We all know social media is a marketing necessity for businesses. But just being present and churning out content is no longer enough. We’ve come full circle in the digital age, where customers don’t just want to purchase products online; they desire interaction and to become a part of a business’s community. This is where social media engagement lends a hand: creating a community for your followers to feel just that.
Think of social media engagement as the opportunity to develop more genuine relationships. You can directly connect and interact with customers and prospects. Here are a few examples of how to better engage on social media.
Respond, respond, respond
By now, customers are used to receiving immediate customer service responses, and that includes on social media platforms. Responding to a customer’s review or question — whether positive or negative — is vital for establishing trust with your audience. This shows you’re willing to address their concerns and that you’re listening to their recommendations. The more transparent you are, the more trust you build.
Tips for responding to customers:
- Don’t delay. Respond ASAP. The sooner the better!
- Direct them to an answer. If someone has a customer service question, find the proper outlet for their concern. Let the customer know you’re happy to help out and direct them to private messaging where they can communicate with a product specialist or customer service representative.
- Be human. No one wants to talk to a robot … Okay, maybe some do. But for the rest, be human and communicate authentically on your social media platform. Don’t regurgitate canned lines over and over. Chat with your followers like you’re talking to a friend.
- Have a strategy in place. You can’t predict everything, but a strategy is always helpful. Define key company stances, your tone of voice, when to move conversations to a private platform, and even emoji use.
A lot of talking happens throughout the interwebs, and someone may be talking about your business. You’ll definitely want to be aware of this.
Dedicate a community manager or team to social listening and follow key hashtags, phrases, and social media accounts linked to your business. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to respond, join conversations, and hopefully have the opportunity to share user-generated content. Find a social listening tool that works best for your team. We enjoy using platforms like Sysomos, Spredfast, and Tweetdeck.
Craft content around your engagement
Spark more conversations with content geared toward social engagement. At this point, you’ve interacted with your followers and have listened to what they’re saying about your business. Now use this information in the creation of your content. Share content that elicits a response. Use your followers as a sounding board to test new business-related ideas, or join a conversation people are already having about your business.
Take Netflix, for example. Netflix announced the release date for the third season of “Stranger Things” at the beginning of 2019 — six months prior. Yeah, I know. SIX. MONTHS. AWAY.
Viewers have taken to the likes of Reddit and Twitter to share their impatience with the wait. So what does Netflix do? Joins the conversation with this Instagram post:
A bit aggressive, but hey, it shows understanding of the audience and elicits the exact response they wanted.
With a little practice, you’ll find that social media engagement is not only fun but also gives you huge insights into who your customers are and how to better serve them. Remember to communicate authentically, keep your eyes and ears open for relevant conversations, and join in by crafting content based on your engagement.