In the time I’ve been on Google+ I’ve made god knows how many posts, been actively involved in many great communities, and have managed to bring notoriety to my websites. It was truly a learning experience for me. Throughout the process of learning the system and integrating it with my sites, I noticed something peculiar, people would make post after post, in which others would comment, ask a question, etc, and the author of the post would never respond. In fact, the situation was so bad that some of the people making these posts were the very ones trying to explain to others how to market on social media, yet they were clear examples themselves of just what not to do! The point here, marketing means making a connection with real people, and if you aren’t, then your marketing sucks, plain and simple!
A big part of building a successful brand online has to do with building trust in people, and this means actually making an effort to respond back to your audience. Ignoring all those who support your work is a great way to alienate yourself across the web. Why should anyone want to follow your content if you ignored them? Think about it! If you’re a new business and no one knows who you are, then make yourself well announced by really getting involved with others online. After all, if you’re the new kid on the block, then you need to give people a good reason to take notice of you or your content, product, service, etc; otherwise you will just get lost with everything else on the web.
Again, building trust is what it’s all about. This is how you build a real following and a real audience for your purpose online. While we’d all like to think that being responsive is clearly a no brainer, it’s still a serious problem that persists within social media today. Of all the issues I’ve faced managing communities, I’d have to say that dealing with people making posts and never responding to them lays somewhere at the top of the list. In one gaming community I manage the problem has gotten seriously out of control. Besides unresponsiveness having negative consequences upon those who post but are missing in action, this practice also deteriorates the quality of engagement in Google+ communities, and forums online as a whole (it deters people from wanting to get involved in forums and communities). People would much rather view and respond to posts who’s authors aren’t ghosts hiding in a closet!
If you aren’t responding, then you aren’t listening! How you can you make your product, service, or content better if you’re aren’t paying any attention to what people have to say about it? I paid close attention to the feedback I received for my websites early on, which afforded me the ability to better tailor them to users, and I paid close attention to what people stated they liked, wanted, or were looking for online. Knowing what people want is half the battle! There’s no better way to do this than to connect with people directly online as much as possible.
Now, it’s obvious that no one can possibly be awake, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to reply to every single comment they’ve received. We all have to sleep at some point, right? At times I’ve woken up to so many notifications from Google+ that I realized it would be impossible to reply to them all, but I still make an effort to be as responsive as humanly possible, and you should too. In the end, people truly appreciate it when you respond back to them, and those you don’t respond too will ignore you later on.