There’s conversation and then there’s meaningful conversation. I know which I’d prefer to have. But what is a meaningful conversation and how do you have one – especially on social media? A meaningful conversation basically means sharing WOW words that create a connection. But unless you are good at this art, if can be difficult. Just like you can have meaningful conversations at a dinner party, social media for business is no different. It is about connecting and having a conversation with your ideal customers, exactly as if you were having a conversation over the fence with your neighbour or face to face at a networking event. There is actually an art to having a meaningful conversation and it all starts with the topic. So here are some tips to have meaningful social conversations with your ideal target audience via social media so they really work for your business and you start to create a connection and rapport that runs into a long-lasting relationship. #1. The hot topic on everyone’s lips Make sure you are posting information or posing a question about a topic that your audience is into. To do this you need to know who’s hanging out on your pages and platforms. What do they like to do? Where do they go? What do they eat? Do they have kids? Are they into travelling? Do they like to read books? This is why getting to know your audience is such a crucial part of your content strategy – the more you know about them, the better equipped you will be to post content they love and then have a social conversation with them. #2. Ask them to talk about themselves Just like you would if you were face to face, ask open-ended questions that allow your audience to open up and share experiences. This often creates engagement and will get others talking and sharing. Ask their opinions. This is what you would do at a dinner party, or if you met someone for the first time, right? #3. Be interactive If you are going to ask people about themselves and they are responding to you, make sure you talk back! This is a meaningful conversation so if people are asking you questions, make sure you reply back to them. Have a conversation with them as if they were in your home or shop. #4. Tell stories – funny ones The whole story-telling element plays a huge role in social media. Being a journalist and editor, there’s nothing I love more than a good story. It’s the best way to get others talking. Share a funny story, something you know your audience will appreciate or relate to. There has never been a better time to tell a story than right now! #5. Be yourself Don’t pretend to be someone you are not, in life and on social media. There is nothing worse when you are following someone on social and you meet them in person and they are nothing like how they portray themselves in the social sphere. It’s disheartening and disappointing. Being yourself means you connect with people on a human level and we all know people buy from those they know like and trust. #6. Don’t be salesy. Ever Let me ask you a question. In your newsfeed, do you like reading posts that are pure sales content? Do you like having conversations with people who pitch you from the get-go? Probably not. I don’t. So keep it relevant. In saying that, you can offer posts (available for Facebook business pages) which will create higher engagement, but they have to include a worthy discount, or a package that creates sensational value with freebies. But you’ll have to pay for them. #7. Post regularly Keep the conversation going! Post at least once a day depending on the platform. But make sure what your posting and sharing to start a conversation is valuable information – don’t post for the sake of it. Have a content plan for your social platforms. Think about your goal and what your audience needs help with or how you can solve their problems. Here’s another hot tip to creating connections on social media with your conversation…start to find the pattern that works for you to create that engagement every time. I call this finding your formula and social media gets a whole easier when you know your formula works. Like everything that’s successful, your business should have a social media formula. It’s the hottest tip and everyone is (or should be) doing it. You’ll particularly see it happening in Facebook groups. What does a “formula” look like? It’s very simple. Let’s use Facebook as an example. Just say you’ve done all your research on your target market and you’ve been testing what works and what doesn’t. You now know on: Monday: People are fresh from the weekend and easing themselves in to work so you don’t want to come on too strong. There’s not a great deal of interaction, so you share some inspiration and motivation for a great week ahead. Quote pics work well for this or asking a question about what they are looking forward to this week. Tuesday: Tip day, so you share some of your hottest info and call it “Tip Tuesday” or “To-do Tuesday” and use these as your catchphrases. Wednesday: Share your blog link and get the conversation started about what’s on the blog this week, how it’s affecting people and what you can do to help. Thursday: It’s shout out or share day. You’ve found sharing other people’s info is a great way to highlight other people doing great things and shows you are willing to share info with your audience that’s relevant to them. You might share an event you are hosting or a product that will help solve their problems…in a non-salesy way, of course. Friday: It’s the universal Funny Friday where you share a few light-hearted jokes and pictures. I’ve been told cats, puppies and Ryan Gosling work a treat for engagement. People are winding down for the week now and don’t want anything too heavy. The whole aim of social media is to start to create a connection so your audience knows, likes and trusts you…there is no better way to do this than by being genuine and having good old-fashioned conversations with people, even if it is online. Images: ” Social networking media, chat, messaging and communication concept: group of glossy colorful speech bubbles isolated on white background / Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.