In today’s world of online businesses and social media, building relationships with your audience or customers is crucial to increasing your engagement. When your audience interacts with your posts, you have the opportunity to respond with something funny (but appropriate), offer above and beyond customer service or just answer the question. These interactions will help you build stronger customer loyalty than if you were to not respond to them.
1. Create Unique Content
Creating unique and different content is very important, especially when you are just starting out or are a smaller business. You can make your content unique by adding images, videos or visuals. It can be beneficial to post a mix of your own content in addition to popular content you’ve found, with credit of course. However, make sure the content you are sharing is relevant to your target audience.
2. Be Active
When you post and engage with customers regularly, people will be more likely to follow you. People like when they see businesses interact with their audience. It is also important to respond to all comments, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Showing appreciation for positive comments and offering a solution to the negative comments makes you come across as more trustworthy. You may also find it helpful to schedule posts each week using a scheduling tool like Sendible, Hootsuite or Later so you don’t have to be on your phone to send a post.
3. Share Valuable Content
Your content should be helpful and address your audience’s needs or pain points. Instead of “broadcasting” your message to the masses, try to make it more conversational and almost like a community. Your followers may also find it valuable when you share other people’s content. For example, if another social media feed is able to offer your audience relevant information, they’ll be interested in your brand and encouraged to follow you even if it wasn’t your original post – be sure to give credit to the original writer, though!
4. Analyze your Engagement
It is also important to assess how much social media engagement you typically get now. This means how many followers you have and how many likes, shares and comments you typically get on each post. Tracking these allows you to see which posts are getting more engagement versus the ones that aren’t getting as much attention. This will help you determine what to post, and when, so you can reach the maximum target audience possible.
5. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience can help you determine what social media sites to be on, when to publish, the type of content you publish and your brand voice. This will also help you determine your social media strategy. This strategy depends on what your brand is and what your business has to offer. Companies with younger audiences will use Instagram or Twitter more than Facebook. Companies with older audiences will most likely use Facebook. Certain companies are also able to use more relaxed language than others. For example, fast food chains like Wendy’s tend to have fun social media presences where they engage with random accounts. Wendy’s is able to do this since they are already an established restaurant and have built trust with customers. A place like a dentist office may have a more serious tone since they still have to prove their trustworthiness.
6. Keep Conversation Flowing
Since a good portion of customer engagements are online or through social media, it is important to practice both reactive and proactive engagement. Reactive engagement is when you respond to any direct messages, mentions or comments. Proactive engagement is when you spark the conversation with those who might be talking about you, but have not sent you any messages directly. For proactive engagements it is important to track indirect messages as well so you can see who’s talking about you. You may also find it beneficial to track indirects that use a nickname or common misspelling. Tracking indirects allows you to get a broader grasp of what people are saying.
7. Repost Customer or Follower Posts
Customers love to feel appreciated. When a customer has their post shared, they feel recognized and special. This can also lead to them reposting/sharing the fact that they got recognized or screenshotting proof that you liked or retweeted their post, which could mean more exposure for you!