Simply having an online presence does not mean your business will go viral. But you can grow your client channels, build your customer engagement and target new markets. Here are 7 tips to aid in boosting engagement using your social media.
Set your Goals
The first step in creating an engaging and effective social media strategy is to make a plan. Despite the casual nature of social media, the importance of forward planning is underplayed by many. One key factor of this plan is setting business goals e.g. do you want to use social for audience engagement, brand awareness, or product sales? After these goals are set in stone, the next step is to create the strategy.
Strategy and Communication
How can these goals be met using social media? For goals that involve user engagement, one avenue to investigate would be the rate in which you and your business interacts with these customers; do you engage in online communication with your customers? How often do you check your business Facebook/Instagram messages? How quickly are you responding to messages? Ensuring your communication with your customers is always at the foreground will be a positive move towards your engagement rates.
Another aspect of that communication is the engagement with your content. Every social media platform operates differently, and as such your Facebook posts should be different to your Instagram or Twitter posts. Each of these platforms operates with a different technical style, such as Instagram’s focus on visual design and Twitter’s short sharp interface; your posts should follow along with the general style of the social media platform. Despite these differences, there needs to be brand and tone consistency across your posts. This consistency shows your followers that you’re conscious of the online world and its complexity and aware of your followers’ broad range of likes and dislikes.
Just because you are posting across your platforms doesn’t mean that you are engaging with your followers. It is easy to gain an understanding of who is liking what and why they like it using analytics. Investigating what your followers are liking and then developing posts that follow those trends is a simple way to boost user engagement.
Start by ‘listening’ to the conversations. This listening will give you and your business an understanding of what people are saying about your business, good or bad. Manage the negative reviews and complaints, don’t ignore them. If your clients are posting on Facebook about your business’s slow response time, then respond quickly! I know it’s not rocket science, but the little things matter.
Encouraging engagement and participation is one of the biggest challenges to social media marketing. Simply posting more often or with a schedule is not an instant fix to engage audiences. Ensuring the right content is being shown to right people is a must in any business, online or off.
Streamlining your content to fit each demographic may take more time but targeting the correct market and target audience will always bring more sales than attempting to target everyone. For example, if your business specialises in selling tiles, timber and carpet, you would not be targeting younger lower incomes audiences, instead you might focus your social media plan to higher income earning people who are renting or own their home.
A continuous communications strategy is necessary to engage your audience through the many channels available. Key issues here are defining the types of content value you offer through different social channels and the frequency. Integrating different digital channels including email marketing through a social media marketing hub is also possible.
Your plan should also include a posting/e-mailing schedule. This timetable will both act as a way for you to keep track of what you are posting and where, and as a way to ensure you are not over-saturating your audience with constant posting.
Look and Feel
Each social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has unique characteristics and audience needs, that can differ from platform to platform. Differing how the posts look, will ensure that each platform has a fresh feel that suits the audience.
Your Facebook followers should be very different to your Instagram followers which could also differ to YouTube followers, giving you a wide range of options to alter your social media posts to match the audience.
Social Media Optimisation
It is important to post according to your Social Media sites and to your target demographics, but when planning your social media marketing strategy, it is very important to consider that there are many ways for you to post your content, be it a photo, video or just plain text. Google also picks up your posts based on keyword search, so consider your search engine optimisation strategy at the same time.
Remember, don’t use social media just show off your products, it’s not purely an advertising portal. You have to engage in some casual conversational content to gain more attention and draw more potential clients to your business. Also, posting content at the correct times for your audience will maximise the likelihood of your marketing message reaching the right people at the right time.
That’s a few tips to help with your social media. It’s complex, and not something to just hand off to a junior admin person or the receptionist.