By Francesca Phillips
Even if you’re a social media whizz, it can be hard to grab the attention of your customers. Consumers are bombarded with content every day, from influencers on Instagram, to targeted ads on Twitter. How can you make your content stand out?
When it comes to engaging customers, social media is a great place to start. Used by 3.2 billion of us (Emarsys, 2019), platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are constantly gaining new users. With so many people online, social media is one of the the easiest ways to directly interact with your customers.
But there’s more to social media than just gaining followers – although it’s a good place to start. The mark of true social media success is engagement. Engagement is the measurement of comments, mentions, likes and shares.
A passive, unengaged audience isn’t invested in your brand and won’t help you achieve your business goals. You need an audience who interacts with your pages, shares your content and generates a ‘buzz’ around your brand.
High social media engagement helps you develop meaningful relationships with your existing customer base as well as attract potential customers. We have devised some top tips to help you engage your audience below.
1. Know your target audience
Without knowledge of your target audience, publishing content they might like to see can be pretty difficult. You need to know what sort of imagery, text, videos or stories your audience positively engages with. Then, you can grab their attention with relevant content.
Start by conducting research into your demographic, this could be through more traditional marketing like customer surveys. These collect data to create customer personas based on their interests and activities. You may have a CRM system with excellent in-depth customer data from previous sales you can utilise.
You can even use your existing social media accounts to analyse your audience. Social media platforms have a range of excellent built-in insights and analytics tools which can give you the run down of who it is you are talking to.
These insights will also help you discover exactly how your audience engages with your content across all of your platforms, through the likes you’ve gained on your Instagram posts, or the number of shares on your Facebook.
By analysing the data, you can then detect patterns in the behaviour of your audience based on what content they enjoy the most, and can publish tailored content which you know will be widely shared and enjoyed.
2. Post social content frequently
When it comes to publishing content, consistency is key. Staying active not only demonstrates the commitment from your brand to your existing customers, but also increases the chance of new followers stumbling across your page.
It can be useful to follow a posting schedule. Try to commit to a certain number of posts per week. Without a schedule, lacks of posts can risk followers losing interest and tapping the dreaded unfollow button.
Platforms like Instagram can also tell you when your audience is most active, so it’s best to post around these times for maximum engagement.
3. Directly engage with your audience
It’s important to engage with your customers directly to build a positive relationship. Don’t underestimate the importance of user-generated content, like reviews and feedback.
Let your audience contribute, you may want to repost their feedback so that you can highlight their ideas and demonstrate your commitment to customer service.
It’s also important to respond to queries swiftly and make sure to maintain your brand’s tone of voice and ethos in all communications. Anything you say on social media can be shared so keep it professional and polite. Regular interaction enables you to build a relationship with your customers, receive valuable feedback and strengthens your brand reputation for providing efficient customer service.
4. Stay active on multiple platforms
Engaging with a wider audience may be easier if you’re active across a variety of social media platforms. In order to discover the best way to connect with your desired audience, you should consider which platforms your target demographic use the most, using the data collected from your audience research. Where is your brand most talked about?
You should also consider which platform is easiest to engage with your customers – is it Instagram, with its polls and stories? Or Twitter, with its quote Tweet function and direct messaging?
Most brands will have a presence across the bulk of social media platforms, but it is worth focusing your energy on the ones most likely to see the best results. If your brand is image led, Instagram may be your key platform, if it’s B2B focused, LinkedIn is where you want to spend your time.
5. Keep up to date with current affairs
Instead of posting content which is only relevant to your brand, it can be beneficial to be vocal on current affairs. You should consider issues relating to your brand, particularly those which affect your audience.
According to a survey conducted by Clutch, 75% of people are likely to start shopping with a company that supports an issue they agree with.
Making a conscious effort to research current issues shows your audience that you have a wider knowledge outside your brand. This highlights that your brand is politically aware with a sense of social responsibility and help builds a positive brand reputation.