It’s no secret that a strong social media engagement strategy not only has the power to dramatically raise awareness of your brand, but also provides your business with valuable insights in real-time. Fostering social media engagement shows that you are making an impact on the market and goes a long way in providing added value to your audience. Social media is perfect for creating meaningful connections with current and future customers for the ultimate brand experience while laying the foundation for continuous brand loyalty.
Businesses measure the success of their social media engagement by the number of likes, shares, click-throughs, mentions, and comments they receive across their social media channels. These show that your audience is engaged with the content you create and promote. Having the attention of your customers leads to lucrative results for your business.
So how do you go about creating a solid social media engagement strategy for your business? Thankfully, your social media savvy friends at WeAreBrain have got you covered. Here are our 5 tips for growing your business social media engagement.
1. Choose a strategy
There is a lot to consider when choosing a strategy for your business social media presence, so we will keep it succinct here and include only the major points. Of course, your strategy depends entirely on your brand’s goals and objectives. For instance, Disney’s social media strategy is vastly different from Victoria’s Secret’s. Your strategy must be aligned to your overall brand identity: your brand’s voice and tone, as well as your brand persona, must come across in all your content.
It is important to know your audience so you know how to speak to them and what content to share that will be aligned to their likes and interests. Take time to create audience profiles to get a better idea of who you plan to engage with so you are not shooting in the dark. Once you have established your target audience and have a unified brand tone/persona across all of your social media channels, you can then start thinking about the type of content you create and share.
2. Valuable content is key
If you want to ensure any social media longevity for your business then it is crucial that your content adds value to your audience. You must identify their needs, likes, and pain-points and address them in ways that are exciting, engaging, and above all, meaningful. When your content is able to promote your brand while at the same time addressing a particular audience need then you are in a very good space for heightened engagement.
Your content doesn’t always have to be promotion-based: social media is a great tool to get valuable insights from your audience. Be sure to include regular polls and question-based posts to not only get your audience to directly engage with you (high traffic yields great results), but also to give them the opportunity to tell you exactly and directly what they want from you.
Be sure to promote the right content on the right social media platform: Instagram is best for photos and short videos, Facebook is great for longer posts and polls, and LinkedIn is perfect for B2B initiatives and goals. See what is working and what is not and adapt accordingly. The beauty of social media is that it is not rigid, so you can try new approaches as often as you like to yield the right results for you.
3. Keep chatting
Creating a great post which gets a lot of traction online is good, but it is only half the job: the next important step is to keep the conversation flowing. The aim is to get as many people engaging with your posts as possible through likes, shares, comments, hashtags, etc. The more hype around your post, the more the social media algorithms will favour your content and drive traffic to your content, and as a result, your brand. You can facilitate further engagement by ‘stoking the fire’ of interest by commenting on your own post, replying to comments, and doing everything you can to evolve the post into something bigger. This boosts organic growth of your content which is always a good thing – free advertising.
It is a good idea to jump on main social media topics and trends of the day and add to the conversation. You can always find a way to bring the conversation back to your brand in a non-invasive way. This particularly helps when you don’t have content to post on a particular day, but you can still leverage the power of social media to bring awareness to your brand.
The type of engagement you deploy matters: be sure to be reactive and proactive in your engagement. Reactive engagement is when you reply to mentions, comments, and inbox queries. Proactive engagement is when you start the conversation with people who haven’t actively engaged with you directly, but rather indirectly in a post or comment. It’s kind of like hearing someone likes you via the grapevine and you approach them to say a friendly hello.
4. Be always-on
The best brands see their social media as an extension of their customer care, so make it easy for your audience to get more information from you (times, schedules, deals, more information pertaining to deals, news, events, etc.). It is highly important that your social media accounts are constantly active and always-on. Respond quickly to every relevant query to establish a line of communication between your audience and your brand. It adds to the perception that your brand is human rather than, well, a business.
Be the first to engage with the latest news and trends relevant to your niche. If your current audience sees you engaging with content that they find interesting and valuable, chances are that people who aren’t aware of your brand will too, ensuring engagement with future audiences. Be everywhere you possibly can on social media to raise brand awareness, but don’t be excessive or constantly in the face of your audience to the point where they get annoyed with you. It’s a fine line to walk, but the best brands’ social media gurus know when and how to engage just enough to be present without being too pervasive.
5. Schedule your activity
If you’re doing this whole social media engagement thing right, then chances are you will be kept very busy creating content, finding out what to share, and staying up-to-date with the latest news and trends. In order to keep your social media presence continuous and consistent, it is important to set up a social media scheduling calendar to keep on track with your planned activity and campaigns.
Scheduling your posts lets you post at the right time each day – yes, when you post is sometimes just as important as what you post. Set up a social media content calendar a month or two in advance to get an overall view on the type and frequency of your content. You don’t want to be posting the same things one after the other, and at the same time, you don’t want to space similar posts too far apart. Timing is crucial in ensuring social media engagement efficacy, so best you brush up on your scheduling game.
Pro tip: be human
Brand perception can make or break your social media impact, and social media is a fundamentally human initiative – I mean, it’s in the name: social media. People find it easier to engage with a person than a brand, so go out of your way to establish your brand’s humanness. Engaging with the latest breaking news or trends both globally and locally goes a long way in showing your brand’s ‘human’ side.
Fortunately or unfortunately, social media is where a lot of people around the world get their news from. Of course, in times of tragedy and crisis it is important to remain empathetic and community-orientated in your social media presence – don’t go for the hard sell during times of tragedy, this will only serve to turn your audience against you. Engaging with relevant and topical posts shows that your brand is engaged with the world around it and that your business is empathetic to what is happening in the world, which goes a long way in establishing meaningful connections with your audience. Getting on the right side of morality in times where the world comes together goes beyond traditional advertising for your brand: it establishes a human side which your audience will respond favourably to.
Whether your business is just starting out or is already a big player in your niche, a solid social media engagement strategy will benefit your brand awareness and take your ROI to the next level. Engaging your audience in ways that charm, excite, entertain, and add value will establish meaningful connections with your brand. The persuasive and pervasive nature of social media makes it the perfect tool to engage with your audience on a personal level to not only increase brand loyalty but to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of your customers.