space in your community to do that, you are building a relationship with them.
The more active you are in your community, the more interaction and engagement you’ll get from your community members (aka your audience).
Tip #4 – Reward Active Members
Everyone likes to feel special, and one way you an make your most active community members feel really good about being a part of your community is to reward them for their actions.
One of the best things that happened to me this summer was when I promoted a product as an affiliate. I made quite a few sales and was pretty pleased with myself for the commissions I’d earned over a week or so. So you can imagine my surprise about a week after the sale was over, and my mail lady buzzed me and said she had a package that wouldn’t fit in my mailbox.
I rushed downstairs to get it, and when I opened it up, it was a box of brownies from the product owner thanking me for promoting her products!
Talk about feeling special! That made my day and pretty much ensured that whenever she has a product for sale that my audience will enjoy, I’ll be promoting for her.
You don’t have to go so far as to send things in the mail to make your audience feel special. You can do little things like publicly thank them for contributing to your community, offer up discount coupons or a free product. Anything you can do to make the people who contribute to your community feel special will have other people sitting up and taking notice too.
Tip #5 – Track Your Results
You knew I was going to get here sooner or later, right?
In order to really improve your audience engagement, you must track your results. If you don’t, you won’t know what is working and what you need to tweak for improvement.
Once you know what people are responding to, you can do more of that to build your relationships with them.
And by the same token, when you know what doesn’t work you can stop wasting your valuable time doing those things.
Always be tracking and testing and paying attention to your results, so that you really get to know your community members and what they want to see and hear from you.
Building relationships with your audience is an essential component of success today. People want to do business with those that they know, like and trust. And it’s your job as a business owner to do what it takes to get people to know, like, and trust you.
This means you must take the time and put in the work to really get to know your audience and find ways to engage and interact with them. Use the tips I’ve provided here and you should start to see an improvement in your relationships with your community members.