Social media marketing is all about talking and interacting with the right people, whether this be influencers within your industry or current or potential customers. Following this, the content you post on social media should be engaging and suit your audience, after all, social media is about the people you are posting to and not your marketing efforts. So here’s 5 ways to mix up your social strategy and improve your online engagement.
Start a Conversation
There’s a reason it’s called social media, no-one logs onto Facebook to be sold to. Interacting with your followers is the best way to ensure you’re still relevant and people remember your brand. Starting a conversation doesn’t have to include stalking your follower’s tweets to find something you can reply too. It could simply be asking a question, that’s relevant to your brand, and letting the conversation come to you.
Similarly, try responding to as many mentions or comments as you can and show personality in your responses, no-one wants to talk to a corporate robot. Improving engagement can also include telling a joke, tagging a picture or making a statement. Ultimately, being relevant, up to date and interactive will sell your brand better than trying to promote your latest product.
There’s a reason social platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr grew in popularity so quickly. To be visual you need to be eye catching, and let’s face it, we’re all going to choose to view a 5 minute video over reading a 1000 word blog post. As social media is adapting and becoming more relevant, being visual is becoming easier to accomplish. With Facebook’s efforts to dominate the internet, it is continuing to adapt its services to become a top contender for Google and YouTube. In doing so, native video on Facebook is continuing to grow and Twitter introducing its own native video services is only making it easier for brands and marketers to be more visual and creative online.
Brands are also turning to growing visual platforms, the most popular being Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest, to promote their products. You don’t have to be a visual brand to promote on photo platforms, take a look at @generalelectric on Instagram, the building business take inspiration in everything around them, leading them to have a 175K followers and a very successful social media strategy.
Link and Engage
Establishing relationships with those in your industry, not only helps you to create new business connections but builds your businesses credibility. Sharing pages from these people as well as blogs and articles from top social media influencers helps you to broadcast to a wider audience and amplify the message of your brand.
Cross promoting with other brands is another way to build and grow your social media engagement. Cross promotions helps you to adapt your audience and build new relationships with people you didn’t initially think to suit your brand. People are more likely to visit a brand when it is recommended by another person, and therefore the uniqueness of cross promotion and the recommendation from a credible brand helps to attract new customers.
The time you post on different social media sites is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when marketing and engaging on social media. There’s no point in posting something if no-one is going to see it, therefore finding the most popular time your audience is online is essential when it comes to trying to engage. There’s plenty of websites that will go into much more detail about timing, platform and your specific industry. However, doing your own research and trial and error is the best possible way of ensuring your post is engaging with someone.
Another factor to consider is time zones. If you’re an international business, promoting 24 hours is your best possible way of ensuring you’re talking to as many customers as possible. The best way to do this is using a social media management system such as Hootsuite to schedule posts throughout the night and so you’re not on the clock 24/7.
Hashtags helps you to engage and begin a conversation with people who are also interested or talking about the same things. They are mainly useful for Twitter and even though Facebook have introduced the feature, they are not as popular. However, other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram have adopted the hashtag to increase conversation on their platforms.
Hashtags can help you to keep up with a trend, as well as start your own for a campaign or brand image. Hashtags help to build a campaign and have recently been most popular with charities aiming to build awareness and get people involved. We all, if not participated, then saw people throwing buckets of freezing cold water over their heads (#icebucketchallenge), or posted a no makeup selfie in support of Cancer Research (nomakeupselfie). Most recently we are being nominated to smear our lipstick (#smearforsmear) in support of cervical cancer.
Hashtags also work great for contests and are a place to send your customers if you want them to read up on a particular topic. Hashtags are a great tool to use to build engagement and interact with existing and potential customers. Be careful not to hashtag every word though, #its #annoying.
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