AuthorAuthored by: Megan Jendro
I was in an interview a few weeks ago, and was asked by the interviewer how I would increase their company’s social media engagement. It was followed by, “Currently, we only have social media because everyone else has it. It doesn’t really do anything for our business.” This got me thinking about if other businesses felt this way about their brand’s social media presence. Is social media really necessary for building your brand?
The answer in reality is probably closer to it depends on the business, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m going to pretend everyone reading this yelled, “Yes! Social media is necessary for building your brand!”
So for those who are struggling to engage your customers on social media, here are a few tips on how to increase your business’s social media engagement.
Find the right content
Every business is different, and has a different following. Use what you already know about your customers to find the right content for your audience.
Probably the easiest way to start posting unique content is to involve your current customers. Start featuring your customers on your social media platforms. Take a picture of a customer with your product or service in the post. If you do this, one of two things is going to happen: The customer will share the picture to their own followers providing your company with more brand exposure, or, it will act as a positive customer review from an outside perspective and create more trust with people who are new to interacting with your brand.
Your social media content should also be engaging to your customers. Everyone hears the word “engagement”, but what does that exactly mean? Post content that encourages your followers to answer questions. For example:
- “Check out our new product! (insert picture of product) What do we think?”
- “We are thinking of adding another color to our highly loved Product X. What color would you want to see added?”
This could also be done by posting Facebook polls on your page, posting an Instagram poll on your story, etc. Use pictures! Images and memes are an easy way to keep your followers interested in your social media posts. Use a different tone and voice for each platform. It can be tempting to post the same content on each platform, but each platform is unique with different followers, and should be treated as such.
Feel like this type of content isn’t working for your followers? Try online offers. Instead of boosting a social media ad, try adding a unique discount code to your post. For example, “If you show us this post in person, get 10% off your purchase!”, or “Enter ‘Facebook20’ during checkout for 20% off your order.” You can also use this method to track which social media platforms your customers are coming from and help decide which platforms are worth focusing on.
Find the right timing
Find out when your followers are most active on social media. Use business analytics to discover when your followers are online, and schedule posts for then. Instagram Business Accounts have super simple analytics to use. Under Insights, you can see how many profile visits you get a week, how many accounts each post reached, which posts were seen the most, and who your audience is. Are most of your followers online at lunch time? Post then!
Try to notice how long it takes your followers to typically engage with your post, so you aren’t over-posting content that isn’t being seen. I have noticed a trend with my own social media. Instagram and Twitter are pretty instantaneous with response time, whereas Facebook and LinkedIn can take a few days to reach everyone. Give your followers the appropriate time to see your post and interact with it before moving on to the next posting.
Find the right people
Network with other businesses online, and engage in social media groups on Facebook and Linkedin. Be an active participant with people who are outside of your current following to gain more traction online.
#hashtags are your friend, when used tactically. People aren’t really adding #hashtags in their #posts these days. Instead, add them to the end of your post. It still has the same effect, but readers aren’t interrupted by them. Also take notice of which hashtags are more popular. Do your research! I find using a mix of hashtags works best. Popular hashtags are searched by a lot of people, but that also means a ton of people are using the same hashtag, making your post harder to find. A less popular hashtag won’t necessarily be seen by a ton of people, but your post is more likely to stick out.
Why are hashtags so important? Think of your Instagram Explore page as the Google search bar. Let’s say you want to find a new recipe for dinner. You type in, “dinner ideas” to the search bar. The first thing to pop up is #dinnerideas. Now imagine you are a customer searching for your product, but don’t know the name of your brand. They might search something in relation to your brand in hopes that like products pop up. Make sure your brand is included!
Find the right platforms
Not every platform is going to be right for your customer. Be mindful of where your followers are coming from, and leverage the right platforms for the most engagement. Your business does not need to be on every single social media platform available. Just go where your customers are. Once you get a sense for where they might be, then tailor your brand’s voice for each prospective platform.
In a world where social media is everywhere, it can seem daunting to get started. The easiest way to get online traction is to test every way out, and learn as you go! The worst mentality you can have for your social media platforms is that they don’t work for your business. You don’t have to be all things to all people, but by trial and error you will find what works best for your customers and your business.