3 Ways to Use Names to Engage Your Social Media Fans

Use names when addressing fans, followers, clients?  It might sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many people neglect to do it – possibly missing out on the opportunity to “engage” with them while they do so.

Using Names to Encourage Engagement
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Hello? Is it me you are looking for? Use my name and I will notice you!

Here are 3 ways to use names to encourage engagement. Think of it as a Netiquette reminder…

TWITTER

Engaging on Twitter is what Tweeting is all about.  Here are some quick tips for using names to engage better with your followers:

  • every day check your RTs and @Mentions as well as Direct Messages
  • Respond to each using the person's Twitter Handle (ie @sociallysorted) in a message to say thanks for any Retweets (RTs) or Follows or Mentions.
  • Go the extra mile before responding and check their profile to see if they have a “real” name listed. Some companies may not list a person's name, but there are many Twitter Users that will list their name as well as their business name (or public Twitter Handle).  For example, I am @sociallysorted, but my name appears as Donna Moritz.
  • Add the person's “real name” in the Tweet if you have it.  By using their first name as well as the Twitter Handle (ie @xyz) you can achieve two things:  (1) it shows the person that you are not sending an automated tweet and (2) it shows them that you are wanting to engage – the conversation may well continue.  I don't know about you, but I take notice when someone uses my first name.
Use their name
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Find the person's first name (if they list it) and use it in your Tweet!

FACEBOOK

Use the first name of the person in tags on Facebook
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When tagging on Facebook, take a moment to highlight the person using the @tag function, then carefully delete their surname, leaving their first name as the link! It's personal AND it gets their attention

I have said it before and I will say it again – always, always send a personal message when you send a friend request, especially if you have not met the person “face to face” before.  In that message, use their name, and add a little info about why you want to connect with them – maybe it is because you have similar business or personal interests, or maybe you have been cyber-introduced by someone else.  Whatever the reason, leave a little note.  Personally, I don't respond very quickly to random friend requests and if that person does send a note with it, it might make me more inclined to respond.  Again, use the following scenari0 to get a “real world” verdict:  would you walk up to someone, hand them your business card with a note on it saying “Will you be my friend” and then walk away?  No, I didn't think so. Well, at least I hope not. (I wrote about more of these “real life” netiquette scenarios here).

PS Some of you may ask about what to do now that we can't send a message WITH the friend request on Facebook.  I would suggest sending a direct message at the same time or immediately after you send the friend request (and yes, I agree, it was a better way when we could do it all at once). If the person does not have message facilities allowed on their page, then you can't really do either, but then again, if they have disabled it, they may not care too much. 

Oh, and on Facebook, when tagging someone using the @tag method, I like to tag the person's name, and then take a couple of seconds longer and highlight their surname and delete it – leaving only the first name.  I find first names a little more personal and friendly (not so formal).

EMAIL MARKETING (AND BLOG-BLASTS)

Before I start, a “BlogBlast” is when you send out a weekly (or regular) email to your subscribers with a summary of the blog posts for the week (or just an email with the latest blog post on it).  Now, this is a personal preference, but when I receive an email I “warm” to it better when my first name is used (not my whole name – being called Donna Moritz feels a bit like I am getting told off).  But seeing my first name seems to add a personal touch.  And so, I say to you (and you can take it or leave it) that I think the additional of a “first name” field in your email opt in, is a good idea. Some social media and marketing experts recommend just having an email field to reduce the effort required for someone to subscribe to your List. But I like to have the option of calling the person by name (just as I like to have my name used).  It is up to you – you make the decision re how many fields you want people to fill in – Name and Email or just Email.  Worth considering?

Feel free to call me “Donna” – no need to call me Donna Moritz. But whatever you do, call me by my name.  Do you use first names where you can on Social Media?  Do you like it when you are addressed by your name?  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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19 Comments

  1. @KrishnaEverson

    Donna, just love your work. Staight talker, simplicity activist! Just how I like it. Consider yourself tweeted and google+’d!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much Krishna – I love that – “Simplicity Activist”…good one! Thank you for all the shares. Love that you are on Google+ – I think that it is showing great promise when you look at how our comments are showing up on Google. It is a “watch this space”. Have a lovely sunny day!

      Reply
  2. Jill Brown

    Hi Donna – beautifully presented, useful and readable post, as always. Home page looking mighty fine! I always feel inspired  by SM when I read you.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much Jill – it is always so inspiring to read that what you write about helps others or better still inspires them! Thank you so much, you have made my day! Thanks for the feedback re the home page – still a bit of playing with it to do but that is the nature of blogs! Have a wonderful night!

      Reply
  3. Merril

    Another great read thanks Donna . Look forward to always noting your useful tips. Taking your words on board allows me to be able to effectively organise strategies that can build on my target market

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Merril – glad you found it useful!

      Reply
  4. Lise Halskov

    Hi Donna, great tips. I used to ask for first names when people signed up for my list, but the fact that some people may write their whole name or a company name suddenly turned the personal touch of an e-mail into a whole different thing. Also, I think some people are a little turned off by the use of their name from marketers who don’t really know them –  it doesn’t seem as personal as it used to.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Lisa – you raise a great point and that is why I definitely think it is up to the individual to play around and see what suits their list. I think it also depends on the type of writing style you use…mine is very conversational, so first names suit, but other businesses tend to be formal so it can depend on your style of email. But you are right, you need to be aware re whether some people on your list use company or business names in their sign up. Thanks for the feedback re the tips. Have a great day!

      Reply
  5. Carolyn

    Great tips, Donna! -Carolyn

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much Carolyn – I am glad you found them useful. Enjoy!

      Reply
  6. Gail

    Like the knowledge Donna!   Thanks, Gail

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are very welcome Gail! Have a great week!

      Reply
  7. Adrienne

    Thanks, Donna. Twitter is such a mystery to me. I appreciate the tips. 

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Ha ha, yes, Twitter can be a bit strange at first. It took me a while to get a handle on it. But when you take some time and play around in there, it can be quite a good tool for conversing with your fans, and target market and especially for getting feedback about your products and services. I am finding it more and more fun. Have a great day!

      Reply
  8. Taty

    I do get a lot of friends requests from Fb and always end up sending another message asking “how did we meet?” or “how did you find me” in my most polite way but funny thing, many times I don’t get a response! I wonder if its because a lot of people don’t know how it all works? (Iike my dear mum, who likes to post but never comments on other people’s posts… today I said to her, if you want to make friends, you need to engage more… needless to say, I was told off.. oh well)

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Taty! Isn’t that interesting that some people can’t even respond to how they found you – I find that so fascinating. You could be right though, as in some cases people don’t realise that it all works best if you do as you would in the real world (re communication). I am sure your Mum is good at chatting normally – you just need to suggest to her (gently) to treat it like a cocktail party ha ha. Although then again, it is great that she is on Facebook to start with! Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  9. Tash Hughes

    It amazes me, too, that so many people don’t use others’ names – just because we’re online doesn’t mean we have no names!
    Thanks for the Facebook surname tip – I didn’t know I could delete the surname so am often torn between writing their name (friendly without a surname) and using the @ (tags them but the surnmae looks silly in a conversation).

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are absolutely right Tash! So glad you found the surname tip useful. I worked it out a while ago because I was like you – I found it wierd to call everyone by the full name! Enjoy!

      Reply
  10. elvira

    Normally when people speak to me they don’t feel the need use my name unless there’s any doubt about who they’re speaking to or need to attract my attention. It really shouts MARKETING TECHNIQUE at me when people I do business with make a point of using my name – and when they have the infernal cheek to use my first name I just want to slap them!

    Reply

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