Engagement is one of the keywords that digital marketeers use when they are discussing social media. Your blogs, social media, website and other digital content should all be engaging to your audience but what does that actually mean when it comes to social media? How can you apply it to your social media marketing and why should you?
All social media marketing is about having a conversation with your customer. Traditional marketing is about shouting to your audience so that they hear you. Flyers, advertisements, banners, point of sale is all about getting noticed but you wouldn’t consider them to be part of a conversation. You ‘speak’ and hope that your audience ‘listens’ and takes action. Social Media is very different – you are always inviting your customer to interact with you and to have a conversation.
Conversations on social media can take many different forms. A like, a share or a retweet are all part of the conversation. They are the non verbal signs that we pick up on when we are face to face with someone. An indication that someone is interested in what you have to say and are open to hearing more.
This engagement is vital to social media. No matter the platform they all work hard to provide a relevant feed for their users. To do that they have to make a decision on their behalf to determine the content they would prefer to see. The most effective way for them to decide that is by looking at a users behaviour. What have they responded well to in the past? What are their community responding to? How often do they respond to certain types of content? The way in which a user engages with the content they see will determine whether it is classed as more or less relevant. So, for example, if you watch a lot of videos on social media you are more likely to see more in your feed. How often do you “love” someone’s posts on Facebook or retweet them on Twitter? The more you engage, the more likely you are to see content from that particular person or business.
Sounds simple, right? In it’s basic form it is but the difficult part is starting that conversation and to do that you have to be engaging. If it isn’t your audience won’t react to it the way that you need them to for them to see more of your content in the future. To really be engaging there are 5 key points you should always consider:
Know your audience – You don’t have to appeal to everyone. The only people you need to appeal to on social media are your audience. The more relevant you are to your audience the more likely they are to engage with you regularly.
Solve a pressure point – Think about what problems your audience have. Create content that helps them solve their problem but don’t just sell your product or service. Find what other problems they are they likely to be having and provide possible solutions so that you show you understand them.
Avoid me, me, me! – Ever noticed that your posts that are just about your product or service get fewer likes, retweets and comments? That’s probably because your audience doesn’t just want to hear about you. Try and follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20% of your content should be specifically about what you sell. The other 80% should be about everything else.
Tea break talk – If you were in the kitchen making a cup of tea with your audience what would they be talking about right now? Do they love GBBO or Strictly? Join in the conversation.
Be responsive and authentic – All platforms want you to be present so you should be as responsive as possible. Positive and negative comments should be responded to and not just with a thumbs up! You wouldn’t do that in real life so don’t do it on social media.