Social media marketing is essential for growing any business But if you don’t know what you’re doing, things can get a bit overwhelming.
As with all things though, not all businesses achieve the same growth with their social media strategy. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to growth-hacking. A lot depends on your budget, your niche, and the time and commitment you’re willing to put in.
But the main thing that separates successful social media usage from the not-as-successful ones is social media engagement.
If you can’t get people to engage and interact with you on social media - your efforts will amount to next to nothing.
In other words, regardless of your business or niche, you need to be engaging with your customers. If done well, it can lead to an increase in conversions, a loyal following, and grow your business to never seen before levels.
Engagement is important because you want to reach as many of your followers as possible on social media.
And the more people you reach, the bigger the net of conversion-based social media strategies.
But first, what is social media engagement exactly? And why do you need it?
Simply put social media engagement refers to the number of shares, likes, and comments you get within your social media efforts.
But as important as these metrics are, they don’t affect your bottom dollar. So, instead, what you should be looking at in terms of analytics is the conversions. In other words, how many users are purchasing as a direct result of your social media engagement efforts?
Other things you might want to keep in mind though is the customer experience, their relationship with your brand, and how satisfied they are with your posting efforts (content).
When your prospects are on the awareness stage, they start to realize they have a problem or an opportunity they want to give a name to. If they see your brand as a potential solution, it’s your job to meet them halfway as the first place they might check is social media.
In such a case, you need to be ready with social proof (active, engaging, loyal followers) on the relevant social media page.
So, now that you know the importance of social media engagement, the first thing you might want to take a look at is your posting frequency.
1. Quality Over Quantity
While there is no golden ratio that says how much you should be posting per day, as a rule of thumb, you should always be prioritizing quality content. It’s better to be posting engaging content once a day than to spam your followers with content they may or may not want to see in the first place.
Of course, what you post matters as well. So, it might take some time and experiment to find that sweet spot. If you’re not sure what type of content works best for your followers, then you might want to consider using a social media content tool to learn more about your target market and what’s trending within your audience.
In terms of posting frequency, you might also have to experiment a bit to find the perfect range.
If you’re posting too much (more than a few times a day) - try reducing the amount and see what happens in your insights tab.
And vice-versa, if you’re not posting enough, try to up the antics and see what happens.
It’s all about what you post and how often.
Aim for educational and entertaining content that’s relevant to your followers, at 1-2 posts per day routine and watch your engagement skyrocket.
2. Reply, Engage, Discuss
Once you get the ball rolling with your amazing content, it’s just as important to get in the comments section yourself and start engaging with your followers manually.
If you want to maximize social media engagement, you need to take the time and interact with your audience one-by-one and be creative in your replies. Create a monthly/weekly schedule using a social media management tool and check out what's working for you and what's not and then plan your next moves.
Replying to comments and mentions with a simple “thank you” is a great first step, but if you want to truly encourage discussion, you can go further than that. There are many ways you can spark discussion in the comments section and show off your brand’s personality.
Here are a few quick and effective ways:
The basis of effective engagement has to do with questions. What was their favorite part of the post/video/article? What was their main takeaway? Why? Have they tried anything mentioned in the post? These are all a sure way to get someone to reply back and continue the conversation. And if someone else decides to chime in the discussion, that’s even better!
2. Gifs, emojis, and memes
Facebook doesn’t have to be all corporate. Don’t be afraid to be a little cheeky in your replies, and if the context is appropriate, hit them back with a funny response.
Emojis are the easiest way to make your replies more fun, but if you want to take it up a notch, also consider gifs and memes. Your followers will instantly know you’re smiling. If you’re targeting millennials, for example, your replies might be a little different.
3. Use your brand tone
Finally, consider your overall writing tone. Your tone of voice is probably the most important tool in your arsenal. How you write, engage, and discuss things with your audience is what will have an impact on them at the end of the day. So, consider your tone and make sure it aligns with your brand. Be consistent, and make sure your replies are suitable for each occasion and perfectly represents what you stand for. Remember, if you manage to make them smile, they’ll most likely remember you until the end of the day.
Once you start getting the comments in regularly, it’s up to you provoke discussion and get the ball rolling.
3. Going Viral (Promoting Shares)
Sometimes all it takes for a page to blow up in likes and followers is for a post to go viral.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.
There are a number of ways you can plan for viral posts.
1. Share other people’s content
See something that’s trending within your niche and is relevant to your audiences? Don’t be afraid to share other brand’s content, as long as you give credit to the original author.
This is an easy way to share the love with other brands, their followers and yours, and start establishing a co-relationship with anyone whose content you just shared. The fact that you shared their post shows up on their feed and makes them aware of your existence. It also gives them the opportunity to connect with you if they like your brand.
As long as you don’t overdo this and give credit where it’s due, it can be a quick and easy way to gain more followers. You can also see what’s trending within the above-mentioned content curation tools.
2. Run paid advertisements
Paid ads have been around forever now. But for a good reason too - they work.
Essentially, you invest some money into your social media to make sure it reaches the people that matter. Facebook Ads still work and allow you to target just about anyone - you just have to know your audience.
Generally paid ads serve two main functions - to sell, or to raise awareness (i.e. go viral).
You can also go down the route of influencer marketing and directly pay someone to promote your product.
Do you have an exceptional piece of content or a product you want to promote?
Don’t be afraid to spend some buck on it then.
3. Be consistent, think outside the box, and experiment
Finally, if you want to go viral through original content, you need to be consistent in your efforts, think outside the box and post high-quality content on a regular basis.
This route is most likely more time-consuming than the others, but it’s definitely possible. You just need to invest a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in order to provide better quality content than your competitors.
In terms of content, you can experiment with different mediums - infographics, drawings, video, and so on. The best type of content is usually the one that tells a story or strikes an emotional chord.
If you continually create high-quality content that’s better than that of your competitors, offer actual value and stand out - it’s only a matter of time until your posts go viral.
All in all, social media campaigns, have a lot of potential and if done well, can skyrocket your business efforts.
Regardless of the type of strategy you choose to increase your engagement in 2019, one thing you have to keep in mind is that all of them take time. Social media has a long-term ROI but it’s an important one as far as interacting with your followers goes.
The underlying principle behind truly understanding your target audience has to do with psychology. But on the bright side, the more you talk to them and interact with them - the better you’ll start to understand them in due time.
Once you start to get the ball rolling on your social media efforts, the next step is to leverage that and start pulling in the conversions.
Remember, social media is a long term goal. Make sure to plan ahead and know what you want to gain out of it first.
How do you engage with and keep up with your followers on social media?