Social media has been a lively topic for discussion in the digital marketing world for a while, now. It has the potential to be a cheap but powerful tool for companies, regardless of their size and is something we talk about regularly here in the offices at Mòr. So how is it that, despite awareness of its importance, people still struggle to drive engagement around social media content?
It’s common knowledge that higher engagement leads to more brand awareness and a higher chance of reaching the target market. Connecting with the right people increases the likelihood of turning visits into sales. Read on to discover some of our top tips to drive engagement across your social media content.
1. Use Engaging Content
Bit of a no-brainer, but thinking about what your post is designed to achieve and who it is aimed at will prevent you from creating posts that don’t interest your target audience. Studies show that people respond best when items relate to a brand but don’t promote specific products or services.
Post things that are related to your industry or complement it. For example, a company that makes walking boots could talk about new sole technology or a trend toward hiking holidays.
2. Consider your audience
Closely linked to the first point, it’s important to keep your customers in mind, and only post relevant items. Think about the forums that your audience frequent, and make sure your content appears there. Are there discussion groups, pages or threads that might be especially applicable to your business? If so, the users there may be more receptive than average to the content that you are posting. Tailor the posts to use language and imagery appropriate to the social media medium. For instance, Instagram and Twitter work well with powerful pictures and short, punchy captions. Facebook has an informal but wordy approach with multiple images, whilst LinkedIn uses more professional language with few pictures.
Look for “influencers” - people with a high social media presence. Building a relationship with them encourages them to advocate your brand. This, in turn, can drive traffic and sales.
3. Capitalise on the Power of Pictures
“Caption this” is a great way of encouraging involvement from people. Often an image of an animal, or perhaps someone doing something unusual works well. Alternatively, offering a choice to vote for something is another way to get them responding to your posts. For example, sticking with the walking boot company example: “Do you prefer group hikes or solo expeditions? Like for group, Share for solo”. This sparks debate, generates comments and publicity and allows people to feel like their opinion matters.
Another way of using images to create interest is to use nostalgia as a tool. Post a picture of something from a certain era (e.g. a “skip it” or a cassette tape) and ask people what their memories of it are. You could include a humorous or thought-provoking back-story too, which would add further encouragement for people to engage.
Take advantage of the fact that people are more likely to engage with things that elicit strong emotions. Animals, memories, kids in costume… these things can make consumers feel warm and fuzzy. Pictures of sad people or prison bars can create feelings of pity or anger. Know what your goal is and use pictures to achieve it - adding a picture can increase a post’s performance by as much as 53%.
4. Respond to Your Customers
We’ve all heard the sayings “Like breeds like” and “What goes around, comes around”. This is just as true in the digital world as it is in real life. When people comment on or share a post, acknowledging them is a great way to let them know that you’ve noticed them. This will make them feel that they’re being listened to, that they’re valued, and will breed brand loyalty.
If people are having issues or problems, get involved. Listen to what they’re saying and demonstrate a willingness to help where possible. Keep communications going, and the likes, comments and shares will abound. Nothing beats a good conversation.
5. Reward Engagement
Acknowledging and responding to activity is a form of reward in itself, but there are other ways to encourage people to engage with your content on a regular basis. Many companies choose to run “Like, Share and Comment” competitions. In these, people repost or comment on an image and are automatically entered into a draw for a chance to win a prize.
It’s also possible to use analytics to see which people are most actively engaging with your post, so it’d be possible to run an award scheme to formally recognise them. This could be weekly, or even monthly, and the prize could be a product/service that you offer or something external, like a meal for two at a restaurant or gift certificates to a store.
The world is changing on a daily basis and the way that we communicate with customers needs to change with it. Marketing is no longer a one-way interaction where consumers receive information and it’s difficult to quantify the impact a campaign has. People are better informed about companies and competitors. Businesses that use online marketing have almost constant feedback and can use the data gathered to improve their products, their services and their reputation.
We’ve looked at some of the ways that social media can be used to generate engagement and drive traffic and sales. Now get out there and put it into practice.
Enjoy this? Following a similar topic, check out 7 Simple Ways To Get Your Customers To Leave Reviews and let's keep this conversation going.