So, you know how important social media is for your business. You’re already on numerous platforms, posting new content as often as you can, but you’re not getting a ton of engagement. Why?
The answer is conversation; it’s the new marketing mantra. If you want engagement on your platform, you need to get your audience talking.
Let’s take a look at steps you can take to create content that will get people talking, and more importantly, find your ideal customer.
One simple, key communication tool is to shift the focus away from yourself and onto your audience. Go from a monologue to a multi-directional, audience-focused dialogue. In other words, shift from “presenting” to “facilitating.” This shift is noticeable in modern marketing, especially on social media – from company-focused, top-down, one-way messaging to collaborative, story-based, two-way conversations. Use two-way dialogue to successfully and meaningfully engage with your audience.
Here are some key differences between the old and the new way of engaging:
3 TOP STRATEGIES FOR ENGAGING YOUR AUDIENCE
Focus on creating multi-person dialogue rather than simply trying to be heard. Your posts should encourage comments and engagement from your audience.
Before you start, get to know your audience. What are their common interests? What topics are they likely to be passionate about? What problems, questions, or concerns do they have?
This information will help you choose the best topics to discuss, so that once you start posting, you can get your audience talking and keep them engaged.
Pay attention to your audience and give them recognition. Comment on their blogs and content, share their content, and tag them whenever appropriate.
People love to get a “shout out” from the brands or people they follow. If you praise and recognize others, this will encourage more engagement from your audience.
Remember always to handle feedback well. Encourage positive feedback and listen to what your audience tells you.
When you receive negative feedback, handle it appropriately. Be diplomatic and not defensive. Ask negative commenters to clarify and then use the criticism constructively.
SOCIAL MEDIA VOICE AND TONE – BEST PRACTICES FOR ENGAGEMENT
Be positive in your interactions online – negativity will only turn people away and cause them to unfollow you. A study of Twitter users found that those with more followers had less negativity in their tweets.
Be mindful of your communications across all channels that are connected to your business page, even though you keep your business and personal pages separate. People will look you up, so make sure that your communications are positive on all your pages. A disconnect in feeling can hurt your branding as people will wonder whether you are genuine or not.
Share content that you’re genuinely excited about and let your natural excitement shine through. The tone of your posts should sound authentic.
Many small businesses outsource their social media management because it’s a task that requires constant attention, but this can cause authenticity issues. Your brand will have a clear, widely-recognized voice of its own when you manage your own social media content.
Connect to powerful emotions like curiosity, humour, wonder, and interest. Research on Facebook has shown that connecting with powerful, positive emotions leads to much more engagement.
Share images and videos that connect to these emotions, rather than simple news stories or other content as these encourage more engagement
Avoid strong negative emotions on your social feed, such as anger or fear.
ETIQUETTE TO MAXIMIZE ENGAGEMENT
Post content that humanizes your brand, for example, post about the milestones your business celebrates. You can share content about your personal life as long it’s something your audience will engage with. Personal posts are especially good if they include a tie-in to your business.
Monitor your social media activity and respond to people who comment on your posts or mention you in their posts. It is important to respond timeously on social media, so if you need to take time to answer a particular question, tell the commenter that you will get back to them. The faster you respond, the more likely you’ll keep the dialogue going.
If possible, try to respond within an hour, especially to negative posts. You can sign up for updates or push notifications as well as auto-responders.
The most successful posts are the most creative ones. If you can engage your audience, make them laugh or get them talking, they’ll stick around, and that’s what you want. Remember, your social media community is an extension of your brand, so keep it on point. If your audience connects with your platform, they’ll connect with your brand. And ultimately evolve from your audience to your ideal customer.
Next time we will take a look at some of the common types of content that businesses are sharing.