A Guide to Improving Audience Engagement Through Social Media
Do you ever feel that you're babbling away on social media and there is no one listening, or if they are listening, they just aren't participating in the conversation? It's a little difficult to build a relationship with someone if the conversation is always one-sided. So to connect with an actual audience and improve engagement, you just may need to get creative. This means employing a breadth of old and new techniques with heavy hitters like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Pinterest.
In order to establish more–and deeper–connections and to encourage further interaction with your audience, start with a few basics:
(1) attract eyes with stimulating imagery
(2) encourage real conversations by being more personal and less mundane
(3) provide a face and a voice to humanize your brand and give readers a personality to connect with
Consider incorporating a call to action in your post, set up a contest, or provide a discount. You can also share company or community events, employee highlights, and industry insider information. Flatter your loyal fans by featuring their photo or some other information they shared with you.
Be sure to actively respond to as many complaints, concerns, compliments, suggestions, and questions as you can. By acknowledging all of the tweets, posts, and comments your business receives, you'll see not only a boost to the conversation, but also an increase in customer loyalty.
Other tips include using questions to spark curiosity through participation, sharing content on weekends and late-weekday evenings in order to increase engagement rates, and refraining from sharing too often–instead of bombarding their feeds, leave them wanting more.
Now let's apply some of these suggestions to a few of the popular social media platforms:
A specific advantage of Facebook is the ability to create and share events. If you're holding a webinar, conference, or any other event, be sure to create the event on Facebook and then spread the word through other social media outlets.
Vine is a mobile app that allows you to capture and share looping 6-second videos. These are great for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. because they're easy to make and quick and entertaining to watch. Take a tour of the office, showcase new products, make people laugh, promote contests and giveaways - the list goes on.
Vsnap is also used to make and share short videos. However, these can be 60 seconds long and so they're better suited for answering questions, giving sincere thanks, and other more lengthy endeavors.
Google+ has a few different tools for invoking social media engagement. Google+ Circles allows you to create a themed list of people in a circle, all of whom share one or more characteristics relevant to your industry. Google+ Hangouts allows you to video chat with up to 9 people at once, and Google+ Communities is a way to invite others to join and participate in a group page moderated by you and your company.
You can contribute to the tips section of Foursquare by adding fun facts, helpful insider information, and more to relevant locations. You can even create themed lists on Foursquare to give suggestions to users and to make your brand more visible.
A Few More
And finally, other ways for improving interaction while simultaneously contributing to the online community as a whole are to (1) create new and exciting hashtags on Instagram, (2) collaborate with other users on Pinterest by inviting them to pin on boards created by you, and (3) create and/or join groups on LinkedIn to add to conversations and improve visibility.
Getting the social media-induced results you're looking for takes time, commitment, and innovative thinking. So give people a reason to care, cater to their interests, and make them feel good. If you truly believe you're creating quality content but still aren't seeing engagement numbers as high as you'd like, then try stepping out of the box and do something different, remembering that target audiences are human beings looking for entertainment and seeking answers to questions.
Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!
P.S. This information was provided by Ruff Haus Design - Your Loyal Marketing Companion. Established in 1997, we are a special breed of full service graphic design company that works with a premier pack of clients. We bring a fresh outlook and tail-wagging enthusiasm to your marketing program. Learn more about how we can help improve your brand management and support your marketing needs at www.ruffhaus.com