It used to be effective enough to rely on consistent social media posts, but consistency is no longer the only factor, nor is it the most important one. Today, in order to reach your desired audience, you must provide something that they can connect with on a personal level.
If you are simply providing content and not engaging with your audience, you will not receive a broader understanding of what your audience responds better to.
So let's discuss how to connect with your audience because it is important and it will make your online presence powerful and compelling.
While I encourage a consistent stream of posts, I ask that you evolve your posts by asking questions. Asking questions will encourage your audience to interact with you, and it shows that you value what they have to say. These types of posts will open a direct line of communication from your company to potential clients. Question and answers (Q&A’s) with important members of your company, such as CEO’s, make your company seem relatable and friendly.
Along with asking questions, your social media audience will ask you questions. When this happens it is important to respond with helpful, impactful answers. Answering with blunt, short answers will not leave a lasting impression on your followers. Show your company's personality by responding thoughtfully and completely. Another perk would be answering in a timely manner. If your audience can see by the time stamps that your company answers questions and concerns quickly, your engagement will go up tremendously.
It would also be beneficial for your company to join groups and forums to gain an expansive knowledge of your industry and hot topics. Groups can be created on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and various other active forum sites. Show off your expertise in your field, and learn from other successful people in your market.
Contests, Giveaways & Polls... Oh, My!
How do you get your audience to get excited about your brand? Sure you can post about all the neat things your company offers, but there are surely different ways to talk their language. Contests and giveaways are great ways to win on social media. People love things. It makes a lot of sense to give back to your audience by getting them pumped to win free things.
Make sure to communicate your goals of the contest so that your intentions are clear. Whether you’re promoting new products or an idea, make sure the participants understand why they should try and win.
For example, GoodCellas has a great example of how to boost engagement on social media through their contest on their Facebook, encouraging audience members to be active on social media and refer friends to win a free iPhone6. When a contest involves liking content and following the company, both sides win.
People trust numbers. Conducting surveys and polls online is a great way to get results fast on an interesting topic. Twitter has great features that allow for many surveys. It's called Twitter Polls. Whether they are serious or comical, they boost engagement for sure. We live in a very democratic country.
People love making their opinion count toward something. If you’d like to conduct a more in-depth survey, it is suggested that you offer an incentive for doing so, being that these are usually time-consuming. This will make your audience feel compelled to pay attention to your brand.
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Posting emotional content will allow your company to show its philanthropic side. Many are provoked by emotional content and they tend to share it. This will allow for more visibility of your company, and will allow your audience to get a feel for the company's values.
A great example of how this can be done is by posting a news clip or article that has to do with your industry, with a great emotional spin. This was done on Facebook by The BP Group. They shared a sentimental video of construction workers sending a get well soon to a toddler. This is a task that is easily done, but it sends a powerful message.
How do people find out about your social media pages? Make sure to include social media buttons on your company site. While this may be self-explanatory, it is often a missed step. Request action by directing your audience to follow your various social media accounts. These links should be included in a visible area of the web page so that people will notice them. This will provide a quick way to travel to your site and for your audience to easily share your content:
These are just a few ways to make your voice on social media count, as well as ways to gain and keep followers. As said earlier, it's not effective to just post every day. Consistency is definitely a key factor on social media, but the content and tactics used for engaging with your online community are much more impactful in winning your audience.
Whether your platform is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your company blog, Google+. We encourage you to try these steps, and soon you’ll be swimming in a sea of great connections! Just remember: be personable, and engage.