In this post we will take a look at what it takes to increase your Social Media engagement.
Social media marketing success is not measured by numbers alone. You may have more followers than a film star, but if you’re not creating and maintaining meaningful dialogue with them your presence will count for nothing. You might as well pack up and vacate all your networks.
You cannot afford to pay lip service to social media. Once you are in you must be fully immersed, an active player in the communities you are building. If you want to do social media right, engagement must be at the top of your agenda. Such is its importance that Gartner is predicting that by 2014, refusal to communicate via social media will be just as harmful to companies as not responding to phone calls and emails.
Social media Engagement is all about developing real relationships with your followers where you are adding value to the conversations relevant to your industry. Consumers are no longer passive, they want to communicate with their favourite companies and brands. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this.
Figures compiled by Phew Internet reveal there has been a rise in active engagement across all social platforms throughout 2013, with Twitter the fastest growing. The microblogging platform saw 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013.
Today, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions. According to Phew:
- 57% of companies have acquired a customer via a blog
- 52% of companies have acquired a customer via Facebook
- 44% of companies have acquired a customer via Twitter
So, here are a few rules of social media engagement if you want to attract and keep a loyal following:
Find great content – this should be at the heart of every social media campaign. The more your original and curated videos and articles resonate with your followers, the more likely they are to share them and respond. This is key to winning your audience’s trust.
Many businesses struggle with this because they are on automatic pilot and use social media solely for self-promotion. In so doing, they come across as desperate and overeager. Genuine relationships do not come about if one party is continuously talking about how awesome they are.
Listen to your audience – actively listening is just as much of a key skill in the online world as it is in the offline one. Here, it involves liking, retweeting and responding to comments. If you are continuously in broadcast mode your followers will soon become your ex-followers.
Catalyse your community – wonderful content followed by reams of comments doesn’t necessarily mean your community is fully engaged. Real success comes when your followers are interacting with each other and taking the conversations off into new directions.
If none of this is happening, you may need to weigh in with a few comments and pointed observations or questions to get the discussions moving. Venture beyond marketing and sales to be a genuine participant in your communities. This is the whole point of marketing for businesses. Just publishing content is not enough.
Remember it’s a conversation – talk to your community as you would if they were on the phone or sitting next to you. Don’t get too formal and alienate them by slipping into corporate speak. You are not writing an annual report for the shareholders. You can also invigorate your posts with a little of your personality.
Be unique – this not easy, but social media is getting a little crowded these days. So every now and then try to offer something that is really going to make you stand out. You could try to be the first in your industry to start up a conversion on a new issue or put a different spin on an existing one.
If you need a little help running your social media campaigns, why not sign up for a MavSocial – it’s FREE! We can help you manage your social media with ease.