HOW TO ENGAGE!
Five Tips to Increase Social Media Engagement
Sometimes, I think the only people who aren’t on social media are my parents. Without a doubt, social media is one of the most popular online activities. 2019 statistics show that there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing. (Emarsys, 2019).
You would think that with these numbers it would be child’s play for businesses to engage people on social media. In reality, few brands are successful in engaging followers. Continuing to hold onto that engagement can be even more challenging.
These 5 tips can help you increase your social media engagement with followers, grow that engagement, and hold on to those followers:
- Interact with followers
You can build a strong connection with your followers by showing them that you’re interested in what they have to say and what they think. With many customers showing a preference for reaching out to brands via social media over phone and email, you have a great opportunity to actively engage with clear, direct responses to feedback and thought. This builds trust.
A Sprout Social survey found that “68 percent of consumers want brands to participate in conversations they’re mentioned in while 83 percent want brands to respond to them.”
Give your clients what they want and they will reward you with their loyalty.
- Ask for feedback
Any way you look at it, feedback is a good thing, positive or negative. Given the chance, your audience will willingly provide it. People like to be heard, and online feedback tends to promote honesty from your clients. Don’t lose sight of the fact that receiving negative feedback allows you to fix what isn’t working so that you can get better results. Start conversations, find out interests, ask how to better get in touch with your clients.
Once your clients love your brand and see that your interactions with followers are genuine, they will be more likely to review your products and share those reviews on their social own social media, through all of their platforms.
Getting a solid and strong following that generates positive reviews will give newcomers important information about your business and its products.
- Get visual
For the most part, people respond to visual cues. We like a quick fix when it comes to absorbing and consuming information and images provide engagement and hold our attention longer than words do. Graphics are stimulating and being interactive with users is a good thing.
When it comes to getting visual, there are so many arenas to explore. Make sure to stay true to content that fits and resonates with your brand and your audience. Upload images, graphics, infographics, GIFs, video, etc.
- Create a contest
Everyone likes winning! Who doesn’t like free stuff? Contests are a fun and interactive. They get people interested and word spreads quickly. Contests are also a great way to introduce followers to different products. The scope of your audience may also increase as contests appeal to everyone, and attract potential converting visitors.
Announce your contest through all your active social media channels. Set a timeline and rules. i.e. your followers must like or share your post to be considered. This will boost your visibility and level of engagement.
Make sure your prize is attached to your brand. Knowing your audience should help you come up with ideas for prizes that you know they will enjoy. The prize doesn’t have to be grandiose or expensive, but if it is, make sure you can deliver.
A little thank you goes a long way and you should never forget to thank everyone who participated after the contest has closed. This is easily done through email. Of course, not everyone can be a winner, but consolation prizes are a nice touch. Offer promo codes and discounts. This can turn followers into paying customers and can encourage them to share their experiences with your brand on social media.
- Foster community
This is probably the most difficult thing to achieve on social media. Building a community takes perseverance and sincerity. You have to give people reasons to follow you and to engage with you as a brand. It can be a slow process, but if you keep pushing through, you will gain followers and will be rewarded by engagement. From here, it’s very important to keep the following points in mind to ensure that this engagement grows.
- Listen to your audience.Don’t make the mistake of just talking about your products and assume that you know what you can do for your audience. Ask them want they want to see from you and what will solve their problems as a consumer. Build relationships that will make them trust you and feel more comfortable with you. This in turn will make them more inclined to buy your products.
- Be honest. When you screw up, own it! Don’t ignore the problems when they come at you. Find a solution. Excuses, back-peddling, passing the buck, and lying all lead to embarrassment and will discredit you.
- Be a quick problem solver.Eagerly respond to users who are experiencing issues. Be as quick as possible in providing them with a viable solution to their problems. This will encourage continued engagement and will build on that honest and genuine relationship you’ve been cultivating.
- Share user-generated content.There is no better testimonial to a product than through user-generated content. Encourage your clients to share their own content and tag you in it. This will boost your reach with potential customers and present real-life usability of your products.
Audience engagement is something that takes time, patience and a consistent effort on your part. Give your audience what they want. Be willing to help. Accept constructive criticism and use it to grow not only your brand but your mindset. Be genuine and truthful. Be willing to listen and be open. Misrepresentation will only discredit you.
In the marketing industry, where word of mouth reigns, and where social media gives up-to-the-minute information, reviews, feedback and opinions, a loyal following is what will make a difference in your success.
By: Martine Mackenzie