Social media continues to be a powerful asset for today’s brands. Whether you personally enjoy social media or not, your brand should always have a solid presence on multiple channels. Consider that 80 percent of people on Instagram follow at least one brand. If you’re not taking advantage of this engagement, you’re missing out. Fortunately, it’s never too late to get back in the game and connect with your audience.
In this post, I share seven effective ways that you can increase engagement with your social media followers. I recommend these seven tips to my own clients who struggle to see engagement. It can be tough, especially as competition continues to grow, but stick with it. Social media has an impressive number of benefits, including increased brand awareness, thought leadership and boosted web traffic.
For now, here are a few ways to see more collaboration from your social media following.
1. Focus on Trust Building
If you feel that you’ve exhausted a lot of your content options, regenerate your efforts by building trust. Take a break from selling your product and focus on your audience. Are you taking the time to answer their questions and respond to comments? Go through your page and make sure everything has been answered.
Perhaps there is a gap that needs to be addressed. Is your service falling short in any way? Do a poll or a survey to gather feedback from customers. This increases engagement and lets you learn more about your product and how it can be improved. If you’re still not seeing engagement, contribute to the greater good. Give back to the community and post your efforts on social media.
2. Show the Softer Side of Your Brand
Social media is the one place where you can let your guard down and show off your brand’s personality whether it be tongue-in-cheek, casual or silly. In fact, with features like Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories, you can post images and video clips that do not post to your profile. They stay active for 24 hours and are deleted. So, if you have things you want to share but don’t want to go on your profile, take advantage of these fun features.
3. Be Transparent
Social media shows the human side of your brand. Staging all of your photos looks unnatural and might make people think twice about trusting you. Open up and be transparent. You can start by posting in-the-moment photos of your staff or behind-the-scenes looks of your production lines.
Another way to be open and honest is by showing customers who they work with. Introduce your staff, your CEO and others. Set up a time for a live chat where the CEO answers questions from customers. This goes a long way in showing people how their loyalty helps real people from your company.
4. Capture Attention Through Storytelling
Storytelling is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention and connect them to your message. People learn from stories because the information makes sense and can be related to their own lives.
A few years ago, Weight Watchers launched its “Awaken Your Incredible” campaign. Rather than being another weight loss commercial, the ad tapped into the underlying motivations for losing weight. The storytelling was incredibly emotional and encouraged women to shed the weight for the right reasons.
5. Share Throughout the Day – Depending on the Channel
Build out content calendars for each channel. Not only should you be sharing unique content to each, but also you should follow the best practices. For example, you can share 5-20 posts a day on Twitter but only 5-10 a week on Facebook and Instagram. Also, take note of the best times and days to post on each channel. For Facebook, the best times are between 10am-4pm. On Twitter, it’s between 1pm-3pm.
6. Be a Good Friend and Follow Back
You can do all the right things, but if you’re not following people back and engaging with their content, you will only go so far. Social media is a two-way street, so you need to give a little to get some back. Follow local businesses, related industries, loyal customers, brand influencers and others. Share their content, leave comments and give compliments. It’s all free to do, and it can make a huge difference in how people respond to your presence.
My only word of caution here is to be genuine. Don’t go overboard and don’t send generalized messages or blanket statements. Be specific. If there was something you liked about a post, tell the person what it was. This goes much deeper than a standard, “Nice post.”
8. Identify and Connect with Influencers
Influencers are people who have established a strong following online. Their fans and followers look up to them and value their opinion on various products and services. Social influencers should be an important part of your social media marketing strategy.
So how do you connect with influencers? First, identify people who have a large, engaged following. Don’t just look for the numbers of followers – view the comments and likes to see how active and responsive the audience is. Second, make sure the fans would be interested in your product or service. There’s no point in getting your product in front of the wrong audience.
Lastly, look at how the influencer interacts with their followers. Do they answer questions when asked? Are their reviews in-depth and high in quality? This is your time to shine, so don’t waste your time working with an influencer who takes a lackadaisical approach. You want someone truthful, energetic and genuine.
To increase engagement, step outside your boundaries. This may include creating original content, connecting with influencers or launching a storytelling campaign. If you need support with any of these, contact WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737 to learn about our social media marketing services. With a comprehensive strategy that caters to your brand, you will succeed!
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage...
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