What a powerful question. It’s the first step in creating engagement – you’ll hear us preach on engagement a lot here – and, asked properly, initiates a new dynamic. If you agree, we are now intertwined in an exchange of expectations. If you don’t, we separate and move on. Such as it is in life, so it goes in social media.
If a brand establishes a fan page on Facebook and promises information, offers or an “experience,” they expect that if you become a fan, you will actively participate as long as they continue to deliver their promised obligation. Sounds fair enough. As a matter of fact, it sounds like any social relationship you may enter into – lovers, friends, etc… The primary difference is that the onus is upon the brand to continually invigorate the relationship with new and exciting “stuff” lest boredom creep in and breed disinterest. Again, given the particular nature of the relationship, we say fair enough.
So, how do we as social media marketers maintain this lopsided relationship while ensuring that rewards are being reaped for our efforts? You got it – engagement. Make that “will you” question an active part of your social media marketing program. Don’t be afraid to ask people to do, try, ponder, consider, debate, refute, celebrate… things. If your audience is truly engaged, they will. If your request falls flat, then maybe you need to reconsider how you built your following (buying fans is questionable, and probably wont produce sustainable results) or what you are doing to keep them engaged (too much? too little? too fluffy? to pedantic?).
Plan ahead, ask the question and prepare for the discussion. Not only in social media, but in your real life as well.