The Addictive Nature of Social Media and What It Means for Your Business

The Addictive Nature of Social Media and What It Means for Your BusinessKnow anyone who is addicted to social media? Addiction is a strong word, but a recent study conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business showed that checking Twitter or email was more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol! The researcher was quoted as saying that it’s because media is “…harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not ‘cost much’ to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist.”

Social media is driving users to stay “in the know” and they are checking back frequently so they don’t miss a thing. What can you do to stay top of mind with your audience and keep them engaged with your business?

  • Generate interesting, shareable content related to your business.
    Creating compelling content is key in social media. We’re not talking about constant self-promotion. Think about how you can make someone’s life a little better, one day at a time. Can you offer them some insight related to the services you offer? Demonstrate how you recently helped a client? Share something useful you learned at a meeting or conference? Mix your text updates with a captivating photo, a quick how-to video or an interesting presentation. These visual aids increase shareability. Lastly, showing a sense of humor and being a bit more casual can set a friendly tone for social media.
  • Get other experts in your field to contribute content.
    Invite an expert to share their thoughts by hosting a Facebook Live Q&A event on your business page or doing a Tweet Chat with them. Set a date and set aside one hour where this expert is exclusively available to answer your audience’s questions about a specific topic. Promote it in advance and have some key questions lined up so there’s no lull in activity. Then, summarize the Q&A on your blog and post a link to it on your social media channels.
  • Keep tabs on news in your industry and comment on it.
    Likely, you’re already reading up on industry news. Why not share an article you’ve read and add your thoughts? Ask your audience what they think, too.
  • Get your followers to create content.
    Rather than talking about yourself all the time, ask your followers to post something about themselves. How have they used your products or services recently? Every once in awhile, perhaps you can ask about something fun and unrelated to your business — the last movie they saw, their favorite place to visit, what their plans are for the weekend, etc. You may learn a thing or two about your audience!
  • Respond to your customers when they start a conversation with you.
    Remember that social media is about engagement and not just a one-way stream of thoughts by you. If a follower posts something on your Facebook wall or tweets to you, definitely spend some time responding to them as appropriate.

Do you have any other pointers to leverage the addictive nature of social media? Please leave a comment below to share with us!' About Leilani Yau

Leilani Yau is a digital marketing consultant, specializing in social media for small businesses and non-profits, and helps clients L.O.V.E. (Listen, Offer, Value, Engage) their target audiences online. She currently serves as Social Media Director for Women in Consulting.

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