The rising popularity of social media in recent decades has had a drastic impact on the world of digital marketing. More than 2.5 billion people all across the globe use social media on a daily basis, all of them potential targets for novel online marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, most companies seem to have a problem with customer engagement on social media. To illustrate, the average industry-agnostic engagement rate per post on Facebook is only about 0.16%.
Part of the reason why businesses are having a hard time connecting with customers on social media is because they’re misinterpreting why people go there in the first place. No one uses Instagram or YouTube to browse for products and services. What people are actually looking for are engaging experiences. And nothing makes a person lose interest faster than reading a stereotypical sales pitch as soon as they log in. In other words, encouraging engagement on social networks requires a bit more finesse.
If you are stuck on ideas on how to approach people on social media with style and grace, check out our 4 tips for creating an engaging social media campaign.
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Stir Up a Reaction with Engaging Content
The internet revolves around content. To put it simply, if you have the content that people want, they will be willing to jump through hoops in order to get it. Conversely, if your content is not up to par, you are not likely to receive a second glance.
When creating text-based social media updates, instead of going on and on about your products and services, you should try voicing your opinion on some recent trend or event. Another way of garnering attention is to ask a provocative question, and let your audience do the talking.
Social media would be nothing without images, as evidenced by the popularity of platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Again, instead of posting generic brand-related photos, try to give your audience something of value, such as a useful infographic. Alternatively, try to make them laugh with a memetic image.
Video is one of the fastest growing trends on social media. People seem to respond well to multi-media experiences, and you should leverage this fact by providing engaging video content. Video tutorials can be quite valuable to your audience, whereas an entertaining short has a good chance of going viral.
Add a Dose of Novelty by Installing a Chatbot
Unless you are running a corporation with a dedicated social media department, you will be hard-pressed to manage your social media profile at all times. The bad news is, your audience doesn’t care. Fortunately, nowadays you can solve this problem by setting up a chatbot to work in your stead.
Chatbots can be programmed to provide round the clock customer support across all time zones, which means you will never leave your channel unattended. You will no longer lose customers as a result of delayed responses. Some customers even seem to prefer chatbots to live customer support personnel, so you will have that going for you as well.
Chatbots are also a way to give your brand a voice of its own. You can load a chatbot with brand-related information, and have it act as a mouthpiece instead of forcing your followers to read a boring “about us” page. Try to read one of the best blog topic on the art of magnetizing more social media followers for your business.
Another way in which chatbots contribute to engagement is through their data-gathering capabilities. If you record your chatbot conversations, you will learn all sorts of things about your audience. You can then use this data to create content which is guaranteed to pique their interest.
Pass the Mic aroundthe Audience
Social networks are places that people use for interacting with each other. And if you want to be a part of the conversation, you have to learn when the time to talk is, and when to listen. This back and forth is what keeps the conversation going, and if you know how to behave, your audience will be more than willing to engage with your brand.
One way of interacting with the other denizens of social media is by sharing their content. This works really well if you can manage to find individuals that are already vocal about supporting your brand. Give them a boost from time to time, and they will be more than happy to lurk around your comment section, keeping people engaged.
Another way to keep people engaged by means of socializing is to approach influencers from your industry. These people often command a significant social media following, so you want to have them on your side at all costs. Try asking for a shout-out, while offering a couple of perks in return.
Finally, you can let your audience do some of the work in your stead. For instance, you can hold a contest for the best photo that captures people using your products and services. Simply offer a reward, and watch as enthusiasts create engaging content all on their own, content which you will later host on your own channel.
Provide an Offer They Can’t Refuse
If you have trouble generating engagement through organic means, you can always try using tried and tested marketing methods such as providing an offer your audience can’t resist. While marketing on Facebook is not what it used to be, it still remains one of the more effective methods for creating a buzz for your company. Checkout 11 results driven social media marketing tips for your small businesses.
Creating limitedoffers is one way to make your audience pay closer attention to your brand on social media. When you attach an expiration date to your offer, you will get people to think about it whether they end up acting on it or not.
Offering substantial discounts is another means of getting your audience engaged. People from Gen Z are especially keen on hunting for deals, and they already spend a lot of time on social media as it is, so why not reserve a part of it for interacting with your brand?
Finally, you can try giving something away for free, provided your company deals in more intangible products. Video-games, ebooks, or music are easy to distribute for free, and the act will earn you a lot of goodwill on social networks.
Fostering social media engagement is not something you can accomplish overnight – it is an ongoing task. But if you follow the tips which we have outlined, you are sure to master the ins and outs of the process in no time.
About Michael Deane
Michael Deane is a marketing executive working for Brightspark Consulting, where he is in charge of executing online campaigns. He is passionate about email marketing, less so about social media, and is still on the hunt for the perfect morning cup of coffee.