All of the experts tell you to monitor your brand, and to be responsive to the needs of your online audience, but rarely do they tell you what to do when you have no audience.
What do you do if no one is talking about your brand?
Here are a few quick tips that should help rouse up some conversation.
Get More Involved
One of the biggest reasons that brand struggle with online conversation is simply that they aren't there enough. Social media rewards regular and consistent content. If you aren't consistent, you aren't providing anything for people to talk to. The first step in generating buzz and conversation around your brand is to be there on a regular basis.
Social media isn't only about watching the conversation happening around you. You need to become a part of it. There are great conversations happening on Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere that you can become a part of. You should be regularly adding your own thoughts and comments to these conversations. Get involved, and jump in. The more you do, the more the conversation will be reciprocated.
Ask Them Too
One great way to encourage engagement and online mentions is to start your own conversations by asking questions and sharing topics that encourage discussion. Once you have a small group of followers, you should definitely be able to get some responses if the question is positioned properly. Sometimes, no one is talking simply because they have nothing to talk about. Try some conversation starter to get things rolling.
Create Content To Share
One great way to get the conversation moving could be to create some helpful and useful content that your audience would like to share. If they are your customers, you should have a pretty good idea of what they like and are interested in. Create a free download or ebook and ask them to share it with people that might find it helpful. Great, free, content is one of the driving forces online.
Make a List, And Check It Twice
Develop a list or a group of influential and interesting people and make a point to have regular conversations. Call this targeted mingling. You could use Twitter's list feature, or a customer monitoring tool like Todaypulse. Either way, you should be making a point to build relationships with key influencers online.
Reward Your Biggest Fans
No matter who you are, there is someone that is willing to talk to you and about you online. When they do, reward them. A simple thank you or a direct callout on you Facebook page or Twitter feed can go a long way. People appreciate the recognition and will be more likely to do it again if you shower them with some praise.
Building an audience and generating conversation is one of the keys to any social media strategy, but getting it going can be a lot of work. The key to success is consistency and conversation. When you focus on talking and making it a regular part of your day - the rest should fall into place.