Recently, I wrote about the value of engagement.
It seems, in the business world, that the social nature of social media often gets forgotten. But when you really think about it, being “social” is a foundational part of social media. A majority of brands killing it on social media get a lot of engagement from followers. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Today, I want to discuss how companies can encourage engagement from their consumers.
Be the engager. Ask questions. A recent Forbes article notes that car companies are extremely successful on social media—not just in popularity, but also in their effective use of social platforms for consumer engagement and lead generation. Car brands recognize how consumers use social media: to share recent experiences with companies, or consult other users before making a purchase.
Take a lesson from car companies and encourage consumer sharing. Ask your followers their opinions and ask them to share their experiences. It won’t just get engagement back from them, but drive others to turn to your page when they want to find out what other consumers are saying.
Be active instead of reactive and engage with your followers.
Every once in a while like and comment on someone else’s post. Treat it like a conversation. If someone comments on your post, reply directly to them and reply right away.
Engagement doesn’t just need to happen with your followers. Seek out other key players in your industry and establish relationships with them through engagement. This will give you access to a wider network of people interested in your field. Curate their content with your commentary, and actively put yourself among other key influences.
Make your posts visually appealing. It’s simple: images make your content more shareable. If your followers share your content, that’s engagement. Every retweet, like or share—that’s positive interaction from your audience.
Try placing pictures in a few of your tweets. Then tag your Twitter images as well. For example, if your image is snapshot from a Target commercial, tag Target in the picture. The tag won’t show up in the actual tweet but it’s there.
Try to post an image with every single Facebook post. Make sure that when you post an article to LinkedIn, the image also loads with the URL, and that it is something relevant and appealing.
Be strategic. It’s no surprise that people engage with content they are passionate about and interested in. Your brand may not want to engage in discussion over the latest political debate or hot button issue, but you can make sure you know what else your target market likes and create content accordingly.
What do your followers want to hear from you? Why do they visit your page? Data shows that more consumers are becoming comfortable engaging with brands on Twitter. So just make sure you’re always giving your followers something they want to engage with.
When we think about ROI for social media, it may be best to start remembering why social media emerged in the first place, and why it became so successful. It’s a social utility. Facebook was first created as a faster and more accessible medium to share and talk with friends.
Let your audience know you’re there and want to interact with them. Be present. Get out and engage in the real world. Host events, participate in your community, and then show your followers on social media that you’re real and not just some computer program.
Like social media itself, engagement can be a crapshoot. But there are a few things you can do to better your chances of getting engagement from your followers. Your consumers are on social media to be social— they just may not realize that their favorite brand also wants to be social. Make sure you show them you do.