There are several ways to engage your audience on social media, some of which are more effective than others. Effective ways to engage audiences on social media include creating interactive content like polls and quizzes, hosting live sessions or Q&As, responding promptly to comments and messages, sharing user-generated content, personalizing content to audience preferences, and storytelling that resonates with followers. Consistency in posting and authentic communication are key to maintaining engagement.
Social media development can sometimes be a beast and leave you and your team frustrated. There are some methods that work for one group and others that work for another. Sometimes, you just have to experiment and take notes on what works and what doesn’t. But what if you’re stuck on where to start?
Take a look at these six ways to engage your audience on social media to help you get started.
Hashtags are extremely popular and have a dual purpose. You can search a hashtag on any social media platform and see what others are saying while using your hashtag. Every business should already have a main hashtag (ie: #sachsmarketinggroup) and create specialized hashtags for major events, contests, or changes in business.
Let’s say you have a donut delivery business and you plan to release a new donut in September. You can create a lot of engagement on social media if you use a hashtag designed for that release (such as #WheresTheDonut2019 or #DonutSurprise92019). When creating a specialized hashtag, search for that hashtag to see if it is already being used and if you can tweak it to make it yours. Continue to use main business hashtag alongside the event/promotion-specific hashtag so that people who discover you through the promotion can easily find out more about your brand.
Use Live Videos to Your Best Advantage
Creating video content is one of the best ways to get social media engagement. Video should be a part of any marketing plan, but it’s even better if you can include live video. Live videos air live on a social media platform (YouTube and Facebook are the popular options) and allow you to see comments posted as you move through your script.
It’s best if you have a script, or at least a general idea of what you plan to cover before going live. Practice can help you figure out how to speak naturally without getting flustered, which is important if you have a fear of public speaking or are camera shy. If you have a script, you definitely don’t want to read from it during the live event – it’s just meant as a guide to help keep you on topic.
What are live videos good for? Product line release parties, introducing new members on your team to your audience, contest and winner announcements, and good content encouraging a call to action. If you want to see how others have used a live video for sales, look for lives featuring the Paparazzi Jewelry line. The men and women who sell the jewelry on live videos have seen major sales increases and were some of the first people to use lives to sell items.
Use Tools for Better Engagement
One of the hardest things many businesses struggle with is the time factor. Live videos will require a specific time frame that you can schedule in, but the rest can be automated. Plenty of automated tools will post your content across a wide range of social media platforms. Automation is every marketer’s friend because it allows you to keep a steady flow of content without additional work. This can be an invaluable tool for you while deploying your content strategy.
This is especially helpful if your audience is spread out across time zones or primarily in a time zone different from your own. It is also extremely helpful if your business will be closed for long holidays or other special circumstances. It’s particularly useful when you’re a one-person team, or your team has other priorities to focus on.
Be Responsive to Comments on Content
Whether it is a blog post, Facebook review, or a comment on an Instagram post, always make time to be responsive. You want to nurture the positive comments so that people feel like they can speak freely with you. You also want to tackle any negative comments to curb any issues.
It is always worth investigating every complaint, even if the complaints are unfounded (some people refuse to be happy). It is especially important to respond to feedback about any campaigns that are well-received or not. While some people can be particularly ferocious when it comes to a campaign that triggers heavy emotion, those are the comments you will not want to respond. Vicious commenters are usually the ones you don’t want to engage because they are soliciting for an online argument. Save the energy for those that are respectful and to the point.
Contests and Giveaways Are Your Best Friend
If you are struggling to gain new followers or even getting your audience to engage, a contest or giveaway can fix that quick. People love contests and giveaways and are willing to do a few steps in order to win. You can require that they visit the landing page and then a pop up shows up so they can include email and name information. If they want extra entries, they can fulfill other tasks. Blog posts on their website, following on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, or sharing the contest announcement are few great ideas you can start with.
Offer just two or three extra entry options. Offering too many will overwhelm people and cause them to skip entering the contest. As they spread the word about your contest, more followers are likely to join in and take the time to learn more about your business. If you keep the engagement up and quality content flowing, you will retain a majority of the new followers. Always be sure to learn about the guidelines for running contests and giveaways on any social media platform to keep your accounts in good standing.
The general rule for content on social media is that only 20% of the content you share should originate with you – and not all of that content should be promotional. Social media isn’t about tooting your own horn. The remaining 80% of the content you share should come from other sources – but still be relevant to your audience. You want to establish yourself as a source of credible information, not as a constant sales pitch.
Social media engagement doesn’t happen overnight. Constantly test and experiment, focusing your efforts on what your audience responds to the best. You can always ask them what kind of content they’d like to see more of, then make an effort to give it to them.