You may think of engaging customers on social media as a daunting task. But you can never ignore the fact that it’s just impossible to create buzz around your business or startup and make more sales through social media without having engaged customers. But how do you achieve it? What are the steps that you should follow to emotionally connect with customers and compel them to interact with you on social media? Though social media strategies vary from one business to another, there are a few things that remain the same when it comes to engaging current and potential customers.
Here are seven of them –
#1. Frequent Posting
When you’re using social media for business growth, deciding on the frequency of sharing is an important concern. If you take a look at some of the big brands out there, you’ll notice that their posting frequency on social media platforms is very high. For example, a large company may post 10-15 times/ day to Twitter, 4-5 times/ day to Facebook, 2-3 times/ day to Google+ etc. But it may not always be the right frequency for you, depending on the resources you have. If you don’t have enough time or money to spend, you shouldn’t try to emulate large corporations or businesses. But you’ve to be frequent!
Provided you offer people real value, even a lower frequency of posting should work well in your favor. It’s, however, recommended to experiment with different frequencies of posting (at different times of the day) to find out what works best in your case. You should never forget that you’re on social media to inform people. If you are merely focused on outnumbering others, you’ll simply annoy people to the point that they abandon you.
#2. Quick Response to All Comments
If you’re using social media actively, you’re highly likely to receive questions, complaints and feedback (both positive and negative) from your customers on a regular basis. Can you afford to ignore them? Of course, not! In fact, responding to your customers (or prospects) on social media is an excellent way of boosting your brand and building credibility. It’s an opportunity to improve your customer service and grow your business. Therefore, it’s crucial not to overlook any of the concerns raised by your customers and respond to them in the least possible time.
While you respond to all positive comments quickly, you should never leave the negative ones unattended, as doing so may lead to attracting more comments and more attention. Also be informed that Facebook page users expect a response within 24 hours while Twitter users expect to be responded within 2 hours.
#3. Diverseness of Posts
You’re on social media to engage so that you can convert prospects into customers or leads. One way to do it is by diversifying the stuff that you share. You need to post various types of updates to avoid being monotonous and keep users interested for a long time. You should, therefore, always remember not just to inform users but also educate and entertain them. Different types of posts that have been proven to resonate with the audience include information sharing, opinions, complaints, self promotion, statements, random thoughts, questions, anecdotes, quizzes, success stories, special offers etc. In any case, you should never forget that images and videos are the biggest attractors.
#4. Links to Articles/ Information You Share
While it’s always recommended to share interesting posts on social media, it’s also important to accompany them with links to their sources. As soon as users feel interested or inspired or motivated by your posts, they’ll want to follow the given links and read more. It’s your opportunity to lead users to your website or blog and drive profitable actions as well. Even when the shared content belongs to a third-party site, you should provide links to appear credible.
In any case, don’t forget to use URL shorteners to simplify lengthy links (so they look good to the eye) and easily track the click-through rates. There are various free and paid services that you can use to fulfill this need. Some good examples include bit.ly, ow.ly and goo.gl.
#5. Relevance to Industry
Sharing cute photos and videos is cool. However, you should never forget to keep most of your shares relevant to the industry you’re in. You’re using social media platforms to maximize your brand exposure, attract more new customers and make more sales. While keeping this in mind, you could add the ‘relevance angle’ even to the funny stuff you post. If you’re a shopping bags seller, for example, you can try images of cats or dogs in the bags. Or else, you can try catchy song videos that summarize what your company stands for.
#6. Focus on Customers’ Needs
The social media strategy that you develop should always be well-equipped to connect with your customers really well and fulfill their specific needs. If you’ve the profile of the ideal customer for your business with you already, you should make sure that their requirements are always met. Continued focus on the pain-points, day-to-day issues and concerns of your customers is a surefire way of building an active community of people who don’t just fall in love with your brand but also recommend it to their family, friends and acquaintances. If you hire someone else to manage your social media activities, you should ensure that the specific needs of your customers are communicated to them appropriately. After all, it’s the customer that’s your hero.
#7. High Quality Content
At the end of the day, it’s the quality of your content that makes a difference. Since the world of social media is a crowded one, your stuff needs to better than your key competitors’. Unless you’re creating the content yourself, you should keep a close watch on the development and verification of the content before it’s publicly distributed. Whether it’s text-based content, visual content or a mix of both, you should ensure that it’s well-researched, fresh and original. It may not be too hard to attract users and have them click on the shared links, but they’ll engage only when the clicks lead them to top-notch content.
Is your business having a good time in the social sphere? Are you able to foster a strong sense of community among your customers? Please feel free to share your opinions, thoughts or comments below.