Welcome to the fourth and final week of our social media series — Get Social with Mary. This week, we’ll be talking about getting your customers involved in your social media channels, and how they can help your presence grow (and help fill holes in your planning calendar).

Looking for the rest of the series?

So far we’ve talked about the basics, paid advertising, and leveraging holidays. This week we’re going to look at using your audience to enhance what you’re already doing in social. There’s a few different ways you can do this, so let’s get rolling!

Asking for Feedback

Best for: Facebook

For a small business owner, publicly asking for feedback can be a pretty scary prospect. But if you make your request genuine, and make sure to respond to as many people as your time allows, it can generate some really good conversation. From some, you’ll hear valuable input about where you need to improve. And you may also find some diamond customers who would be willing to vouch for you in a review or testimonial. And they’re worth their weight in gold.

Since this is one of the more hands-on type of posts, you may want to do this a little less frequently than your others. Once a quarter would probably be most helpful — this allows for growth in the number of fans on your page, and the ability to reach a larger amount of people each time.

Putting the Spotlight on Them

Best for: Facebook, Twitter

Everyone likes to get a little attention once in a while, so why not shine the spotlight on one of your lucky customers? It doesn’t have to be a big production — something as small as “Shout out to Jane S. for being our most loyal customer this month!” can put a smile on someone’s face.

If you’re active on Twitter, you could ask your customers to use a hashtag whenever they mention you, and all you need to do is take 5 minutes out of your day to thank them and retweet their tweets. Personally, I love getting retweeted by a business, big or small, so chances are your customers will get a kick out of it, too.

Have a Voting (or Any Type Of Simple) Contest

Best for: Facebook

Now, I say “simple” because Facebook has some rules against contests. Basically, you can’t ask people to share the post or tag friends to enter the contest — so those “like, comment, share” posts you see are technically illegal. Let’s stay on the right side of the law, okay? Okay.

![Gingerbread house](http://images.grasshopper.com/gingerbread house.PNG) Your best bet for a contest is something people can easily comment on, on your page. Asking people to vote for something or to caption a photo is typically best received, and a lot of people really get into it.

Just make sure you let people know when the contest ends — Vote until tonight at midnight! — and when you’ll be announcing the winners — Winners will be announced tomorrow at noon! And make sure you stick to them — people will call you out if you bend your own rules or don’t announce a winner on time.

This is a great way to drum up engagement on your page, and have your posts reach more people.

Ask Them to Share Something About Themselves

People love to talk about themselves, and it’s even better when they know someone is genuinely interested in what they have to say. So why not ask about their lives? You’ll want to keep it to topics that relate to your business so the discussion is still relevant, though.

Here are some examples:

tasty biscuit post pics

There are tons of creative questions you can ask your audience, and it breaks up the day to day content of what they’re used to seeing — so sprinkle some in once in a while!

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!

Well, friends, there you have it. Four posts worth of ideas to help you launch your social media into the stratosphere. I hope they were helpful and have sparked some creative fire in your social media oven. As always, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments! I’m always happy to help.

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