When creating a social media marketing strategy, it’s important to test how successful it is by monitoring social media engagement. While you may have many followers, it’s important to note what percentage and how many of those followers are liking, commenting, and sharing your content. These actions allow others to connect and also gives your company or brand the opportunity to connect back. The relationship that develops from engaging with customers or customers engaging within themselves is paramount to how your brand or company will be perceived. So, not only does social media engagement allow your company to be known to others, it helps you monitor and control how your brand is being perceived.
What Counts as Engagement?
So what is social media engagement? Customer comments, likes, and shares are all important forms of engagement. Other forms of social media engagement include being tagged in posts that relate to your service or product, retweets, or even using your brand hashtags. The type of engagement varies with each social media platform. While there are many social media platforms these days, the most popular platforms are still Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Improving Social Media Engagement
There are many different ways to improve social media engagement. Like with any good plan, you need to brainstorm, research, and set goals. First, it’s important to note what is working for your company thus far. Each audience is unique so it’s important to know your audience and cater to their wants, needs, and interests. During this analysis, it’s also important to note your voice or the tone you want to set for your audience. Tone is the attitude and mood of your company while voice is the distinct and steady personality of your brand. Once you’ve understood what you want to accomplish, you can start tweaking and adding more opportunities for social media engagement.
In order for your customers to engage with your content, there needs to be something to engage them. This can include a myriad of possibilities:
- Polls: This helps you get to know your customer and also helps them feel valued
- Memes: This helps you stay current with popular culture references and current events
- Contests: This provides an incentive for your current customers to become advocates and share about your company if the contest involves sharing your page or account for example. This also allows you the opportunity to provide your service or product as the prize.
- Question & Answer posts: A great opportunity for your customers to get to know you better. This also allows your company to appear transparent and reachable.
These options will help your company stay relevant and provides an opportunity to showcase more of what your company is all about.
This can be done through email but most importantly this can and should be done on the public platforms as well. This is an opportunity to get real-time feedback and to do damage control if there are any negative feedback comments for example. Engaging with people online is a great way to help control your brand. A personal response includes using the customer’s first name, which is an easy endeavor in today’s social media platform model.
Answering thoughtful and personalized responses to comments will help improve your social media engagement, it brings the brand closer to the customer to help build relationships and customer loyalty. Your customers will feel heard, seen, and taken care of. This is also another opportunity to showcase your tone and voice by what words are used to address customer’s comments. Will you use gifs or emojis? Will you use many exclamation marks? All of these small details matter in the long run if you want to improve your social media engagement.
While you can be thoughtful with your customers and create funny or witty content (depending on your brand) it’s important to make sure that the content, website, and social media pages and accounts appeal to the customer’s visual expectations. If your company is a fun and vibrant company you will want to use colors that match that feeling. The colors and aesthetics should not only match your company but they should also match your target audience’s style as well. You want your customers to stay on your page and to feel confident in sharing any of your content to their audience and in turn engage others with your brand as well.
Become a Resource
Another way to improve your social media engagement is to become a valuable resource to your customer. This can be done through:
The subject matter should not only be about your brand, but also about a topic that revolves around your brand in general. You can explain a part of your business and you can also provide information about the market you are in on a broad level. For example, if your business sells cars, then you can create content about cars in general not only your brand. You can create a series of blogs that explain how to choose the correct oil or windshield wipers for cars in general. You can also hire a blog-writing service to help you!
Many well-known brands use recipes to keep their audience engaged. Buzzfeed for example, has built a loyal and large following by providing interesting and tasty recipes that their customers can do on their own. Of course this option is more for a company that revolves around this type of industry but How-To guides are also useful.
How-To Guides or Videos
This much like the recipes previously mentioned, allows you to provide a practical resource for others to copy and in general build trust and relationship. This content is shareable and can improve social media engagement by increasing audience output.
Price Comparison Charts
Whatever your business sells, whether product or service, this feature allows them to review their options right away. It can help them alleviate any worries they have about getting the best deal. This allows your customer to become aware of all that your business has to offer as well as encourages them to stay on your social media longer. This is also a great way to also build trust and show transparency to your customers.
This is a way to create value by exchanging their email for a guide of some sorts. It can be similar to the How-To guides but can also be tips or information.
This is a great way to provide quick information without the customer having to put in too much effort. Quick and concise and to the point.
Share Customer Content
Another way to engage your customers is to re-share their own content. This validates and encourages others to also share content. People utilize social media to gain recognition and to share about their likes and interests so this is a great way to reciprocate and continue to build a relationship with the customer.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses various social media platforms to increase brand awareness, connect with people, and increase website traffic. This involves many of the previously discussed topics. To successfully use social media marketing you must align social media goals to business goals and objectives. You will need to set goals, plan, and then execute those plans. You will need to identify your goal so that you can identify your strategy.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
Your business goals will determine the social media strategy you implement. In this case, if one of your goals is for engagement then you will want to monitor Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Some KPIs you might want to consider if that is part of your goal are:
- Ratings and reviews
- Inbound website links
These are also questions to consider when deciding on a social media marketing strategy:
- What has worked well in the past
- What do you hope to get out of social media efforts?
- Who are your buyer personas, how are they using social media?
- Research competitors
- Consider your resources
- Build a content calendar to prep content for the upcoming weeks and months
Answering these questions will give you insight into how you will tackle your social media marketing goals and what strategy to use. Remember, in order to improve your social media engagement, you must be prepared to also engage back.
Analyze and Act
Engagement is vitally important and relatively painless to accomplish. It takes a team to reciprocate engagement and keep pushing out compelling content that will entice customers to engage with your business. There are many ways to achieve this and can depend on what your social media marketing goals and who your audience is.
In general, a successful social media strategy to engage your customers will help expand your audience, generate more leads, and ultimately increase your sales. Make sure that your strategy is genuine and that it matches your company’s style. You will also want to stay current and ahead of the current trends. Engagement will help you get to know your audience on a more personal level rather than simply by metrics and analytics. It’s a chance to show the “human” and relatable side of your company and without it you will fall behind.