social media marketing

How to Engage Your Audience on Social Media

Social media can offer a great platform for small business to reach and engage their target audience or customer. Best practices change over time, so here is a refresher on what you need to know to make your marketing efforts effective.

All Brands Need to Be On Social Media

First, it is important to know that more than half of the people who use social media use it to research and engage with brands. The pandemic has accelerated the push to do more online. Today, you can assume that many if not most of the people who find our brand will find it first online.

Who Is on Social

Pew Research finds that 72% of American adults are on social media. Looking at the largest platforms, here’s who is interacting most with brands and what they do:

  • YouTube is the most used and most active channel, where people of all ages share and watch videos, with educational and how-to topics getting the most attention
  • Facebook is used by Baby Boomers and Gen X, and their most common activity is sharing content
  • LinkedIn is popular with business professionals, who share news, information and offer testimonials
  • Instagram is where Gen Z and Millennials share photos, videos and stories
  • Twitter is a platform for young adults who share original content surrounding news and events
  • Pinterest is still the hangout for women, crafters, new homeowners and food lovers who want to catalog and share their finds

What Brands Should Offer

Marketers can connect with people on social by offering content they value. While specific interests vary by the type of brand, information about new products and services is generally valued.  People want to be connected with the latest from the brands they follow. People expect brands to entertain them, offer discounts, and educate them about things that matter.

The expectation is for two-way engagement. People expect that when they post a comment or question they will get a timely response. Interest in a brand sours when the engagement is all one way. In fact, the most common reason people cite for unfollowing a brand on social is poor customer service., followed by ignoring posts and mentions from people.

Your Social Media Strategy

Every brand needs a strategy for marketing and engaging on social media. Your audience is there, engaging with or without you. At best, they are saying good things for you, at worst they are harming your reputation and choosing your competition.

The right strategy for your business starts with understanding your core audience. Where are they online? What are their expectations? Marry that with your business goals, and you know what your social media marketing needs to look like. The information in this post should help you to identify some key places and activities to consider as part of your online marketing.