Engagement is the king of social media advertising. More than ever before, users demand interactions with brands on social media and at least 30% of millennials engage with a brand on social media at least once a month (source: Sprout Social).
Social media engagement is the best long-term relationship you can have with a customer of your business. Like any other relationship between your business and your customers, nurturing this engagement takes time, dedication, flexibility and forward planning. These customers are more than just a single interaction or single sale of a product. These customers are investing their own time and trust in your brand to solve a problem for them.
Already 42% of businesses measure the success and ROI of their social media advertising based on their engagement levels over leads or sales. Itís more important for businesses to get their message in front of as many people as possible, and the more engagement that is received the better.
Why is this so important?
During its infancy, marketing through social media appeared to be quite straightforward.
Not so long ago our social media timelines were in chronological order. Posts showed up at the time of day they were posted. As long as brands and businesses posted content at the right time for their audience, or when their audience were most likely to be online, it would appear on their timelines without any issues.
In 2018 social media is a very different place. Timelines are no longer chronological, and many a post is lost amongst a sea of content from brands, family, friends, business, and content curation pages thanks to the introduction of algorithms on news feeds.
The chances of social media in todayís climate creating direct leads or direct sales is a lot lower than other marketing channels, but it is the best and most important channel for creating awareness of a brand and getting a message in front of as big an audience as possible.
Algorithms love engagement. The more engagement a post receives the more likely the post is to be shown on peopleís news feeds who have not seen the post yet. The more likely the post is shown on peopleís news feeds, the more engagement it will get as a result. And so the cycle continues.
So how do you improve this?
The key to increasing engagement on social media is for brands to approach this as a two-way conversation. Itís not about shouting the same messages over and over again and expecting people to interact, itís about nurturing the relationship between yourself and your customer.
Creating a two-way conversation can be done in many forms:
Producing meaningful content. This can be done in the form of blog posts, videos, and infographics ó pretty much anything that your audience will find useful.
Creating spaces where conversations can thrive. This may be through dedicated Q&A sessions on Facebook Live, or through dedicated Twitter Chats using a set hashtag that your customers are aware of. In these spaces, you are able to guide the narrative in a direction that you prefer by establishing the initial topic of conversation and relating this back to your brand.
Engaging in the conversations that already exist in the industry. While you may be busy creating your own hashtags, it is important to also interact with those that already exist and are relevant to your industry. Your audience are already gathered here so itís best to make the most of this space to compliment your own, and it is important not to focus completely on your own brand.
Interact with advocates of your brand and share the content they produce as well as your own. Itís important to promote influencers of all sizes, and even more important to promote those who are talking about your brand organically. These are loyal customers who are already invested in your brand, and by demonstrating that you appreciate their support will encourage them to interact with you more in the future.
Get involved with trending topics. Make the most of the things that people are already talking about and highlight your awareness of the world outside your brand. If there is a National Day
Work as a team ó itís so much easier to achieve all of the above if you have a strong team working together to produce your content, understand what your audience wants and most importantly is able to execute this in the correct way.
Thatís where we come in. We believe that when businesses work together they can achieve great things and reach their full potential. Our social media team boasts a whole range of expertise, including audience development and the best social media engagement practices. Why not see what we can achieve together? Contact our team today.