Biz Tips: Here’s The Right Way To Interact With Social Media Groups

Biz Tips: Here’s The Right Way To Interact With Social Media Groups

Biz Tip:

Here’s The Right Way To Interact With Social Media Groups

Get The Most Out Of Social Media Groups

Get The Most Out Of Social Media GroupsWould you like to gain more visibility for your brand and forge meaningful relationships?

While influencers have their place, groups of people committed to a common goal can help each other in a much more enjoyable, organic, passionate and rewarding way.

Today’s marketer needs to be active and engaged in order to reach their audience as organic methods diminish. What better way to do this than in niche social media groups?

There are universal conventions and factors it helps to know in advance, in order to get the most out of your experience.

1 – Recognize the Benefit of Groups

In a focused group, you can:

  • Share information with like-minded people
  • Problem-solve together
  • Fill gaps the others are missing, and vice versa
  • Give and receive tips
  • Keep on top of news – and buzz
  • Brainstorm and toss around ideas
  • Get and give feedback

But there’s one other major benefit belonging to a niche, social or topic based group can give.

And that’s helping you grow an audience, a fan base, and a larger following.

In some ways, there is nothing easier than being a member of a group. But you will get a lot more out of the experience if:

  • You are aware of conventions, tips, do’s and don’ts – both specific to certain groups, and in general
  • You are committed to being part of, and building, your group community
  • Your group is active and engaged

2 – Be Aware of Online Social Dynamics

In an online group, you don’t have the luxury of observing people’s body language, hearing nuances in their tones of voice, watching facial expressions and having them imprint visually on you, the way you would in an offline, physical-location group.

Instead, you get to know group members through:

  • Profile photos
  • Post types
  • Online habits
  • How they speak. Are they respectful? Argumentative? Touchy? Positive? Chatty? To the point?

Those members who do meet offline as well as on, often report getting “quite a different picture” of a person, when meeting them offline for the first time.

If you are a member of a social networking group, you may never actually meet fellow members in person, but it’s a good rule of thumb to assume that you will.

Ask yourself:

  • How would you want to represent yourself?
  • Would you like them to hear your “real” voice?
  • Would you like them to meet you and think: “She’s exactly the way I imagined her?”
  • Would you like them to see what they are expecting to see… or someone far different?
  • What are you trying to portray? Focus on?

There is nothing wrong with keeping parts of your personality and life not relevant to the group’s main focus and goal under wraps. In fact, it’s a good thing. If you habitually side-track group discussions with your house-hunting woes when you’re supposed to all be focusing on photography, people are going to start dropping out in droves.

And if you’re ever planning to hold in-person or online seminars, or make videos you want to be sure that your offline and online persona match your profile photos or trust may be lost.

Image is important, but not as important as being yourself, and being relevant to the group focus. In online groups, you need to pay attention to the impression you are creating – particularly if your group focus is business oriented.

A recent head shot of yourself is also important when engaging with others who will see your online profiles, and the quality should be professional. This will give other group members the best “picture” of who you are and what you’re all about while they interact with you online.

Before you can benefit from a group, however, you have to find or create one.

3 – Finding the Right Group

In places like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus you can find groups by category and interest — considering creating your own group if you are not finding the right fit for your target market.

It’s important to pay attention to groups that have the least amount of spam and are active each day with at least 500 or more members.

4 – Creating Your Own Social Media Groups

Different social networks have different protocols for this, but all will walk you through group set up.

If you are thinking of creating your own group, it’s observing techniques such as making sure you name it for the specific keyword people search with that ensures your group will be chosen, rather than another similar group.

Following this type of universal “best practice” can help make your new group more successful and attract new members.

And, of course, following specific guidelines for your particular social network.

Other important do’s and don’ts include:

  • Never add people without their permission (some social networks allow you to do this)
  • Don’t send too many group emails – you don’t want to irritate members into leaving the group because their email inboxes are getting inundated

Make sure you let members know:

  • Where they can find group guidelines
  • How to turn off group emails
  • How to leave the group

5 – Joining an Existing Group

Before introducing yourself to any social media groups, be sure to read the guidelines first. Most of the time these guidelines are clearly posted. Do take note of and observe them so as not to risk your reputation or being banned.

Some groups require you to wait for approval. This is usually a quick process depending on the administrator’s schedule. Once you’re approved “introduce yourself” and start interacting each day with the members.

6 – A Final Word on Social Media Groups Best Practices

There’s a fine art to creating or contributing to a successful group, and there are definite “best practices.”

  • Make sure every new member is welcomed and acknowledged
  • Be committed to contributing and adding value to your new online community
  • Realize it is a community: Don’t join just for the sake of joining
  • Reserve promoting your services or products for special group sections devoted to offers; otherwise, if these don’t exist within your group — don’t “sell”
  • Stay on topic
  • Answer other group members’ questions, if you have the specific knowledge to do so
  • Don’t share really personal or irrelevant information
  • Listen courteously and respond relevantly to discussions
  • It is always appreciated when you acknowledge a post someone has put time and thought into
  • Nurture your group and participate at least three days a week

Social media groups are what you make them – whether you are the administrator or simply a member. Do your best to make your group a rich community, and you will soon find yourself well rewarded.

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