Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. That’s my personal take on social media, anyway.
While it’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of brand or online presence without social media, it is possible to use social media ineffectively and inefficiently, which ends up being just a gigantic waste of time.
What’s the point in understanding the benefits of social media and striving to have presence on multiple platforms if your audience engagement is low and you aren’t racking up followers? That’s just it; there is no point.
In this blog we’ll be opening your eyes to the most effective ways you can start experiencing engagement and grow your following right away.
GIVE ACTUAL VALUE
Easily the most talked-about rule of social media and yet the most misunderstood, value is the concept of what you are able to give to your followers.
There is a fine line between a valuable posting and something that people skim past because it feels irrelevant to them. (Hint: if you’re falling in the latter category, the reason for your low engagement is possibly staring you in the face.)
Here’s a short list of things most brands don’t know about that can truly help you create value for your audience:
• Don’t continually show your products or services. You don’t want to feature your stuff in every shot because social media isn’t just a sales tool. Engagement is built by putting up images that resonate with your customers. For instance, a quiet restaurant or resort might post a man and woman holding hands. A foam manufacturer might post photos of people sleeping peacefully.
• Ask questions. Don’t just stick to what customers think about your products or services or changes to them. Also try asking questions that get them thinking about their opinions — How do you feel about Vogue’s latest catwalk? What’s your opinion on artificial intelligence - good or evil? How have your opinions about politics changed over the years? While you’re always opening a can of worms with questions that allow people to share their (sometimes crazy) thoughts, your engagement will climb more and more each time. People enjoy sounding off their opinions to brands who apparently care enough to hear that they asked them.
• Tease, baby, tease. Whether you’re working on something as simple as a blog post, or as complex as an event or new product, tease the crap out of it. Give customers an intriguing snippet of what’s to come, and let them know when to expect it. Continually drop little updates as you progress closer to full announcement and people will eat that up like I eat my favorite “crack” caramel popcorn.
• Lifestyle. Think about it this way: you don’t really sell products or services. You sell a lifestyle that you need people to crave. Post images that fit in with your customers’ lifestyles and make them feel inspired, humored or sentimental. For instance, if you sell protein bars, post photos of and quotes from great athletes. Or, if you manufacture parts for motorcycles, post landscapes and quotes about travel and being a free spirit. If you’re an upscale restaurant, post luxurious photos about wines and delicious food, comfort environments and stories about family, entertainment and celebrations. Your brand’s social media presence is a portal into another world. That’s what will drive people to engage. Your product or service is the magic key that takes them there. The naked truth is that if they’re in love with the lifestyle of your brand, they’ll buy pretty much anything you sell.
ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE (NO KIDDING)
Yes, this might seem like an obvious point, but the fact that I’m bringing it up means that most brands still haven’t got the hang of it.
Never simply throw something up on social media and then forget about it. Once you’ve posted something, you’ve opened a conversation up with your audience. (Assuming it’s content of great value, of course.)
So don’t leave them hanging. Click the like button for every comment left for you, even if it’s just a simple thumbs-up. Other people in your audience watch your interaction to see if your post is worth responding to. Since people feel validated when a brand, influencer or company respond to them, they’re more likely to comment if they see you already validating other people’s feedback.
And by all means, if they’re asking your brand a question, answer back. Leaving a question unanswered, even a stupid one, serves no purpose except to make your brand look invalidating and unreliable.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE ROBOTS
If you’re thinking bots are only programs that spam your social media accounts with thumbs ups and weird comments, you’re mistaken. Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, you should be aware of some of the huge benefits of wisely using the higher-developed programs within this vein of technology.
• They can actually make your life easier. If you’re not doing the legwork of target-marketing brands and influencers who have share your market and ideal customer, you’re freeing up your time to do a lot more of what you’re good at and what you should be doing: creating content. A good bot allows you to customize who you’re targeting and shows you all the analytical data behind which ones give you high conversion rates and which ones don’t. Unless you have time (or want to pay someone) to sit on your phone all day, super-targeting your market and liking random people’s posts, paying a few dollars a day for a bot to do it for you may be well worth your time.
• They aren’t all spammers. A good bot program allows you to customize who you’re targeting and shows you all the analytical data behind which ones give you high conversion rates and which ones don’t. They also don’t go through accounts, posting weird comments. Their interaction will focus on “liking” users’ photos only and with your actual account. A good bot program will also filter explicit content so that your account isn’t supporting elicit activity that can damage your brand.
• The right programs can cause your accounts to grow at exceptionally fast rates with real likes and real followers. Do some research and find the one that works for you.
Taking your company's social media presence and overall marketing strategy seriously is a must. Many business owners have more than enough to fill their plate. Hire a company that you can trust to help you build customer engagement that remains true to your brand. Contact 10twelve today for a free 30-minute strategy session about your business growth potential.