Create an emotionally responsive, engaged social media community
that enhances your business and benefits all
Emotional impact creates engagement. I know from personal experience that if I don’t care about something, I switch off. I don’t expect anything different from those that I want to connect with on social media.
I am passionate about getting my work into the hands and hearts of those that it will benefit. There’s not much point in me creating books and decks for people if they don’t read them. To that end, social media has been my main form of communication, outside of my published work, to create and connect with people about what I do. It continues to be a learning curve. I wanted to share with you what I have learned thus far, to enhance the success of your inspirational work that helps others to heal, growing your business through increased reach in social media.
Give to Receive
Some years back I was running a seminar at a metaphysical store in Sydney. The owner of the store is one of the rare ones in Australia who has been, and continues to be, owner of a successful New Age business even after many years, and many closures of her competitors.
After the event, amidst the flurry of product sales that I was signing, she shared something that has remained with me. She said that people can tell when you are trying to sell to them, as opposed to when you are giving something to them. She had run many events over the years, but mine always had a particularly high level of product sales. I have heard this from a number of other retailers over the years too. She told me, “people buy your products because they know that you are genuinely giving to them, that you care.”
It is our passion that allows us to come from the heart and create emotional resonance with others. When we care, a powerful energy flows and people respond positively to that energy. Your passion might be about growing a business with integrity, or about the new products that come in. I know that the best sales of my products and events happen with those retailers that are genuinely enthusiastic about my work. The sales are off the charts and the events are booked out. We’ve had times when the organizer of the event needed to move to a bigger premises to accommodate attendees. That happened because of their love for my work, and people respond to that authentic passion. They want to feel that way too. Perhaps they already love my work or perhaps they want to connect with it to see what all the fuss is about.
That same passion and enthusiasm can be channeled into your social media content, attracting genuine interest in response. You’ll have the necessary drive and inspiration to create something magnetic when your heart is invested in what you are expressing. So, when contemplating your approach to social media, I would ask you what it is that your soul wants to say? Why are you in this business? What excites and moves you? When you become clear about what inspires you and share it freely through social media, it will come back to you in abundant ways.
If Social Media is Not a Passionate Hobby or Profession to Which You Can Devote Ample Time, Then Get Help
When I first began exploring social media, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for! It was a far more demanding commitment than I had anticipated. Setting up an account is quick and relatively simple. It is another reality entirely when you consider the time and creative input required to generate interest, attract followers, and evoke interactions – and to maintain or even grow that responsiveness in social media.
There are two ways that social media will place demands on your time and mental resources – firstly, the creation of content and secondly, devising and implementing a strategy to manage the page. That includes scheduling posts, organizing marketing campaigns for events, and boosting your posts (which is basically paying for higher engagement).
Responding to community comments and messages is how you make it personal for your community. Social media is about creating relationships and for a relationship to be a fulfilling one, some work is involved. That includes paying attention and keeping the channels of communication open.
Hiring someone with social media skills will save you a lot of time and can be a great investment. It used to be the case in small business that you had to do everything yourself. These days, there is too much complexity and trying to do it all tends to wear you out and create a subpar outcome.
The rules of the game on Facebook and Instagram are constantly changing. Much like an accountant or lawyer, a specialist in this area will help you work with the system in a way that is beneficial to your business. Even a part time social media person can be a tremendous asset to your online presence.
To give you an example, my Facebook engagement literally quadrupled overnight when my social media angel changed one of the parameters of our very modest boosting for my monthly social media post. It involved the click of a button, no additional cost, and suddenly instead of reaching twenty thousand people, I was reaching over a hundred thousand. I have been told by a number of social media professionals that I have an unusually high level of engagement. I put that down to good quality content and a helpful social media angel on my side.
If you need help generating content, finding a talented content creator to source imagery that reflects your brand and sharing relevant messages even images and quotes from oracle decks – with due credit given – is not as difficult as you might think. There are many creative people who would consider it a dream job to create attractive content for a loving, inspirational, product-oriented social media page.
Pick Your Battles
One of the most honest and helpful pieces of advice I received from the numerous advisors I’ve consulted about online presence was this – pick your battles. To apply that sage advice, recognize that you don’t need to be on every possible platform. The most successful use of social media that I have seen is when people find the platform that suits them most – be it Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, or something else entirely, and they work with that.
Even if you have a considerable budget and team at your disposal, it makes sense to use your energies to play smarter rather than harder and find the most natural avenues for your message. Because I like to write and I am happy to film, and can do both relatively swiftly and spontaneously, I primarily work through Facebook and Instagram.
Social media can be a major time drain. To work with it, rather than to have it overtake your time and energy, you’ll need to set boundaries, learn that some things can wait and that you don’t have to do everything. Just because you can be on constantly, immediately responding to any message, doesn’t mean that you need to be. A healthy relationship needs good boundaries, as well as attention and responsiveness.
You Can Punch Above Your Weight
There can be pressure to gain as many social media followers as possible. What matters more is the quality of your interactions with your social media community. Some accounts may have a high number of followers, but the responses to their content are extremely low. It’s like walking into a massive ballroom, expecting a huge party, only to find a few people milling about. By comparison, some accounts may have lower numbers, but a comparatively high engagement so that their social media presence is more effective and empowered, doing more for their business. Focusing on quality content and good relationships can help you give and gain the most through your social media presence. Slower, more organic growth through quality interactions will help you gain more return for your efforts.
Integrity in Business Practice Honors Your Message
There are algorithms that determine whether or not you are considered an ‘influencer’ on certain social media platforms such as Instagram. Once you hit that level of growth and engagement, you will be approached by people who want to use your account as a sales channel for their own businesses.
Whilst that may be appropriate for some, it has never felt right for me, and I don’t accept such commissions. I feel protective towards the people who follow me on social media. I want to care for them, not exploit them. I believe that they sense that, and it ultimately strengthens my work and community engagement.
You may find that collaboration and cross promotion in social media that involves payment is useful and appropriate for your work. If you do, my suggestion would be that you trust your discernment and proceed with care so as to protect your brand, ensuring any collaborations are in harmony with the values of your work. If they are not, then chalk it up to experience, and move on.
My final offering is this, always ask the Universe to guide you, to show you the best way forward for the greatest good of all. It is surprising just how many great ideas will flow from such an approach. May your work in this world be successful for the greatest good of all.