With over 3 billion users, social media is the place to be. Nowadays, there isn’t a single brand out there that’s not utilizing social media in some shape or form. However, this also acts as a double-edged sword for brands as people have grown increasingly weary of shameless self-promoting and targeted marketing campaigns on said platforms.
Why? Well, you see, social media isn’t exactly like your average car lot or your local broadcasting station where you can simply cold-sell or televangelize your branded products. No, social media is, above all else, about forging trust and creating meaningful relationships with your followers.
As such, the recipe for success on these platforms requires a special kind of ingredient: engagement. So, let’s jump straight into the matter and uncover some awesome ways you can improve your brand’s social media engagement.
Share Other People’s Content
One of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is sounding too promotional; if you post only branded content, things will get real stale, real fast and people will start ignoring you and your brand. Look at it this way—your customers are playing hard to get, and instead of cold hard selling, you need to find subtle ways to persuade them that you’re the right brand for them.
To do this you need to show them that you value their opinions highly and that you actually listen to them, unlike some other brands out there. So, don’t be afraid to make use of other people’s content, especially that from followers. Give credit where credit is due and mention them in relevant hashtags and posts.
You’d be surprised how a simple tag or a repost can spark compelling conversations between your followers, boosting your engagement in the process. What’s more, some will even send screenshots of you replying and sharing their content to others, thus providing your brand with even more exposure.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting free stuff? In exchange for a few simple hashtags, shares, or tweets, you can provide your customers with a chance of winning a neat prize as a reward for their troubles. For example, you can incite them to submit awesome user-generated content (such as videos and photographs) by making it a prerequisite for qualifying for the said competition.
What’s more, you can have them tag their friends and family in these posts as well to attract even more new followers and expand your reach. This way you incentivize them to engage with your brand more often while also reinforcing the idea that loyalty pays off.
As an example, in the Asia-Pacific region monetary loyalty rewards are highly sought after. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen, 61% of Hong Kong shoppers named cash as their most-valued reward. So, a monetary gift such as a branded prepaid card in Hong Kong would make the most sense. It’ll make your customers happy and quite possibly turn them into repeat buyers as a result.
In a time where we have the likes of augmented and virtual reality to appeal to our senses, plain text has become, well… rather plain. Hence, in order to get more engagement from your followers, you need to spice things up with some visual content for them to enjoy.
In fact, according to some sources, Facebook posts that are accompanied by images get almost 40% more engagement. Now, apart from blog posts and Facebook, sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are predominantly visual. This means that if you wish to engage followers on said platforms, you need to produce top-notch visual content that will spark interest and excitement.
For example, convert your blog posts into step-by-step guides with detailed instructions for your viewers to adhere to and post them on YouTube. Provide behind the scenes footage of your new products, or perhaps even highlight new team members, etc.
Also, for Instagram and Pinterest you can turn boring statistics into appealing infographics which are much easier to read and go through. Just, don’t be afraid to experiment a little and let the artist in you shine.
Nowadays, customers are growing more impatient by the day. If you can’t provide them with answers straight away, they’ll find someone who can. Hence, holding regular live Q&A sessions could be the perfect opportunity for you to show exactly how knowledgeable and helpful you are, and provide some much-needed assistance to those inquisitive followers.
In doing so, you not only provide them with value but you also encourage them to start relevant discussions amongst themselves while they wait for their answers in chat. Likewise, followers can provide you with important feedback which will help you improve the quality of your products or services. Additionally, you can go beyond your own profile and offer your expertise elsewhere, if an opportunity arises.
Forums, comments, websites, and even Quora are all viable places for you to post educational in-depth guides and instructions for people looking for answers. All in all, this is an excellent way for you to grow your follower base and establish your reputation as both a reliable and trustworthy brand.
To sum up, to really optimize your engagement you need to: interact with your customers, give them ian ncentive, appeal to their visual senses, and provide them with value and keep repeating this formula to perfection.