One of Robert Cialdini’s famous six principles of persuasion states that people are more likely to buy from people they like.
Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.
4 ways to get people to like you on social media
1. Be human (see: genuine)
It’s easier for people to identify with brands when they can put a face to it. According to the International Journal of Research in Marketing, consumer-brand relationships developed on social media are best fueled by being “more human.”
So how do you show off the human side of your brand? Try using the person’s name. “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language” says Dale Carnegie in his renowned book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’
This can be easily translated on social media.
Hi Kaylynn! Sorry you are having issues. Please send us a DM and we would be happy to further assist you.
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 4, 2017
You can also add more personality to your channels by signing social media posts with your name or initials as customer support teams often do.
Besides using names, you should also use conversational language. Authentic brands don’t talk like robots—they laugh, joke, and get frustrated like real people. Ditch the auto-reply, canned messages, and jargon.
Slack does this exceptionally well when they communication bug fixes and platform updates. Instead of making software development sound overly technical, Slack makes updates fun, inviting, and understandable—even to the less technically-inclined.
— Ricardo Zea (@ricardozea) July 11, 2017
You might also try offering a behind-the-scenes look at your brand social media. You could take the audience on a tour of your office via Snapchat, for example. This will put human faces to your company. We do something similar at Hootsuite by presenting our company culture with #HootsuiteLife.
2. Be helpful
If you want to win friends and influence people, Carnegie recommends expressing genuine interest in them.
What’s more genuine than being invested in your audience’s needs rather than your own? Be helpful instead of overly self-promotional. Make it about your audience and not just about you and people will take notice.
You can do this by sharing useful content with your audience. Whether it is created in-house or curated from an external source, helpful content will establish your brand as a valuable resource and showcase your expertise in the industry.
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) July 11, 2017
3. If you make a mistake, own up to it
Social media moves fast and people expect your business to keep up. In fact, 72 percent of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour.
So before a customer service problem gets out of hand, address it, and move on. If you let it linger there’s a chance the situation will get worse, which is what happened with United Airlines.
Regarding the incident of an overbooked flight, United Airlines’ staggered range of apologies turned into a major PR headache. Social media users deemed the brand’s response as too slow and unapologetic.
The second you mess up, the clock starts ticking. People will post about the mishap, offended users will call you out, and others will share the mistake and unfollow you.
So make sure you respond right away. Even if you’re not yet sure what happened, acknowledge that you’re aware of the issue and are looking into it. For more on this is check out our post, How to Come Back From a Social Media Fail.
4. Make a good first impression
Your profile picture, header image, and bio will be the first thing people see when they look you up on social media.
You want your profile to look like the kind of person a prospective customer would buy from. In the same way you’d meet a client in-person, a friendly and professional-looking social media profile can instill a sense of goodwill and trust towards your brand.
So, make sure your profile is looking spiffy. You can do this by getting rid of any poor quality photos—ensuring that you’ve got an on-brand header image. And don’t forget to include a helpful blurb about your brand.
Being genuinely likable online is important. When people follow you, they’re giving your business the green light to appear amongst posts from their friends and families. That’s a position that you must continually prove you’re worthy of.
Hootsuite makes it easy to genuinely engage your audience across social media. Set up @mention and comment streams for all your channels and monitor keywords and conversations around your brand.