Whenever I talk with clients about their social strategy, inevitably the conversation turns to increasing the number of page likes or followers they have on their social media accounts. Certainly, this is a great goal. Any good social marketing strategy worth anything should lead to organic increases in the number of followers engaging with you. However, sometimes clients create these goals with the wrong motivations. They think if they have a large following, they’ll have lots of engagement, more people will see their message, and sales will flow through the door.
Sorry to say, that’s not how this works. While large social audiences can be a powerful tool, at the end of the day, if those people aren’t engaged with your message, they don’t provide any value to you. Give me 1,000 followers who eat up everything I say and want to buy my services versus 10,000 followers who don’t care about the content I’m sharing. What’s the point of investing in a social strategy if no one is engaging with your content?
Bottom line: Increasing the number of followers on your social media accounts sounds great, but it doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t engaging those people. Here are a three tips to improve your engagement:
1. Connect with people on a personal level. I know you’ve heard this before, but it is astounding to me how many people hang their hat on pumping out generic garbage. If you are using stock photos in the majority of your posts, you have a problem. People want to get to know you – the person (or people) behind the brand. Yes, share information related to your products and services. But do this by showing your customers in an authentic way. Try a video that highlights you or your team demoing the product. Or be candid and share why you created the product. Or why your service is so great. Be real. Small details like this will set you apart and help people connect with you and your brand. Receive a new follower or a positive review? Send that person a quick personal message to say ‘thank you’ and we value your support and look forward to building a relationship. Shock them by reaching out a month or two later to see if there is anything they’d like to see more from your content strategy.
2. Try running a contest. Contests are a great way to engage your customers. Not only do they engage your present audience, but, when done well, get the attention of new followers. Tie the contest to your brand so that people connect it with your product or service. It blows our minds how much engagement a well executed contest can bring to your social media strategy. Once you have people’s attention, use calls to action to have followers share, like, or comment to expand your reach.
3. Treat your loyal customers like high-rollers. Who doesn’t love to feel special? Make your customers feel like the club-goer who drops their name and gets to cut to the front of the line. Allow customers to take part in exclusive sales, behind-the-scenes sneak peaks of new products, unboxings, or something that recently inspired you that you think they will connect with them as well. By taking 15 minutes a day to do some personal outreach to your fans, you’ll stand out above the rest.
Final say: Don’t focus on the number of followers you have, rather, focus on how engaged those followers you do have actually are. Again what’s the point of investing time and money into your social strategy if no one is engaging with your content? If you invest the energy into creating content that your followers like and find value in, the number of people who are interested in what you have to say will organically grow.
About Elizabeth Knight: Elizabeth is the leader of a creative group of passionate people who live and breathe marketing, social media, and public relations for a midwest-based marketing and public relations agency called Aplomb PR. She assists small businesses, city governments, and universities in refining their messages and then delivering those messages to the people who need to hear them. Her motto: If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.