Much effort and attention is given to creating valuable content, publishing at just the right time to maximize impressions, determining what triggers to use to incite sharing, figuring out how to encourage comments and “likes,” and more.
All of this is great, but there isn’t anything social about publishing content and hoping for virality metrics to shoot through the roof. Even replying to comments left on blog content, Facebook updates, tweets, and Google+ posts isn’t truly being social.
Think about it in the context of your life. You don’t go to a party, see some guy standing in the corner all by his lonesome, and think, “Man, that guy is really putting himself out there!” He’d probably answer a question if you asked him, but he’s not doing anything to garner attention, attract people to him, or develop connections or relationships. Except for rare circumstances, businesses and brands simply cannot develop meaningful relationships with consumers on social media without behaving socially.
The beautiful thing about social media is that it gives businesses the opportunity to speak with their audience, including current and prospective consumers. That’s powerful stuff.
Initiate a dialogue.