Growing and Engaging an Audience
The goal of social media marketing is to grow an audience that can then be engaged. The potential engagement through social media far exceeds any opportunity that has come before. Never before has it been so easy to capture an audience based on not only what they need or want but by how they feel and what they support.
Engaging with an audience is a critical step in modern marketing because that is how conversions are increased, brand awareness is amplified, and customers stay satisfied. Humanize the brand, and the benefits will reach into every aspect of profit and sales.
1. Listen to your online community and act on those interactions
Over the years, communications have changed. In the past, if you wanted to connect with a business, then you had to call them. More often than not, you had to leave a message and hope they would call you back.
Nowadays, correspondence happens in an instant, and end users demand immediate answers. The days of waiting for a call back are over. Giving consumers an amazing experience starts with great communication. That’s why I list this as priority 1. When your online community feels heard, they are more likely to support your business and become loyal customers and social media ambassadors – vision catchers and vision casters.
2. Offer contests that will engage your followers
Contests and giveaways are both great tools to get new end users, and they help to keep consumers engaged.
Here are some of the most popular contests:
- Comment to win
- Caption contest
- Fill-in-the-blank contest
- Photo contest
- Multiple-choice contest
3. Include a visual with every post
Visuals such as pictures and graphics can help social media posts, especially if they are colorful and eye-catching. Most of the time, a picture will draw in a reader quicker than a post with ALL CAPS or “Must Read Now” at the top. Content with relevant images or graphics catches many more viewers, particularly when compared to text-based content
4. Share more video
Pictures and graphics are great, but a video is even better. Videos are the most engaging medium on social media platforms. So, it’s a good idea to start incorporating videos into your posts. It is recommended to upload your video directly to the social media platform rather than uploading to an outside platform (YouTube/Vimeo). Your video auto-plays when people are scrolling through your feed.
Video engagement can lead to tons of views. Which, if handled well, could lead to potential sales. More views also mean more exposure for your brand.
5. Change your profile photos and cover photos regularly
Profile photos, cover photos, and banners should be some of the best and most viewed photos on your social media pages. These are visual tools that show your work and who you are as a business.
Some business owners think that a great logo is good enough, but that just isn’t the case. Even the best logo won’t do as well as fresh content with pictures that promote your business and what you’ve accomplished.
Change your Facebook cover photo about once a month and add a great caption. On Twitter, use the profile pic and banner to showcase your work. Try to personalize every single post with a visual image that could almost speak for itself. However, always consider brand consistency first and foremost.
6. Make people WANT to follow you
Giving your followers a compelling reason to follow you can seem tricky, but it isn’t that challenging. When you give your followers a meaningful reason to follow you, they will engage more. On Facebook, try posting long and detailed success stories like a big job that was completed on time and under budget. Twitter, on the other hand, is more about quick, punchy, less-detailed information.
Formulate a social media marketing strategy that will make people want to follow your pages. Consider their pain points, objectives, and goals. Make sure it’s less about you, and focus on their needs.
Over the last few years, hashtags have become increasingly popular because they focus on a particular topic or statement. Using hashtags, which is the # sign and a topic such as #SearchHustle, will help end users find you.
8. Encourage Tagging
Encouraging your followers to tag others in a post is just another way to get the word out about your company, brand, product, or service. This is an effective strategy to engage followers and find new followers that might not have otherwise seen your posts. When your followers tag their friends, it expands your reach online.
9. Use humor to entertain and engage
Businesses that show a bit of humor, especially when it is self-deprecating, can lead to the broadening of your reach. However, be mindful of the fact that not everyone has the same sense of humor, and posting something that is funny but controversial can lead to a negative response from followers and non-followers alike.
Always make sure the humorous post makes sense for what you are trying to convey. Again, knowing your audience is crucial. Be careful not to post things that are out of the scope of your business. Posting funny puppy memes might be humorous, but it could send the wrong message or confuse followers.
Always consider your target audience, and make appropriate posts within the scope of your business. For instance, if you are a law firm, making content and jokes that are industry-specific or related to your role or your customers is fine. However, posting funny memes that are unrelated could make your business appear unprofessional. So, always keep your target audience in mind.
10. Consider paid social media
It’s not considered cheating if you use paid social advertisements to grow your audience and gain more exposure. However, do not buy followers and fans because it will just cause more problems in the long run. There is a big difference between paid advertisements and buying followers. This can totally bog down your social media pages with robot profiles that aren’t useful at all.
Investing a little bit of money into growing your business through paid social advertisements can help you gain followers and get your brand out to the masses. Most social media platforms have paid advertisement strategies for businesses that are worth exploring, particularly when you consider the potential granularity of reach in terms of audience profiles and social media targeting capabilities.