One of the easiest ways to increase user engagement and to get more users is to build relationships. Relationships are at the core of your business. Users will tell other people about their experiences with your business, good or bad. Usually, if the experience is bad they’ll talk about it even more. That’s why it’s important to focus on establishing relationships so that you can get more buzz and thus more users.
[Tweet theme=”basic-full”]Relationships are at the core of your business.[/Tweet]
* Start Your Own Groups – Most social media offers the ability to create your own groups where you can start and control discussions. This is a great way to build relationships, because the members of your group will get to know you better if you are present and share often with them, while also answering their questions.
* Reach Out to Influencers – One of the fastest ways to get more users is to let influencers help you. But, you will need to build relationships with them before you approach them about any joint projects or promotion opportunities.
* Be Real – It’s imperative that you are transparent as a human and treat your audience well. You don’t want to be robotic about communication. You want to ask them questions, get to know them, and show how you care about them. Word gets around, so don’t lie about your success or intentions.
* Show What You Know about Your Users – Don’t be afraid to show what you already know about your users. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to show what you don’t know. It’s important to ask questions and listen to the answers, and then show what you know based on those answers.
* Don’t Be Afraid of Customer Complaints – Look at customer complaints (especially those on social media) as opportunities to show your audience what you’re made of. Don’t attack; only deal with the situation. Show the audience how helpful, knowledgeable, and prepared you are to make things right for any customer – even rude ones.
* Keep the Lines of Communications Open – Once you’ve established a relationship with someone, keep it going by keeping the lines of communication open. Get people onto your mailing lists. Create segmented lists that have meaning to your business. Then, ask them to recommend other users.
* Work on Building Trust – One thing about building relationships that are important is building trust. And the way you build trust is over time. Over time you tell the users what you’re going to do, and you stick to it. When you do what you say you’ll do, trust builds. What’s awesome about trust is that it’s transferable. When a person who trusts you tells people that trust them about you, they listen.
* Ramp Up Your Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing is all about finding your audience, building your community, and living your brand story openly. The content that you put out, such as blog posts, white papers, articles, webinars and so forth, brings customers to you rather than you having to go interrupt their day with your message. Once more users come to you, you can easily deliver your message.
Use all avenues open to building relationships. Online events, live events, Facebook groups, forums, and even blog post commenting can be places to build relationships that will help you get more users.

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