People aren’t stupid. That’s an ideal phrase to build a social media engagement strategy on. There are many ways to get people to engage, comment and Like your brand on Facebook or reply to a tweet. However, the replies and Likes themselves aren’t the ultimate target of social media marketing.
The target is sales and if you want people to buy your product, you need to respect them. Unfortunately, a lot of brands use social media tactics that show their users minimal respect. Driving social media engagement can be really beneficial to your company, but these methods are more likely to scare customers away.
Not Replying to Questions
One of the first rules of social media engagement is to be active. If you want people to interact with your brand on Facebook or twitter, you need to post regularly. If you are very active on your social channels, you can’t afford to neglect any duty. One of those is customer service. Whether you like it or not people will see your social presence as a place to air a grievance or ask a customer service question. If you can’t, or don’t want to, answer the question on social media you should direct the customer to the right channel.
If you continue to post content on your page while a customer query remains unanswered, it looks like you don’t care. It won’t matter if you’re actively ignoring the question or not, without a visible response it looks like you think it’s irrelevant. You’re actively seeking social media engagement; you need to respond to every comment and every customer.
Begging for Likes
As a general rule of thumb, people hate to be told what to do. And they really don’t like to feel pressured. If every post on your Facebook page contains the phrase “’Like’ us if…” you’re both telling people what to do and applying pressure. Remember the word Like wasn’t invented by Mark Zuckerberg; you should want people to literally like your content. Just posting comments on Facebook to ask people to like your page will have the opposite effect.
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You need to give customers a reason to Like your page. You need to post content that they find interesting, amusing or useful. If you’re posting blatant requests for Likes with no value for them, why would a customer Like your page?
A common trend that emerged during the Olympics this year was the ‘reflected glory’ Like requests. Theses posts are slightly more advanced versions of those mentioned above, but even more likely to turn customers off. They usually involve posting a picture of a local athlete and asking users to Like to show their support for that athlete. The natural question a user might ask is, ‘what does that have to do with you?’
The reason you try to drive social media engagement is to broaden brand awareness and drive sales. Getting someone to Like your photo of Andy Murray or Katie Taylor does neither of those things. Worse than that, in some users eyes the comment might as well read ‘we don’t care what you think of our product, Like this picture of something you do like to make us look good’.
The important thing here is to respect your users. If you want to drive social media engagement, give users something to engage with. You need to make sure that the content you share is relevant to your users and to you. People are very happy to align themselves with brands on Facebook. They often click Like without giving it a huge amount of thought. But if all of your Likes are instinctive clicks, where’s the value to your business?
These tactics are more likely to get those instinctive Likes, while more considered content will get engagement from users who might actually follow up with a purchase. If your content provides no value for your users, it probably offers no value for you either.
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