As a growing business, you are probably using social media to promote your products and services. But is your existing social media strategy succeeding in engaging with your target audience and delivering the results you desire? If not, try these three simple ways to use social media to engage with customers.
Social media engagement refers to the way your readers react to your online content. So, the more likes, pins, shares, retweets, comments, and click-throughs your content generates, the higher the engagement. Social media engagement leads to more website visits, which potentially means more customers for your business. This is why it is important to use social media to engage with customers.
There are many ways to develop a social media strategy that builds trust and encourages readers to promote your content. Today, we are going to concentrate on three to help you get started and get results.
3 Ways to Use Social Media to Engage with Customers in Your Growing Business
Start a CONVERSATION: Be Interesting, Helpful and Relevant
The word ‘social’ implies someone who enjoys spending time interacting with people. So, as you develop social media content, think of your social media account as a person arriving at a social event, and the first thing you need to do is start a conversation. Here are some ideas on how to do that.
Host Live Q&A Sessions
One way to start an online dialogue is to host Q&A chats on Twitter or a live video chat on Facebook. This gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience by sharing your expertise, communicating relevant information and answering common questions.
Here are some ideas for general topics you can cover:
- common customer problems and how to overcome them
- information about the industry/business that you think the audience will find interesting
- trending events and their impact on your customers
Hosting live chats help you to ‘humanize’ your brand, which helps build trust in your product/service. A word of caution though – avoid using these interactions to do a blatant promotion of your business.
Share Your Blog Content
Another way to increase engagement is by sharing your blog content on your social media platforms. Pick blog topics that are the most relevant and share them with messaging that entices your followers to read, share and comment.
Our blog, for instance, contains business tips and advice that is of interest to our clients, such as challenges of creating online marketing content, improving productivity at work, and using business technologies. We use our blog to inform and educate potential clients and to encourage them to contact us for more information.
Another great way to start social conversations is through Hashtags. You can promote specific hashtags to allow people to share their experiences with your business. For example, a fitness trainer I follow is Rebecca Louise, and she often asks viewers to comment on her YouTube videos with the #ICanFeelTheBurnRebecca to share how they felt doing the workout. Using branded hashtags also makes it easier to track the performance of social media posts.
Make the conversations more relevant by creating posts around ongoing international or local events and trending news. For instance, can you think of social media posts or contests designed around the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia?
Is Anyone Out There? Be RESPONSIVE
In today’s world, most existing and potential customers prefer to register a query or complaint through a company’s social media page in the hope that they will get a response within a few minutes. As we all know, that is often not the case. Businesses usually take several hours, sometimes days, to respond to a customer’s message or comment.
That’s a BIG no-no!
If you want your social media efforts to pay off, you must be active on social and quick to respond. Otherwise, people will think that you don’t care. On the other hand, positive interactions will encourage people to buy more from you, recommend your business to others, and share their experiences on social media.
Tracking customer messages on multiple social media accounts can be overwhelming, which is where social media management platforms like Sprout Social become super handy. Instead of having to watch your social pages like a hawk, the Sprout Social app for small business allows you to view all social media messages in a single inbox. You can assign and track customer messages that need action from other departments (e.g., assign a lead to sales or report a customer service issue). It also helps you seamlessly schedule messages across networks and track performance based on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram analytics.
For more tips on how to improve your customer service via social media, read our post 12 Tips for Providing Awesome Social Media Customer Service.
Be SELECTIVE and CONSISTENT in Your Publishing Strategy
Growing businesses often struggle with social media marketing because they try to build a presence on as many social networks as possible. But here’s the caveat – creating engaging social media content is not as easy as it looks.
So, instead of spreading yourself thin, be selective in which social network accounts you want to use. While Facebook and Twitter may seem like must have social media accounts for business, they might not be the best place for you to reach your audience. So, be choosy and smart about the social media networks you invest time in.
For example, if you are in the B2B segment, LinkedIn becomes a mandatory place to attract clients. If you sell clothing, beauty products, or household items, then Instagram or Pinterest is a must have.
Once you select your social media platform, ensure that you are consistent with the quality and frequency of content publishing. This can be easier to do if you use social media scheduling tools such as CoSchedule and Buffer.
Videos can also work wonders for engaging an audience, yet not everyone does it. Short videos or vlogs can be used to share how-to ideas, behind-the-scenes stories, interviews, testimonials, and creating a buzz around customer promos.
If you don’t have the budget to hire a media agency, start by making vlogs on your smartphone or using tools like Loom or Lumen5. Just ensure that your style of presentation is consistent with your brand’s persona as visible on your website, blog, and other online communications.
It is important for small businesses to have a smart social strategy and to use their social media platforms to engage with customers. However, creating quality content for social media takes time, and that is one thing business owners often have in short supply. We know that which is why we created our highly focused, proven Content Marketing Packages. These packages are designed to do one thing, and one thing only: attract more qualified customers without a significant investment of your time or money. We’d be happy to create a custom package for your business. Contact us for more information.