You put countless hours and much effort into developing social media posts that will appeal to your followers and others who discover your accounts. One of your goals is to get people to “socialize” with you through their desired social platforms. With dedication and a solid strategy, you can achieve admirable audience engagement rates.
Yet, in addition to your audience engaging with you, one of your goals should be to do the same with them. Ask yourself this question: “Does my business engage with social media followers both current and potential?” If the answer is “no,” a change is in order. But before you take action, you need to know how should you go about interacting.
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5 Ways to Engage with Your Social Media Followers
Consider five ways to engage or initiate interaction on social media with your followers.
Be a Storyteller
Of course, there’s a time and place for direct, fact-based content such as when describing products and services. Yet, especially in the relaxed atmosphere of social media, it’s often more appropriate to use more emotional elements. Like what? Stories—whether internal experiences from team members or external ones from customers.
Storytelling brings your brand to life, giving people a glimpse into what you’re all about, what you value, what you work hard to achieve or solve, and so on.
While still being professional, you also want to inject a little fun and personality into your communication. This goes for captions and text, as well as replies to comments. How can you exude light, positive vibes?
By using emojis, GIFs, trending hashtags, and current language that’s popular amongst your audience.
Conduct Polls and Surveys
One way to encourage people to engage and to show your approachability is to ask questions. Questions about what? Likes, dislikes, opinions, knowledge.
While your polls and surveys shouldn’t be overly serious or always for the purpose of gathering info, you can actually learn quite a lot about your audience from the responses you receive. You can then use these insights to further improve your social media marketing strategy.
Perhaps even leveraging what you learn through your polls and surveys, you can create videos that will appeal to and excite your followers. For example, you could answer frequently asked questions using video.
With live video also growing in popularity, you can showcase your company culture, record industry-related events, share fun facts or give tutorials…all in real-time. Humans—visual creatures that we are—are very receptive to video. You can expect, then, that if you choose interesting subject matter, many will gladly tune in, perhaps even commenting on or sharing your videos.
Ask For User-Generated Content (UGC)
Reaching out to followers can prove effective since it shows customers that you value their opinions and experiences. You might ask for written or video testimonials, pictures that positively highlight your brand or other content that might be helpful to the rest of your audience.
How can you request user-generated content and get your followers excited to submit it? You could organize contests, use clever captions or even start a hashtag campaign. Don’t be afraid to get creative. It may encourage your followers to do the same, which could make your social media accounts that much more vibrant and authentic.
Best Practices For Engaging with Your Followers
As you do your best to engage on social media, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind.
How should you view those who invest even the smallest amounts of time and energy into following your business on social media? You should value them and the interest they show in your brand.
Therefore, interacting with them shouldn’t be viewed as an option or a task for your spare time. Instead you should make time specifically for engagement just as you do for other important business matters.
In doing so, you keep things consistent, which improves your image and nurtures the leads and prospects you’re connected with.
Spread Your Efforts Evenly
Be careful not to develop a platform bias, focusing most or all of your efforts on one social network. Your target audience is likely spread across several platforms. What’s more, they may interact more, less or differently depending.
Therefore, you need to have a routine of regular, personable communication on several platforms and perhaps even vary your approach accordingly.
Remember: Engagement Takes Two
You can’t expect your followers to do all the engaging. Many won’t unless you take the initiative to do so first. And those that are naturally interactive won’t carry on that way forever if there’s never any reciprocation.
The point? To attract and retain the interest you generate on social media, you must engage. There’s no getting around it. Do you see room for improvement in this area? If so, then there’s no time to waste!
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