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The opportunities being created for businesses today through advancements in social media, technology, and the digital landscape excite me. The potential for learning, development, automation and growth are endless and I love that. As business owners it gives us the opportunity to try new things, to innovate and make an impact. However, as we move toward using more technology it’s important to make personal connection with your online community a priority.

We’re incredibly lucky to have access to different types of technology that will help us work more efficiently in all areas of our business, including tools designed to streamline our social media activity. I speak to people every week who want to save time on social media so they can do other things in their business. Being more efficient is a must and I encourage you to use apps, tools, dashboards, systems and processes to do this however fully automating your social media, walking away from it and never coming back isn’t the answer. It’s risky.

By walking away, you completely miss out on the real value social media brings. Connection with other people.

You miss out on conversations, getting to know new people as well as building and strengthening relationships with your clients and future clients. I’ve seen businesses put their social media on autopilot. Everything happens in the background and they think they don’t have to worry about it ever again. Out of sight out of mind. Right? Wrong! This can cause problems and potentially damage your brand.

At its core, social media is about people and personal connection is critical.

A while ago I saw a business post a question on their Facebook page and they received some great comments from their community. However they were missing, there was no one from the business monitoring the page acknowledging, replying or contributing to the discussion. Watching this play out, there was no doubt in my mind this question was pre-planned and scheduled. Now, I’m all for planning and scheduling (some) content, however, you must take responsibility. If you ask your community a question you must be there for them and listen to them. If you’re going to schedule content, make sure someone is monitoring the page and responding to comments. If you’re not present, it says to the world you don’t care and I’m sure this wasn’t the impression this business was trying to create at the time.

Social media automation and human connection work incredibly well together, I love it however as business owners you can’t set and forget, you need to take responsibility and be involved in the conversation or have someone in your team involved. Don’t forget about the most important people in the room, your community. Automate some of your social media processes and content as well as allocating time every day to engage and build relationships.

Personal connection is a must. It allows you to deeply connect and form long-lasting relationships with your community. You’ll understand what they need, their challenges and how you can best serve them. When you understand your audience, you can then look at how you will connect, communicate and build relationships with them and from there decide what types of technology and automation tools you’ll use to support the process.

By asking questions, answering questions, sharing information and sharing stories you can learn a lot about your audience, which will allow you to make a difference in their lives and create positive change. You’ll be in a better position to help them. Businesses that personally connect with their audience on social media stand out online.

If you don’t personally connect and nurture your relationships you won’t get to know your community well and they won’t get to know you, which on a business level, is a problem.

Personal connection builds a common bond, it creates trust and it allows people to truly connect on a much deeper level.

Think of your community first and then look at the tools, technology, and strategies that you’ll adopt to elevate your productivity and accelerate your results.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Debra Sinclair | Business | January 11, 2017 | Community Building, Social Media Management, Social Media Strategy

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