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If You're Smart, You'll Talk to Your Audience on Social Media

The Huffington Post 5/04/2016 Matthew Tyson
SOCIAL MEDIA © Matt Chalwell via Getty Images SOCIAL MEDIA

Not too long ago, I wrote an article for one of Alabama's most popular online news sources. About a day after it was published, I received an email from a reader who just wanted to tell me how much she liked the article. I responded with my gratitude, and she wrote me back. This was the text of her email:
"Wow. Thanks for responding."
Her surprise at my response was both flattering and disappointing. Flattering because, honestly, I have very little sway, clout or prominence as a writer. However, it was disappointing because it reminded me that so many writers, business owners, politicians, leaders, etc. are missing a MASSIVE opportunity to build unprecedented value with their audience.
It doesn't matter if you're the world's biggest movie star, the CEO of a major company, or a lowly, persistent blogger from Nowhere, Alabama. If you're broadcasting your message from a well-known platform, if you have even the slightest tinge of status, people automatically put you on a pedestal. Your attention becomes a highly sought after commodity. It matters to the public, it becomes valuable to them.
So do the smart thing and give it away.
I've said this so many times that it's starting to make me sick: Social media demolishes every barrier between you and your audience, and listening to your audience is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself, your brand, your company, or whatever it is that you do.
At WideNet, we push this to every single one of our clients. Engage. Communicate. When someone tweets you, comments on your Facebook post, sends you a message, or shoots you an email, respond. Take the time, and let them know you're thankful. Answer a question. Provide some additional insight. Just let them know you're listening.
And don't say you "don't have the time". At some point in your day, you're going to go sit on the toilet, or grab a bite to eat, or take a break, and when you do, you'll have a phone with full online capabilities in your hand. Use it.
It's a simple gesture that takes hardly any effort. But it builds stupid ridiculous value with your audience. I promise you, every person you respond to will remember it, and they will tell their friends. They'll preach your gospel to everyone who will listen, and that kind of word of mouth is huge. The worst possible thing you can do is let yourself believe that someone in your audience doesn't matter.

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