Social media involvement is extremely powerful, and savvy business owners realize they must not underestimate its importance. Customers are more likely to follow brands with whom they have past experiences and/or feel a connection. An engaging social media strategy thrives on this sense of loyalty and connection, as people will feel more driven to join in conversations and interactions.
So, what’s the secret sauce? Community engagement! Our recipe for community engagement will delight your followers and have them coming back for more!
Start with a generous portion of engagement!
If you make dynamic graphics and great content yet fail to engage with fans who comment or send messages, your growth on social media cannot flourish. Anyone may easily create an account on their favourite social media platform and start building their brand or image. The most important part of social media marketing, however, is to maximize engagement. An important first step is to review your marketing strategy to best reach your target demographic. Doing this also helps to ensure you’re sharing content that is relevant to your audience from the start.
When you interact with your social media followers, you can convert them from fans to customers while strengthening your current customer relationships. When customers comment on your posts or send you a message on social media, you have the perfect opportunity to get to know them and create rapport with them. Be sure to answer their inquiries to go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.
Mix in speedy response times.
Engaging with followers who comment on your social media posts is a must. However, being available with timely responses makes a huge difference in how they perceive your business. Are you curious as to whether you are responding quickly enough on social media? Check out these statistics from Sprout Social:
40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours. (https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-response-time/)
To put it another way, most consumers want a response on social media the same day they leave a comment or question! More and more, people are relying on social media as a support channel, as it’s often faster and easier to use than email or phone calls. People who receive prompt responses are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. And so, the faster you respond the better!
Toss heaping amounts of social into your social media!
Social media should be more about building online relationships and less about broadcasting. By putting yourself on a one-way street of dishing out information, you will only end up being a billboard – and one that less and less people will see. You do want to promote yourself, of course, but it’s better to do so in ways that are informative and shareable, and pleasing to the algorithms. That way, you can open the door to having real conversations with your followers, as opposed to pushing your content at them – no one likes to be on the receiving end of constant sales pitches. As well, the algorithms that are engrained in most social media sites thrive on engagement.
As well, you should do your best to avoid answering inquiries with automated messages of any kind, especially when you are using your social channels as part of a customer service effort. Take the time to personally respond to as many questions as possible. Consumers will trust your brand even more because you’ve answered their questions as a person rather than a robot!
Sprinkle in a listening ear. Followers want to be heard!
When someone sends you a message or leaves a comment on a post, they’re giving you an opportunity to talk to them. Remember to listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it. It’s so easy to misinterpret comments people make on social media and all too often we jump to conclusions. You should acknowledge each person who reaches out to you with a response, whether the message they leave is positive or negative. You can express gratitude for positive messages and offer resolutions for negative ones.
Another way to open the door and truly listen is to ask for reviews and testimonials. Giving a testimonial strengthens your follower’s emotional relationship with your company. It’s a great way to make those who appreciate you feel appreciated by you, especially when you’re listening and paying close attention to their feedback. Obtaining positive reviews is a win-win as well. Feedback is a powerful form of social proof for your business and having social proof can help you attract future customers. Remember that the end goal is engagement, so put on your listening ears and keep the conversation going!
Stir consistently, then serve!
If your community engagement approach is well-organized, you’ll get a better return on the time you spend on establishing and maintaining your community. Customer satisfaction will increase, as will the attraction of new followers on your social media channels. So, take time to carefully combine, then add all the ingredients to your social media strategy and enjoy the benefits of your secret sauce!