Many people view social media a noise and brands screaming their name trying to build a presence. The thought of managing your social media can be daunting for some as there’s simply too much that goes into making a success of it with consistently posting content to the right audience.
This day and age there are many tools to manage social media content and engagement, but it’s a whole different ball game to make each channel work for your brand effectively. The real challenge starts when you use these tools to create genuine engagement as if you don’t have the right know how on engaging with others it can become difficult very quickly and your business is left in the dark.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Engagement on social media is basically like a relationship, when a person decides to follow or like your business it’s like making a new friend and just like a friendship it takes commitment to develop that relationship and ensure that they are happy for years to come.
When thinking about engagement it is important not to think of this as a single action, but more about creating an open line of communication over time. While you may assume customer communication is the same, engagement is on its own playing field.
Taking Customer Care to the Next Level!
Ok, so now we’ve an understanding of what social media engagement is, you now need to think about how you use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to build a greater customer experience. You want to be connecting with your audience on multiple levels.
As soon as customers decide to engage with your business on social media, they’re putting their trust in your brand to provide them value.
As the retail store, Argos is showing us, reaching out to customers with their specific questions increase brand loyalty and even lays the foundations for a future purchase, and it’s all down to caring for your audience.
Historically, customers had to go to great lengths to get ahold of the brand to be heard, even though the days of “Press 1 for X, then 2 for Y” still exist, businesses are starting to understand that reducing them painstaking interactions a thing of the past by improving customer engagement through social media.
Reported in Sprout Social Q2 2016 Index, it was clear that social media is the most preferred channel for customers to engage with brands. This means you must ensure every potential or current customer conversation ends with satisfaction or resolution.
Going Above and Beyond Customer Expectations on Social
It’s easy to think your customers don’t expect as much engagement from you on social media, so why should you bother? Your customers are taking to social media to talk about your business, whether this is in a good or bad light, so ensuring that you give your customer what they want is very important for your presence.
A good question to ask yourself is, what do you gain by avoiding social media engagement?
Even though it is near impossible to measure the non-existent on social media, having tools to track and monitor your brand’s interactions pays off. Being able to analyse customer interactions in real-time will allow you to gain critical insights into your target audience.
How to Improve Engagement
Engagement isn’t like splitting the atom, but it does require consistent effort. It is easy for people to feel like social media is brand new but this is simply not the case, this ‘style’ of marketing has been around for years.
When it come to your business there are thousands of people out there, ready and waiting to be reached by your business through social media. The importance come in knowing how to approach your audience, which leads me nicely to my 3 top tips!
1. If you haven’t started your already behind
Ok, so as I said earlier, social media is like the beginning of a friendship and just like any great friendship someone needs to start the conversation and that someone has to be you!
A way to open the conversation is by promoting topical content such as blogs, but it’s important to remain relevant to your business. By sharing this content you are initiating a conversation as you are adding value to your audience.
It is important to remember that starting the conversation is not always that easy, but don’t worry there’s a number of different tactics you can try! For example, hold Q&A’s, share advice, tips and brand promotions.
2. Join Trending Topics
When hashtags and topical stories start trending it is always good practice to jump onboard, especially when they can be related to your business or industry. By participating in these topics you will attract new traffic to your social networks.
But remember, you need to think this one through and take caution before proceeding, I have seen all too many times that a company has used a trending topic and then it can be viewed in an inappropriate way.
3. Don’t Ignore your audience
This is a must! A common issue for businesses using social media is that engagements made by their audiences are not responded to. Remember that everything on social media is a conversation and nobody likes to be ignored, you’re not only telling you’re not present but that you don’t want to communicate or value their contribution.
Ignoring your audience by just one day can be detrimental to your business, you have to be attentive as these interactions will be viewed by your potential and existing customers, and by nurturing your relationship you will turn them into brand advocates and they will organically promote your business to friends and family.
4. How to Measure Engagement
A number one question that is asked, what is a good level of engagement? And being honest there is no straight answer, engagement can only be measured by consistently talking to your audience and discovering what they are most interested in and how active they are.
We call this method Test, Measure, Refine. We live by this motto as its the only effectively develop your target audience. One thing that is certain is that the answer is always in the data, for example, if you post a blog and receive 56 likes but post an advice post and receive 6 likes you can see that your audience find blogs more interesting.
It’s time to shine!
Now you are fully informed about social media engagement and the value it adds to your business, we know it’s not easy to manage multiple social media accounts but it is becoming more and more crucial to have this line of communication with your customers.
Feel like you’re not ready to take on your social media? You can always call me!