Social media has become a crucial component of nearly every business’s overall marketing strategy. While sharing high-quality content is crucial, the best social media strategies aren’t one-way message boards. Rather, businesses must also interact with their audience, allowing customers to get a glimpse of the real people behind the brand as well as to share their own insights and experiences.
If you can build mutually beneficial relationships with the members of your social media audience, they will build a real connection with your brand. To improve your company’s social media engagement, try these eight tested strategies recommended by the members of Business Journals Leadership Trust.
1. Tag other accounts.
Comments and tagging other people to bring them into the conversation is a great way to drive engagement. Tagging others is a direct way to ask for a response and to build interactions. – Laura Doehle, Elevation Business Consulting
2. Post challenging content.
Create intelligent posts. Even if you have a brand voice that appeals to a young audience, it’s not wise to judge that they will not be interested in “intelligent stuff.” Posts that are challenging, such as smart and tricky questions, can catch the attention of any audience, add the element of change and do not look promotional. – Alina Clark, CocoDoc
3. Target problems and solutions.
Targeting key problems and engaging in real-time solutions is a great way to increase engagement. Combined with storytelling and real human experience, the social part of “social media” can become three-dimensional and interactive. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
4. Highlight the content author.
Use images that spotlight the content author. Instead of just adding a link to an article that may bring up a generic image, take the time to create social cards with the author’s picture, name and company, as well as the title of the article. This helps break through the clutter and showcases the author and the brand. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing
5. Work to spark interest and curiosity.
When I’m trying to deliver a message, I try to get my point across through my words or actions. On social media, you’re trying to spark a desire in the listener — to get them to say, “That’s interesting,” “That’s thoughtful” or “I’m curious.” Social media is exactly what its name implies — a social platform. Compared to an onsite or in-person presentation, we can be more creative and engage tens of thousands of people on social media. – Timothy Haluszczak, SteelBridge Labs
6. Respond in real time.
The best way to interact with your social media audience and facilitate engagement is to be active and respond in real time. Don’t just “set it and forget it.” – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
7. Encourage audience-generated content.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, it’s important to encourage two-way communication. Contests are a great way to interact with your customers — for example, they can share photos showcasing how your company or product helps them. This valuable user-generated content allows you to build brand evangelists who can recommend your products and services to those outside of your existing network. – Melea McRae, Crux KC
8. Publish interactive, collaborative posts.
Collaborative posts, such as surveys or contests, pull a lot of engagement, especially when they’re based on a trending subject. Also, ask for expert influencers to collaborate on an article to reach a bigger network. – Donna Michaels, LMGPR