Face the facts... your community is dead. You've probably hit them with a thousand marketing messages, offered them all the white papers your company has and, in turn, have lost their trust. Your following count has plummeted, your engagement rate has flat-lined, and your boss is starting to question your tactics. Now comes the hard part- making that cold, distant community love you once again. There is nothing simple about gaining back your community’s trust, and if you’re looking for a quick fix way to get your audience loving you again by next week, look elsewhere. But apply these tactics and you will slowly and steadily begin to see more engagement from your community, and eventually have them back in the conversation. Here’s some of the key pointers to generating a community that simply can not resist you, even if they currently avoid you like the plague!

Hear Them Out

Social media managers often forget the importance of listening. Automation and old-school marketing techniques cloud their vision, and they quickly lose sight of what they’re really meant to be doing- socializing! You shouldn’t view your followers as an audience, but rather a community that is nurtured through engagement. Simply put, this begins with listening. Troll your newsfeed for conversations you can engage in. Congratulate them on their promotion, compliment them on the article they recently published, or retweet that humorous [appropriate] picture they just posted. You’ll be surprised with the engagement you receive when you stop and soak in the goodness of your community. Inspire them, motivate them, anything you can think of to actually make them understand that you truly care for them.

Why So Serious?

Your Twitter account is not an outlet to blast your community with whatever message your manager wants you to relay. We’ve come to expect higher standards, and seriousness is simply boring. So bring out your sense of humor and infuse that into your social media agenda. Take a quick review of your audience demographic and brainstorm some topics that appeal to a large portion of your community. If it’s a Monday, crack a joke about the Monday blues. Got a picture of a cat doing yoga? Why not, throw it in there. You’ll see that, with humor, people will begin to eye your posts with a little more interest, and eventually even those boring tweets will make the cut for their retweet criteria.

Timeliness Is Everything!

You didn’t think you were going to automate your way out of this one did you? Timeliness is probably one of the most important factors to gaining back your community’s trust. So drop the automation, and let your personality shine. Keep your Twitter account by you at all times. Set it up on your home computer, your phone, every place you can to be prepared. At the drop of a hat you should be prepared to comment on a trending topic, respond to a directed tweet, or engage with your highly influential new follower. A robotic and 2-dimensional appearance will not generate results. Start showing some life, and they will reciprocate.

One key thing to remember during this process is to never get discouraged. Don’t expect results in a week, people naturally won't trust you, and winning their affection is going to take time. Applying these tactics will surely revive your community, just not instantaneously. So get ready for the long haul, and put in work day in and day out. Let your personality shine, engage with them, and be timely. Only then will you begin to see the results you crave.

Author's Bio: 

Benjamin Secka is a Social Media Consultant and Communication Studies Graduate of West Chester University. You can connect with Ben via Twitter @BSecka.