Think about that last Tweet or Facebook post you made. How many times did you check to see the number of likes, comments, or retweets it got? In our highly digitized society, it’s amazing how seeing a thumbs up on a post can make us feel valued.
This all comes down to the very nature of social media – the social aspect – engaging, responding, chatting, and showing interest. You like to know that your posts are resonating with your followers and you like to do the same with the brands and people you follow.
This social media engagement establishes a connection with the brands, companies, celebrities, colleagues, and friends you follow on social media. After a while, you feel like you know the people and brands you follow – simply because you like, comment, and subscribe to their social media channels.
In our previous post about social media, we wrote about social listening. If you don’t know what social listening is all about, go read Let’s Get Social: Learning About Social Listening and then come back to read this post. Your social listening data is key in helping you to successfully engage with your social media followers.
What is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is key to building an effective brand and social presence. Social media engagement is a catch-all phrase for the likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc. that allow your followers to show that they’re paying attention to your social media posts.
When a follower responds to your Tweet or posts a comment on your Facebook post, it’s up to you to take the next steps. Remember, social media is key to building your digital brand presence. We know that customers who post a comment are expecting a response and they expect this response with a four-hour window.
Too many companies and brands simply don’t respond to customer comments, questions, and feedback on social media. For these brands and companies, we have one key question: why are you on social media if you’re not listening, engaging, responding, and acting on what your customers are saying?
Now, don’t panic if you’ve been neglecting your social media followers and have failed to engage and respond. All is not lost, in fact, now you have a chance to learn the keys to effective social media engagement and make sure you’re doing it right.
The Keys to Effective Social Media Engagement
We want to underscore how important social media engagement is to your brand’s digital marketing success.
- Spending time on social media takes up 33% of people’s time. This is higher than the time spent watching television and streaming online (16%).
- In 2017 people were spending two hours and 15 minutes per day on social media. This is up from 45 minutes per day in 2012.
These numbers exemplify exactly why you need to effectively engage on social media. Remember, social media is where your customers are going for reviews, product updates, customer service assistance, and to connect with your competitors.
The competition on social media is fierce, don’t be the brand who ignores its customers and slowly but surely sees its social media followers and stats drop to nothing. Follow these keys to effective social media engagement, and realize the power of social media.
- Be human. People want to talk to other humans, not a big brand or company. By using plain language, a sense of humor, and honesty you can put a human face on your social media channel. You might even give your followers a look at what happens at your workplace – share photos or short videos that let people see the real people behind the brand.
- Be accessible. Most customers want to follow you on social media. Make it easy to do so with obvious social media badges on your website and other digital collateral. And please, if you’re going to include a Twitter or Instagram badge on your website, make sure it’s connected to a live account that has recent and active posts.
- Think content first. Remember your social listening data and what it’s telling you about what content is resonating. Think strategically about the content you post on social media and think carefully about how you respond to political, social, and entertainment posts. Remember your brand image and reputation is closely tied to your last Tweet, Instagram post or Facebook comment. We can help you align your social media content with your blog content strategy – and yes, they both impact your SEO strategy.
- Be mindful. Don’t post so much that you become noisy. This will only get you ignored and the relevance behind your posts will disintegrate. Think about what you like about the brands you follow on social media and what makes you unfollow a brand.
- Be honest. A lot of customers turn to social media for customer service assistance. This means you’ll get negative feedback, questions about your product or service, and even complaints. Respond quickly, honestly, and effectively. If you made a mistake – apologize and admit to your mistake. Engage and ask these customers how you can help them and improve their experience. You care about your customer and make this obvious in the ways you respond. Ignoring a negative comment is not the solution – this can quickly result in lost followers and a loss of brand loyalty.
- Treat people well. Be nice. It’s that simple. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
- Be consistent. Your followers are paying attention to how and when you respond to comments. You can’t neglect your social media channels for a day or a week and expect your followers to stick around. Check in everyday and make sure you have a dedicated person keeping tabs and engaging with your followers.
Now, if these tips seem like too much for you to handle, we want you to reach out and contact us.
Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. We use our social media channels to share interesting articles, research, and blog posts about SEO, social media, digital marketing, and fun stuff that makes us smile and think.
Social media doesn’t need to be intimidating or overwhelming. It’s not just for kids and millennials. Contact us to learn how we can help you get active and social – with zero pain or stress.