Social media is not just for sharing memes and photos of friends – it’s how you build your customer base.
Old-school advertising on televisions and billboards reached consumers at home and on the road. Now, with the advent of social media sites, businesses are reaching their customers on their favorite social media sites. The average American checks their social media sites no less than 17 times a day. These websites are the perfect places for businesses to engage audiences, nurturing long-term relationships that lead to sales.
Why Engagement Matters
A study conducted by Socialbakers found that the more consumers engaged with a company on social media, the more likely they were to visit a company’s site. As social media analyst Alexandria McCulloch summarizes, “Every Like, share, comment, retweet on your status updates, photos, videos, etc. means another opportunity for website conversion. Building a loyal, engaged following improves your ability to drive sales.”
5 Tips to Anchor Your Strategy
As a company, how do you start to build engagement with social media? Business owners who are new to the digital space struggle to hone in the easiest ways to engage their audiences. Here are five easy starting points:
1. Define Your Audience
To engage an audience, you have to know who you’re speaking to every day. Instead of winging your content, define your ideal customer. The more specific you get about your buyer personas, the more clarity you bring to your conversations online.
2. Create a Schedule
Just as one workout isn’t going to help you meet your fitness goals, one tweet or Facebook message isn’t going to make a difference to your social media strategy. Set up a schedule for posting on and responding to social media — and stick to it. Start with three times a week or once a day before increasing your activity.
3. Interact with Your Audience
Customers want to interact with brands rather than passively view their posts. Use cleverly worded questions on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to start a conversation. You can also enlist the help of user-generated content with hashtags. Blogger Grace Bonney of Design Sponge developed an faithful following by asking people to share their own photos and tag them with relevant hashtags like “#dsfloors” and “#dspetsstyle.”
4. Use Original Images
Research conducted by Stone Temple Consulting reveals that new social media users benefit from attaching images to posts. Twitter users with a small following generate five to nine times the amount of retweets when they use images, and experience four to 12 times as many favorites. When you start to share content, personalize it with photos that resonate with your audience.
5. Partner with Other Businesses
Develop partnerships that give you the opportunity to tap into the audiences of other brands. If you run a clothing shop in town, for example, consider partnering with another local business — a high-end bakery, or a bookshop — to host a giveaway on social media. This kind of cross-promotion is an easy way to boost engagement in an online community.
Next time you want to engage with potential customers, head to the social media platform of your choice. Start by implementing one of these five ideas, always with the intention to foster engagement and brand awareness among your ideal audience.