Increasing engagement is becoming a central part of social media marketing and management. As your company interacts with customers on various social networks, it’s important to take a proactive approach. Companies often talk about “doing social media.” Companies need to shift their mindsets from “doing” social media to actually “being social” on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks. Here are the top social media best practices designed to stimulate customer engagement and turn your followers and fans into some of your brand’s most compelling advocates.
Blasting Out Content is Not Enough
Many people still treat social media as a place to share their own content and their efforts stop there, even in 2015 when most users have personally experienced how off-putting that can be. Not only is this poor social media etiquette, it’s the virtual equivalent of shouting your news through a bullhorn. Approach social media as the chance to start a conversation. One aspect of that will be sharing your news; a bigger and more important piece is asking smart questions, sharing other people’s news, and finding ways to meaningfully contribute to relevant discussions.
Thank People for Their Engagement
Keep track of who is sharing your content, following you, discussing your brand, and otherwise engaging on social media. For example, if someone retweets your material on Twitter, take a moment and thank them. Not only does that strengthen your brand’s connection with that person, it shows the community at large that you’re gracious and actively participating. It helps build good social media karma, and establishes the kind of relationships where people willingly share your content over and over again.
Acknowledging participation is also a good way to show customers that interactions with your brand have an impact.
Engage With and Share Other People’s Content
Another important aspect of engaging in a dialogue on social media is following and promoting other people’s content. Sometimes this comes in the form of retweeting or sharing something via Facebook. In other situations, this means jumping in on a conversation that’s happening to offer an opinion or point of view. It can even be as simple as thanking someone for sharing interesting content that you enjoyed reading. Taking the time to acknowledge and amplify other people’s material is a key part of building a reputation as a good social media citizen. This kind of engagement lays the foundation for your customers and other followers to become social ambassadors for your brand.
Ask Questions to Stimulate Conversation
It’s great to share company news, industry trends, and inspiring quotes via social media. But your customers are also interested in having a dialogue with you. Sometimes this is to give you specific feedback on what’s working (or not) in your business. In other cases, they have a question about your product or area of expertise. Ask specific questions designed to stimulate discussions, such as “What’s your biggest question about [your area of expertise]?” Sit back and listen, and do your best to offer high value answers. This is also a great way to gather topics for social media posts, blogs, and more in-depth content like white papers and case studies.
Have a Highly Targeted Content Strategy
When you do share content, focus on creating pieces that are laser focused to your customers’ biggest concerns. This is the content that will get read and shared. If this content ties to an earlier comment or conversation on social media, say so. Responding to discussions that happen on social media with valuable related content is a great way to engage customers online and offline.
Connecting with your customers on social media requires a complete mindset shift in terms of how you approach social media activities. Be prepared to interact with other people’s content, look for opportunities to have conversations, and most of all to create value for your customers. Your interactions on social media will translate into more sales and deeper customer loyalty.
Are you ready to explore ways to improve your social media marketing returns? Contact us at Be Locally SEO today to learn more about how our experienced digital marketers can make sure your strategy for increasing engagement is up to the task in the year ahead.