Social media has become the ultimate industry tool to raise brand awareness and create a strong company presence. No one could have predicted that your reputation online would heavily weigh on your ability to reach and connect with people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Most of traditional forms of brand building and advertising have been a a one-way street with brands pushing their messages through magazines, billboards, television and newspaper ads. Which leave no room or opportunity for consumers to respond to businesses.
The exact opposite is true with social media.
The name itself is “social” meaning it’s a two way street, encouraging people on social media to be social. Your business makes a commitment to communicating on the platforms they way they were intended: giving AND receiving communication.
With new businesses being created every day, with people investing thousands of dollars into building brand awareness, the key to standing out and building more than just a fan base is by focusing on engagement.
Social media engagement represents the long-term investment in your business.
Unlike other parts of your business where you can simply use the “set and forget” method, your profiles on social media require constant care and commitment.
This is a relationship. It’s a conversation.
Just like in any other relationship, if you stop making an effort – people will lose interest. The same is true on social media.
Engagement is proof that your audience is interested in what you have to say and the value you provide and that is the most powerful tool you have.
You’ve probably seen the importance of engagement yourself!
Have you ever searched for a business on Facebook and saw their latest post dating back to 2013? Or they have a lot of posts but NO interaction from their fan base?
What’s the likelihood of you doing business?
Probably unlikely. If it looks like their out of business or people aren’t interested in their business – it’s not likely you’ll want to become a new customer.
This helps you understand the importance of engagement with your audience and once you understand that, you can set a plan to maximize your engagement and really stand out against the competition.
So, how do you start?
When you decide to create social media profiles, remember, you are starting the same as everyone else. You are at a base of zero, and your job is to build an engaged audience.
You can do it organically or utilizing paid advertising.
If you have time and are tight on a budget, you can utilize several organic strategies to grow an engaged audience.
If you want to build quickly, you’ll want to utilize paid ads.
Here are some tips that can help you build an engaged audience:
Laser Target Your Audience
Get crystal clear on who your ideal target audience is. You will want to plan your strategies around the type of audience you want to become a part of your community.
Do some research into who they are, what they like, what brands they’re interested in, and what their demographics are like age and gender.
All of your calls to actions and paid ads that encourage people to follow you on social media, should be targeted with your audience in mind.
Quality beats Quantity
Once you start attracting your ideal audience, it’s time to focus on your content. This is what is going to encourage them to engage with you.
As mentioned earlier, posting on your social media channels is crucial in maintaining a presence. This means posting consistently.
However, posting quality content is so much more important than just having content posted every hour or so. One quality post will beat dozens of meaningless ones.
A good rule of thumb before you decide to post anything is to consider whether that post will provide any value and insight to your readers.
Since you did you due diligence and focused on creating a targeted audience, you should have a good idea of the content they’re most likely to engage with so you can create it for them.
Motivate Fans to Engage
- Post questions for your audience and ask them for their insights and feedback on your post
- Contests bring a high number of new followers and engage all the others with liking and sharing
- Encourage engagement of your social media profiles through yourwebsite by embedding social media posts.
- Post engaging graphics that encourage fans to like, comment, and share
- If you do not plan, you plan to lose. Make sure you know your strategy and have a long-term goal in mind
- Make it easy by using programs like Monthly Marketing Solved so you can consistently post engaging statuses and graphics
Listen To Your Followers
Social media is a two-way street so once you start getting engagement from your fans, it’s time for you to engage as well.
You need to read and respond to comments, answer questions, and thank people for taking time to contribute.
Always stay tuned to what your audience is saying and what posts are most engaging. This will help you create more content they like and are engaging with.
People love social media because it gives them a voice. But that voice is worth nothing if you decide to ignore it.
Acknowledge what your audience is saying, and you will have engagement written all over your brand.
Now that you know why engagement is the key to social media success, you can get started creating an engaged audience that converts from social media fans to customers.
Remember when it comes to engagement and your brand, the golden rule is true offline as it is online:
Treat people how you want to be treated