Guest post by Nancy Grace, of idigic.net
Many marketers are still under the notion that they can use social media as an advertising stage to sell their products. However, while it may seem natural to push for sales on every possible platform, social media plays by different rules. To succeed at promoting your brand on social media, you’ll need to create a relationship with your followers. This makes it very different from advertising on other mediums like television which involves buying spots, putting a message out about the brand and seeing quick results.
Here are a few ways to improve your social media engagement with customers.
1. Come Up with A Social Media Content Strategy
It is important to embrace content marketing to inspire your social media followers to act. Before you begin putting out content, craft a content strategy. Begin by conducting an online audit to learn more about your followers. Decide on the goals you hope to achieve and chart out a plan of action. You could also create an editorial content calendar to decide how and when you’d like to post.
2. Post Visual Content
Visually appealing photos and graphics receive four times more engagement on various social media platforms. Posts and tweets that are accompanied by images receive more likes and retweets than plain text. So, make it a practice to add an accompanying image when posting inspirational quotes, event invites, powerful stats and calls-to-action. You could also create infographics which are an excellent way to build engagement.
3. Join A Social Cause
Embracing and promoting a social cause on your page is a great way to enhance your branding while helping others. Even if the cause doesn’t relate directly to your brand, you can still create an impact and make a difference. Doing this can make your brand come across as sensitive and socially aware. Social campaigns also inspire fans to comment and take action.
4. Know Your Audience
To post engaging content, you’ll need to understand your audience. Apart from tracking their online habits, find out what they do when they’re not logged in. Incorporating what they like into your posts and visuals will not on capture their attention, but also keep them engaged, so they keep coming back for more.
5. Ask Your Audience to Leave Reviews
Positive reactions and reviews go a long way in building trust towards your brand. The easiest way to do this is by asking your audience to leave reviews in the form of Facebook reactions or comments. You could also share a blog post about your products or relevant industry topics and encourage people to write reviews in the comments section.
6. Stream Live Videos
When you combine the excitement of a live video with other eye-catching elements like audio, imagery, and movement, you’re sure to boost engagement levels. Live streaming is growing in popularity as a way for brands to reach customers. Periscope was one of the first platforms to offer live streaming, and Facebook Live quickly followed this. Make the most of this feature by streaming industry events, behind-the-scenes, milestones, and how-tos.
7. Find the Best Times to Post
Several factors determine the best times to post. The industry you operate in, your location, the platform you’re publishing on, and the habits of your target audience all have a role to play. Studying your own analytics will provide useful guidance and point you in the right direction. To do this, you can use a social media analytics tool or try an integrated option like Facebook Insights. They can give you detailed personalized data on the habits of your target audience and the best times to post.
8. Respond Immediately
When people connect with businesses on social media, they expect a speedy response. This is where excellent customer service can be a powerful marketing tool. Studies have shown that customers who receive helpful answers immediately were more satisfied with their brand experience and were also willing to recommend the company to their social circles. The best way to earn positive engagement is not just by responding to complaints, but by actively drawing in your audience.
9. Include Contests and Giveaways
Conducting regular contests and giveaways is a great way to increase engagement. These can be pretty simple to execute and create good publicity for your brand. For instance, you could ask followers to leave a comment, share a story or fill out an entry form for a chance to win a prize from your brand.
10. Repurpose Your Content
There are numerous social media networks out there with different features and demographics. It is ideal to repurpose your content based on the social media audience you want to reach. For example, if you put together a text-heavy post for your blog, you could convert this into an infographic to share on Facebook or Pinterest. If you have a great idea, you could modify it slightly to reach various audiences on different social media platforms.
The best way to keep your brand top-of-mind with your audience and keep them interested is by creating engagement through social media. Whatever platform you choose to engage with your followers on, it is essential to treat it as a way to build relationships, rather than just pushing for sales. Focus on building engagement with your audience and the benefits are sure to follow.