Is your brand on social media and you wish you had more engagement with your followers and target audience? You are not alone.
Try this simple experiment. Follow a brand on Facebook, Twitter or another social platform. Interact with their content – like, comment, share, whatever. What happens.
Likely, nothing. And, that’s the problem with brands online. Most seem to take an approach that it is the audience’s job to engage and they don’t have to reciprocate. (If you get lucky and the brand does engage with you, that’s a win because now you have a model to follow.) It’s all about building relationships, and that means two-way exchanges are vital.
Most brands using social media forget that the platforms are designed for interaction – it is, after all, social media. Social platforms are not meant for broadcasting or one-way messaging.
To engage, you need to adopt and sustain a commitment to relationship building online. Here are some ways to make that happen.
Use the Right Words
Research to understand what people are saying on social media when they talk about things that relate to you. Know the words, phrases, and hashtags that will connect you to what they are thinking and what they need. Use them!
Engage in Real-time
Be active on your social platform at the same time as your audience. This increases the chances that to can engage in a live back and forth with them. Facebook Live and Twitter chat are both tools that help you to make this happen.
Provide Customer Service
Customer service on social media is becoming an expectation. Your customers have comments, questions, and complaints. If you ignore them when they reach out, they decide you don’t care and look for another business that does.
Assign a customer service rep to the social platforms where your audience is most active. Respond within one hour of contact.
Follow the 80-20 rule: 80 percent of your content should be designed to engage the needs and interests of your target audience. Only 20 percent of posts should directly promote you or your products and services. Your audience is looking for valuable and helpful resources, not sales pitches.
When people mention you online, whether the comment is exactly what you want them to say or not, they are helping you gain exposure. Be thankful! Thank everyone for their comments, likes, shares, etc.
People don’t want to speak to an impersonal brand on social media, they want to see that your brand is run by human beings. You need to invest in the time and manpower to engage if you want to see a return for your investment in social media.