You Engage on Social Media-But Are You Engaging?
By P Lorraine Wigglesworth | Submitted On October 24, 2019
Many businesses get one very basic thing about social media engagement wrong.
The average entrepreneur thinks about engagement in terms of single interactions. A post that gets a lot of shares and likes is not really engaging the audience. It’s only when there is a long-term relationship that you really start engaging.
Think of it as a real-life engagement. Consider that every single interaction is a date with your customers.You get to know each other on these dates. You tell them what you’re about and they tell you what they like and what they don’t.
After seeing each other for a while, you’re ready to move to the next step. The customers now expect to see engaging content. When you post on your media channels, they’re bound by loyalty to interact with it. Now, you’re engaged.
Ask Not What Your Customers Can Do for You
The way to any customer’s heart is through value-oriented engagement. Don’t think of ways in which you can get a benefit from your followers and fans. Think, instead, about how you can be of service to them.
You’re trying to build trust in your brand through engagement. You’ll never generate real engaging content if your audience doesn’t feel you are contributing to their lives.
What does that mean in practice? Well, for starters, it means engaging back. If your patrons have questions, answer them openly.
Make sure that you are always quick to address complaints and concerns when they are presented publicly.
Believe it or not, social media has been people’s first choice for customer service since at least 2016. In a way, it’s people taking advantage of the public nature of the platform. Regardless, you should see every instance of customer service as a double opportunity.
You can address a customer’s concern and at the same time generate good faith with that customer and any others who see the interaction. Customer service interactions are an absolute gold mine for engagement.
Three Ways to Really Start Engaging
There are countless tips, tricks, and insider information about how to improve social media engagement. Try some of these tried and true approaches to boost authentic engagement.
1. Make the First Move
Someone has to start the conversation on the first date. As the business, that responsibility rests on your shoulders.
There are many things you can provide that your potential customers want. Informative articles and blog posts are two simple ideas. Remember that it’s about generating value for them.
Don’t try to push a product on the first date. That comes later. First, show them you care about who they are and what they want.
2. Listen More Than You Talk
If your relationship is going to last, you’ll have to listen.
Don’t guess about your customer’s wants and needs. If you put in the effort, all the information is available with a little research.
Look at social media and website analytics. Define your audience demographics and look at what competitors are doing. You have to know who you’re talking to first.
Once you know who you are dating, you can start listening. Look at their social media posts. What do they want, what sort of things are the dissatisfied by? Use this info to craft your engagement strategy.
3. Be Relevant and Topical
Don’t be afraid to have a voice about current events. If you want to elicit a response, you need to talk about things that are relevant to your audience.
Be careful however, this requires a delicate approach and a good read on the pulse of your patrons.
Start Really Engaging
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media engagement. As stated earlier, there’s enough advice about it out there to fill a sizable library. However, not every tip will work for every company.
Start by finding out who your customers really are and put yourself in their shoes. Then start working on offering more value through your social media engagement.
Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP is an international marketing consultant, speaker and the CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning based in Asia. She is the author of The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and works with organizations across multiple industries to help them increase brand awareness, increase leads and ultimately increase sales.
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