If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Likewise, if you tweet and no one likes, retweets or replies, was there any point? In the world of social media, engagement is king. In 2018, almost two thirds of marketers said that increasing audience engagement was crucial for their social marketing strategy. So, how do you boost engagement?
Maintaining a regular and consistent schedule is a key element of any social media strategy. For the follower’s point of view, it ensures that there is always fresh, reliably posted content for them to consume. This pleases the social media networks, whose ultimate aim is for you to use their platform on a very regular basis to drive users back to them day after day. Their algorithms are shrouded in mystery, but it’s almost universally agreed that they favour accounts who post good content consistently. Chances are, if you’re a regular poster, your content will end up being seen by more people.
Engage with your community
The best brands understand that the great power of social media is its ability to connect people with others all over the world, united by a shared passion. If you want them to engage with you, show that you’re just as excited to engage with them. If they post positive comments, thank them and ask a follow-up question. Answer their questions, build a dialogue. Use your position of authority in that field to create something interesting and worthwhile. A baker that sees praise for their cakes, for example, can follow up by asking the commenter if they’d like the recipe. Think outside the box a little bit and try to foster a sense of community around this enthusiasm. Replying to lots of comments might be time-consuming, but that level of social engagement is definitely worth the effort.
Address negative feedback
Part of engaging with your community means taking the bad with the good. No one likes seeing negative comments on their social feed, but you can’t control the fact that eventually, someone will not be satisfied. No company has ever managed to please every single person that comes through its door. Take immediate and positive efforts to solve their problem, starting by asking them to direct message you with more details. This takes things out of the public eye and opens a private stream of communication. Once the issue is resolved, many businesses ask the customer to remove their initial post, but it can actually be beneficial to have them leave it up with an edit explaining that you successfully resolved their problem. It tells potential customers that you provide a degree of aftercare and that their satisfaction matters.
Engage with other companies
You’re sure to understand the value of networking, and how important it is to make connections. That’s the lifeblood of many small and medium businesses, word of mouth referrals and helping each other out. So why aren’t you doing it online? Talk to companies you know and see what campaigns you can run together, how your social media presences can interact. Even if it’s just agreeing to keep an eye on each other’s feeds and share interesting posts, the extra exposure can help to boost your engagement. Just be careful not to resort to spam: sharing posts that have nothing to do with your business isn’t especially useful and can easily annoy your core followers. Keep it relevant!
Of course, none of this matters if what you’re posting isn’t actually up to par. Your followers want content that provides them with value, that’s worth the time that they put into interacting with you, your brand and your content. If all you’re giving them are bland statements and the odd stock photo, they simply have no reason to keep following you. Whether it’s entertainment, interesting tidbits, useful advice or an inside look at your industry, the foundation of your social media should be great content.