You’re getting fans and followers on social media. Great! What happens next?

How do you take the relationship to the next level?

As Community Manager at MarketMeSuite, my job is all about building and strengthening relationships with our customers.

Here are my top 3 tips on how to build a relationship with a fan or follower beyond the “Like.”

Do your homework

To build a true, lasting connection with your fans, they need to feel like you are investing your time on them and not just doing your job. People will flock to a business they trust and feel confident in.

Here at MarketMeSuite, we hold regular social media coaching sessions with our customers. Before each session, I always make sure to learn a little bit about their business and interests. I check out their Twitter profile or LinkedIn to find what they are already progressing in.

It always gives them an extra boost of confidence in our product to know that there is a dedicated team willing to take the extra step for them.

We all have different strengths. Find out what they are already doing well and where your business can help them do better.

Over promise and over deliver

No matter what your niche is or how little time you have during the day, find a way to offer incredible service and a great experience to your customers.

To give you an idea of how high your customers’ expectations are: 72 percent of customers expect brands to respond within an hour to complaints posted on Twitter.

Working in a small business, we definitely wear about 100 different hats a day! The biggest part of handling our support base, social media, and all of our incoming and outgoing communication is setting and managing expectations.

I’m always proud when I know I have exceeded their expectations and they continue to be loyal because of it. Connect a face to your company and add some fun to your updates and replies.

When you let your personality shine through, you not only increase the chances of relating to your followers, but you increase the chances of them interacting with you.

Take the extra step

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding out someone’s top skills or any groups or companies they are following. More than 2 billion endorsements have been given out since LinkedIn’s launch (10 million everyday)!

Endorsements are the perfect way to figure out your mutual interests so you can take your conversation to the next level and make a personal connection. And you’ll have plenty to work with since more than 2 billion endorsements have been given out since LinkedIn’s launch (10 million everyday)!

By connecting in a meaningful way, your conversation is much more likely to be remembered and a real relationship can be forged. I usually take a look at Groups our customers are a part of and companies they are following. It gives me a good idea of their experience, interests and concerns.

Using a tool like MarketMeSuite, you’re able to start tons of new conversations with the right type of people in your market. It’s not just about engaging with people on social media, it’s about finding the right type of people who will really connect with you.

Use Real-time Search and Geo-target conversations to see what’s happening right in your area. Even better, help your fans and followers find conversations to help them grow.

Take the time to help them and you’ll be off to a great start in building a lasting relationship with your follower.

Whether online or offline, it’s important to build a relationship with your followers.

When your customers start to rave about how wonderful you and your business are, your hard work will be worth it!

Do you have other tips that help you build a lasting relationship with your fans and followers? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!

About the author: Allison Davis is Community Manager at MarketMeSuite, a social media marketing and engagement platform for small businesses. She’s an expert in social media engagement and is the face behind MarketMeSuite’s social channels. MarketMeSuite was the first company to pilot Constant Contact’s Small Business Innovation Program.