Social media is like a giant conversation. As a participant, you need to be a good conversationalist. Follow the basic rules of etiquette; be interesting, and give people space to talk.
As a business, being able to actively participate in the social media conversation is critically important. You wouldn't talk to someone very long if they never responded, and you cannot expect your social media followers to keep engaging if you never engage back.
In order to build a compelling social media presence, you need to engage with your audiences. Here are a few suggestions for doing that more effectively.
Respond to all comments on your social media pages.
A comment on your social media page is social media marketing gold. It means that somebody cared enough to take the time to interact with your business. Someone has joined or started a conversation with you. That means they care enough about your business to say something, and they want to hear back from you.
In order to keep the conversation going, you need to start talking too. That is why you should respond to every comment left on your social media pages. You should also do so quickly: Within 24 hours, according to one research company.
What should you say? That depends on the comment. In general, here are some suggestions for crafting your responses:
- Keep your response faithful to your brand's voice and values.
- Keep your response upbeat and positive. Consider using GIFs and emojis (in moderation) to give your responses a relaxed and welcoming feel.
- Be authentic in your reply.
- If you are responding to a complaint, try to keep your answer brief and move the conversation to a private format.
Create posts that encourage feedback.
You can do more with your social media marketing than simply respond to comments that others leave for you. You can begin conversations yourself by creating posts that encourage feedback.
For example, try asking a question in one of your posts. If you run a florist, ask your followers about the most creative or beautiful flower arrangement they have ever seen. If you run a clothing store, ask people to post pictures of themselves in outfits they put together with items from your store. Here are other ideas for encouraging feedback with your social media posts:
- Input on changes in your business
- Image requests
There really are an infinite number of options when you want to engage your followers. Use your imagination and start a conversation that will interest and engage them.
Use hashtags in your social media marketing.
Your social media conversation might fit nicely with a broader conversation happening across social media. You can recognize and engage with the people having this broader conversation by using hashtags.
Hashtags link your post or comments to a broad topic occurring across social media networks and platforms. Use the right hashtags, and you can align your brand with that conversation. That can earn your social media marketing campaign attention and interaction from others who are part of the discussion.
Often, there are popular hashtags around holidays, major events, cultural trends, etc. A little research should uncover the ones that are most relevant to your business.
You can also create your own hashtags in order to build momentum around topics and ideas that are important to your business. Creating hashtags around promotions and contests can also help to generate buzz around those efforts.
Keep the conversation going.
You create a social media post. Somebody comments on it. That is great! You have made a connection that could be good for your business. How you respond next is an important step. You could give a short answer, like "Thanks!" However, that kind of engagement shuts the conversation down.
Instead, consider responding in ways that encourage the conversation to keep going. For example, ask questions to follow up on a comment. Attach a video to provide further information or entertainment. Share a little more about your business.
The key is to leave the conversation open ended. If you do it right, your follower, or other followers, have the chance to build on the conversation. That kind of ongoing interaction is valuable to your social media marketing campaign.
Don't just talk about yourself.
You do not want to listen to other people talk about themselves all the time. Don't be "that person" on social media yourself. If all you ever do is talk about yourself and your own business, you can be sure that other people will quickly grow bored and find another business to interact with.
Instead, spend time engaging in other ways on social media. Here are some suggestions:
- Comment on other people's and businesses' social media posts.
- Retweet others' posts.
- Ask your followers about their opinions and interests.
- Participate in others' surveys and polls.
- Give shoutouts to other (noncompeting) businesses and people.
Part of your social media marketing strategy needs to include engaging with your audiences. Engagement creates and maintains relationships with the people you want to reach.
Make sure to respond to all comments. Create posts that encourage feedback. Use hashtags; keep the conversation going, and don't just talk about yourself. When you can take those steps, you will be well on your way to crafting an effective social media presence.
Here at Distinct Web Design, we can help you create a social media marketing campaign. We can also help you to develop a digital marketing campaign that allows you to reach your business goals.