Did you know I recently found out I’ve been watering my plants wrong for my entire life?
In this blog I’m going to tell you what I’ve been doing wrong, but I’m also going to tell how this relates to the way you communicate with your audience, and the way you use social media and your website to tell your story.
I, like everyone else, used to water my plants from the top. I always thought this was what I was supposed to do, and it gave me satisfaction to see the water sink down and absorb into the soil.
Because it turns out, the roots aren’t at the top of the plant - they’re at the bottom. And if the plant needs to drink, it wants to drink from the bottom.
It’s not nearly as satisfying to water a plant from the bottom. You can’t really see it soak in, and it just looks like a giant puddle at the base of your pot. But by watering your plant from the bottom, the roots get what they need first.
Putting Yourself in Your Audience's Shoes
Your audience on social media is a lot like my plant. Watering my plant the way I want doesn’t necessarily serve the plant's needs. But watering it from the bottom up; in other words, meeting it where it wants to be met - will hopefully allow the plant to continue to grow and thrive.
This principle also applies to you and your business on social media.
When you post content on social media, it’s important to think of your audience.
Where are your followers hanging out?
What platforms are they spending the most time on?
What problems or questions do they have in relation to your product, service or industry?
And what kind of information or content would they find helpful or interesting?
Many businesses make the mistake of selling too much on social media. They post about their sales, products and prices, but then don’t understand why their followers are not engaging with them.
But people don’t like just being sold to on social media. People use social media to connect.
Instead of simply selling, show your audience how what you are offering solves their problems. Anticipate their questions or concerns and answer them. Provide useful insights and information that will make their lives easier.
In other words: in order to really connect with your audience, it’s important to meet them where they want to be met, and put yourself in their shoes.
For a plant, if you don’t water it properly, you risk having it die. Likewise, if we don’t meet our audience where they want to be met, we risk losing them. Ultimately that means fewer followers, fewer shares, and a disengaged audience.
Case Study: How to Engage with Your Audience on Social Media
Let me give you an example.
Bill runs an appliance store. He sells washing machines and fridges, and offers them all at competitive prices. If he weren’t doing it right, he would flood his social media feed with pictures of inventory that sell, sell, sell. His audience would eventually tune out his message and he would have a hard time gaining new followers.
But instead, Bill puts himself in his customers shoes. He asks himself the questions that his customers often ask him. He addresses the issues that often arise with appliances, common misconceptions and shows how his products overcome these challenges. He talks about specific features of his products and how they make life easier for people. He shows expertise. And he turns all of this into content for his social media, on platforms that his followers spend time on.
This is the kind of social media content that meets his audience where they are at and produces a loyal, engaged following that will grow and grow.
(Spoiler alert - 'Bill' is actually Corey McMullen, who along with father Brian and brother Kyle operates McMullen Appliance & Mattress and launched his store’s TikTok channel last year to great success. By posting informative, helpful and interesting videos he has connected with his audience and built a massive following on the platform.)
So ask yourself: how can you best meet your audience where they are at?
Still need more ideas about what to post on social? Check out our post Need Social Media Content Ideas? Try This Resource!