Followers are your friends! Not just food for your growing Klout score. What do you think is more rewarding? A one-time meal or a lifetime BFF that will help your brand flourish? Bruce, The Social Media Shark, puts it this way: “I am a nice brand, not a mindless following machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Followers are friends, not just another number.”

Gaining followers isn’t the hard part; it’s keeping them present and engaged with your brand. Here are a few tips on how to become Follower-Friendly!

Social Media is in REAL TIME Not Just 9AM – 5PM.
Your friends don’t stop being your friends once you leave the office so don’t leave them hanging! Respond in real time to let them know you’re listening. Plus everyone likes a little flattery.

Be Yourself!
Your friends want to get to know the real you, not your online personality. Honesty is the key to any great friendship!

Quality Over Quantity
Just like you don’t say yes to every party over spring break, don’t overcommit to every social media platform. Stick with a couple platforms and do them well instead!

It’s a Two-Way Street
Friendships are about people talking TO each other, not one person talking AT the other. One sure way to ruin a friendship is to just talk about you, so find a way to make it mutual!

Be Open-Minded
Your best friends will show they care by being honest and giving you some tough love when it’s needed. If a follower gives you a suggestion, think about it before you write them off!

Keep in Touch!
The most common way friendships end is that they fade away. Connect with your followers and give them something to do! Give an old friend a mention or create a new #hashtag campaign.

Don’t be THAT Guy
You know whom we’re talking about, that one person who uses their friends as free marketing tools to push their projects. Your friends work to build your brand because they WANT to, so don’t make it a chore, keep it periodic and reciprocal.

Hope these tips help you to find some new BFFs and reconnect with some old ones! If you have any other suggestions to add, tweet us at @trulioo!