Truly Engaging Your Social Media Followers
Many business owners find our new world of social media marketing and brand building to be completely confusing. After all, their success in these mediums depends on knowing who is following them, what those people are interested in reading about, and then delivering those things on a regular basis. Marketing via social media is as much about showing your audience the human side of your brand as it is about espousing the quality and benefits of your product or service. And while the latter is very important and is often done well by business owners, showing the human side of the brand is usually more of a challenge.
So why is true engagement on social media important to a brand’s success? Why is it important to a brand’s reputation? How can you master engagement on social media? Here are a few tips for those who find themselves spinning their wheels when it comes to this new-fangled social media thing.
Gain Your Audience’s Trust
This is one of the most important ways to accomplish true engagement, but many business owners find winning their audience’s trust to be a challenge. A lot of them approach their social media platform as solely a way to market their product or service and thus only create content that talks about their product, their services, their affiliates, and the benefits of all three. While this approach may theoretically get their brand plenty of exposure, it also runs the risk of quickly becoming exhausting and making a brand appear over-eager. When a business is constantly self-promoting and spamming its followers, there is likely to be plenty of traffic to the “unlike” button and a mass exodus of fans not far behind.
So how do you avoid being an obnoxious, overly self-indulged brand that annoys (and does not engage) its followers? Share other relevant content, of course. Your social media presence should not be solely about how awesome your company, product, or service is; that’s a one-way street to boring-your-fans-to-tears-ville. Find interesting articles, hilarious memes, light-hearted gifs, and share, share, share. If your fans like it, they’ll share it, too, which means your brand gets more exposure on the social media pages of your fans’ friends and family, thus upping the chances that your brand will get more followers. See where we’re going with this?
Provide Them with Special Promotions
A very easy way to engage your audience is to give them access to a special discount or promotion that you aren’t advertising on your website or in your stores. Why is this such a great way to engage your followers? For starters, everyone loves discounts. It’s like winning a small lottery: it saves us money and makes us feel lucky.
Another reason discounts and promotions on social media are so effective at engaging your audience is that it makes them feel special, like their dedication to your brand is paying off in the form of special perks that only they get to enjoy. Sometimes you have to reward your followers with something that makes them feel like the one-of-a-kind assets to your brand that they really are.
Don’t Ignore Their Interactions with Your Brand
You know that “personal” thing we were talking earlier? About how it’s important to give your fans on social media a personal experience with your brand? The most important part of this, turns out, is actually interacting with them. The whole point of social media is that people, brands, companies, professionals, or anyone who wouldn’t normally get a chance to interact with one another can. And there is an endless variety of ways for them to do so, whether it’s sharing pictures, blogs, events, videos, and etcetera.
Think of social media as your brand’s personality, as its conduit for making a human connection with the people who use its products or services. If your fans comment on a video or a blog that your brand posts, they’ve made the effort to engage you, and you have to return the favor. Acknowledge your appreciation for their attention to your post, as well as their effort to reach out. If they share something of yours, don’t hesitate to share something of theirs. Make them feel engaged by engaging them; it’s really as simple as that.
The world of social media branding and successfully engaging followers is a slippery slope, we know. From knowing what to post and when to post it to continually finding and sharing solid content that your fans will love, the possibilities (and pitfalls) of social media engagement are numerous. But think of the benefits of truly engaging your followers: not only do you establish a very attractive, human element to your brand, but you up the chances that your followers will share your content and recommend you to their friends and family.
photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc
I completely agree with Brittney. I, as a social media manager, constantly face the challenge of maintaining the balance between promoting the brand and getting in touch with the human side of the clients via our brand.
Nonetheless, the power of social media can not be ignored, and while it’s here to stay we must use it the right way. Every social media platform has its own rules and guidelines. It’s important for us as marketers to be well aware of them. For eg: While promoting on Facebook – it’s best to use Facebook Apps (check out appsmav.com to know more). It’s also important to use social media as a customer service tool and get the feedback (it’s important to listen to your customer.)