05 Jul THE BASICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” — John Russell
Social Media started off as a way to connect with friends and family online, which further evolved into broadcasting medium & now is an ideal marketing place for many brands to showcase their products by providing personalized human experiences to their customer base. It is a not just a platform to share content but to engage with your audiences with a more tailored approach.
What’s All about Social Media Engagement?
“The key to engaging content? Think bigger, bolder and braver.” -Ann Handley
Think of social media engagement as a long-term relationship. You’re committed & it takes a lot of dedication, the capability of thinking about the future, willingness to adjust, & make sure that the other party involved in this relation is also happy and satisfied for now & for years ahead.
User engagement or social engagement is not about single interaction with any one of your customers or a specific lot of users. While “Strong Customer Relationship” means to create an open line of communication with a period, engagement is entirely a different concept and has its own level. Only a few brands on social media know the exact meaning of engagement & has achieved it indeed.
Is Social Media Management Overwhelming For Many Brands?
Many businesses, because of their niche, think of social media as a noisy or a jam-packed scope to strengthen brand awareness. The entire idea of social media management is quite powerful particularly for those who have been in widespread marketing for a while. There are several social media management tools accessible like Social Champ which can help you in monitoring authentic engagements, discussions, & interactions, it all depends on how well you are using them. But if you don’t have skilled know-how on how to be actionable with social media platforms, then you can take your business to a blind alley.
To know more about scheduling & social media management apps read Scheduling is the Key, What Else Do You Need for a Perfect Social Media Automation.
While most of the brands pursue to get into the game by feeding Facebook, IG, LinkedIn, or tweeting updates and releases about their products, services or sometimes educational content but still get a small amount of engagement.
If you fall in the same category, for a starter let’s see how you can be comfortable with building brand awareness & engagement on social media platforms. It is not an easy task to produce genuine engagement, you have to be engaging according to your business niche, the “like my page” approach doesn’t work as effectively as you might think. Let’s start with the A.B.C.D. of the social media engagement.
A: “Ask”If you want engagement, be engaging. Be conversational. Ask questions. Leave room for your audience to add their voice. - @problogger Click To Tweet
One of the best ways to engage your audience is to “Ask a Question.” Usually, when you meet someone in real life, the first thing you do is ask “How are you?” or maybe “How’s life going?” to break the ice. Same goes with the social media, but since questions like “What’s your name or email address?” can be too dull or forceful, something like “What do you think?” or “What’s your opinion on this?” is much better. Most of the audience likes to think through & want to hear what others think of the subject. The “What do you think” strategy can work to prompt your audience to share their opinion on something.
You can also play a “Test your Knowledge” game, or the simplest one is to “Post a Poll” to engage with your audience on Facebook or Twitter. It’s easy to create polls on Twitter & Facebook and now on IG stories too. In addition to joining your followers, you stand to learn meaningful things about them also.
The point is to “Start Asking.” Post a simple question, if you’re offering any product or business services, you can ask simple questions like “Which product do they like the most?” through any social stream, either a blog post, online community, Facebook page, or Q&A sites like Quora. The questions shouldn’t have to be business-oriented all the time, you can show your funny side too. People react & relate more to humor than anything else.
There can be many forms of interactive content which can encourage people to participate, like competitions, polls, games, Q&A series, and to satisfy your audience’s competitive spirit you can add some kind of rewards, or prizes for the winners. To encourage people to participate in the activity you have posted, you can also ask their ideas.
“The best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.” – Brian Solis
The audience reach can be of two types. The first one is an organic reach, which means people reaching to your post or page without any paid promotion. But recently a major decline in organic range is observed by many social media platforms like Facebook or IG. The number of people who are reaching to your post organically is falling.
“If you deal with every customer in the same way, you will only close 25 to 30 percent of your contacts, because you will only close one personality type. But if you learn how to effectively work with all four personality types, you can conceivably close 100 percent of your contacts.” — Rod Nichols
Instagram & Facebook give a “Boost Post” option to overcome that shift. With the boosted post, you can reach more comprehensive, targeted, and more specific audiences by spending few dollars wisely. Your audience wouldn’t be just limited to the people who are already following or have subscribed to your page. These boost post options have the parameters to set your audience reach with particular demographics like gender, age range, country, interests, etc.
Your post will get live as soon as you click the button & will start reaching more people. The analytics in the “View Insight” will let you know the user engagement on the boosted post.
For further insights, we recommend you to read “How to Effectively Spend $100 on Facebook Ads?”
“Just be nice, take a genuine interest in the people you meet, and keep in touch with people you like. This will create a group of people who are invested in helping you because they know you and appreciate you.” – Guy Kawasaki
If you’re a product development team who’s still figuring out how to increase user engagement and exploring ways in which people can interact with your products/services more, maybe you need to rethink about your communication part with the audience.
Make sure that customer feedback is heard & your communication process is complete. Users usually trust the businesses who reply within 2-4 hours. Even if you have got a little engagement through queries, don’t miss the future opportunities by neglecting them.
Keep asking them for their feedback and try to improve your product using customer reactions. When the brand’s relationship with the customers get strong through the communication, it increases the user engagement and doesn’t let all the work of product development team go overlooked.
For inspiration, have a look at some of the coolest user engagement examples from different brands.
A successful engagement strategy is not always about interactivity or using the latest trends to engage. Click To Tweet
“When a brand connects with their customer, that in some ways is the easy part, the hard part is keeping the customer at the center after the success/profits come flooding in. Success can breed complacency, success can breed arrogance.” — Anna Farmery
One of the most attractive yet old-fashioned ways to engage prospects is offering discount cards or coupons. Experiment with different upcoming events like national holidays, or festivals, or if your brand’s nature allows you, go for a personalized gift/discount on birthdays.
Some of the ideas for discounts can be:
- Free shipping offers
- Membership cards
- Instant coupons
- Weekend discounts
- National Day Promotions
Pro Tip: People are more attracted to products/offers with free items or a discount of more than 20%. An ideal length for an offer/discount is normally for 7 days.
By using an engaging image of the product/offer, you can also increase the user engagement. While promoting an offer on Facebook, always pin it to the top of your page to get noticed quickly.
There is no more B2B or B2C. It’s H2H: Human to Human. – @bryankramer
To Be Precise,
Social media marketing is not as simple as you might think. To run an effective & successful User Engagement Strategy, one needs to be focused & sure about
(d) Discount Offerings, so that the
(e) Engagement plan wouldn’t be a
(f) Failure in any regards & on any social media platform.
For expert advice on engagement & building a community, we would recommend reading John Lusher’s Interview with Social Champ.