You’ve probably heard about social media engagement, but are YOU really engaging with your customers and potential customers on social media?
So – you’re out there on your favorite one or two social media platforms, hard at work posting, posting, posting every day, and… Nothing. Crickets.
What’s wrong? Why aren’t you seeing any of the social media success that you see others getting?
Social media success is all about social media ENGAGEMENT!
You need to interact a great deal with your audience and get them to interact with each other. This means sharing, liking, commenting, mentioning, messaging, and more.
If you can accomplish successfully facilitating this interaction, your social media efforts will pay off and you’ll reach your business goals.
A great deal goes into successful social media engagement, but here are the 5 keys to success.
Key 1: Optimize Your Profile Page
The first step to better social media engagement is to work on your profile page. You need to create a page that’s conducive to engagement. In addition to the content you share and the interactions you have with your audience, your profile itself will play a major role.
First, your profile should recognizably be you. At a glance, a visitor should understand clearly who you are and what your business does. Make it glaringly obvious. Use your real name and a real picture of you. For best results, include a picture of your smiling face that is clear and taken at a close enough distance for clarity, but not too close.
Your profile will have a bio that allows you to give more details. While the basics of your profile will give an at-a-glance big picture view, this part of your profile will allow you to explain more. Focus on explaining not only what you do but how what you do benefits others.
A good way to write your bio is to choose just a few important facts to highlight for your audience. Start off with what you do and how it benefits others. Then, cover your three or so greatest achievements or things that make you unique. Try to remember what good things customers or clients have said about you, and emphasize them here. You want to sell yourself through this bio, but also keep it as factual and relevant as possible.
Be creative and original with your profile page. It should serve the purpose of telling what you do, but it should also stand out from other similar pages. Show your unique personality.
A great way to make your profile more unique is to look at other profiles to get ideas on how you can set yourself apart. Try to find something no one else is saying or doing that is appropriate to your profile.
Key 2: Focus on Your Audience
Always keep all of your social media activity focused on your audience, not on yourself.
Too many businesses, feeling that their social media presence is about their company, fail to engage their audiences because they talk about themselves exclusively. Yes, your social media presence is about you; but it should be framed in such a way that it speaks to your audience.
One way to do this is to always focus on the benefits you offer others. We mentioned doing this in your profile, but it should be done as much as possible in your content and interactions as well.
For example, rather than saying, “I’m a website designer,” say, “I take the headache out of web design for small businesses.” Rather than telling your audience the features or technical specs of your product, explain how each feature saves them time, money, or hassle.
You also focus on your audience by engaging with them to understand them better. You can do things like:
- Ask questions about your audience’s lives
- Ask for your audience members’ opinions
- Put a call out for feedback on a product or idea
- Present a specific problem your audience may face and ask for ideas on solving it
You can also share the content of others and praise them for it. Look for opportunities for sharing content, giving credit for ideas, and congratulating others on their achievements. If you do this, it creates a very real and authentic relationship which makes your audience much more likely to engage with you.
Another advantage of this is that it gets you valuable feedback that allows you to get to know your audience even better.
Key 3: Quality over Quantity
Naturally, the more you post and interact, the more likely you are to engage. But it’s NOT about how MUCH content you share.
Your posting efforts should focus on QUALITY over quantity. A well-done post that’s highly valuable to your audience is worth more than a hundred that don’t offer anything.
What exactly defines quality? For our purposes here, think of quality as the importance or relevance to your audience. “Good” content is content that your audience consumes, enjoys, and talks about. They will interact with content that they feel is relevant or helpful for them.
Generally speaking, quality content is content that’s helpful, solves problems, or answers questions. It’s the information your audience is looking for.
In addition to being helpful, good content can also simply be entertaining. Think of all of the funny videos or cute memes that have come across your social media feed. They certainly didn’t help anyone solve their problems, but they went viral and gained exposure for the brand behind them. They solved the “need” to laugh.
Remember also that “quality” isn’t synonymous with “large” or “substantial.” In fact, short, easy-to-digest content like a single sentence, a meme, or a Vine work great as well.
Finally, in hindsight, the quality of a piece of content should be measured by the results it achieves. You’ll have certain types of content that do well with your audience in terms of social media engagement. You should always take note of this and try to determine why the content was successful so that you can duplicate the success in the future by creating more content like it.
Key 4: Be Positive
Stay positive in all of your communications on social media. This is really important because one negative comment or statement could blow apart your entire brand image. Brands must be consistent to be successful.
Most people have a pretty good sense of what it means to “be positive,” but here are some guidelines to follow.
- Don’t say negative things about individuals or companies
- Focus on helping other people
- Emphasize positive emotions like delight and joy, not negative ones like fear or anger
- Think before you post. Is there any way that your wording could be taken the wrong way?
- Use emoticons, exclamation marks, and emojis to show that you’re smiling or laughing behind the computer screen
- Consider the effect that your writing could have on the people who read it
- Give credit and congratulations to others on their achievements
- Find positive role models and watch the way they interact with their audiences.
Key 5: Use Your Authentic Voice
It’s so, so important to be YOURSELF on social media.
Use Language That is Stiff, Overly Formal, or Textbook-like. The tone used on social media is casual and friendly, like a friend talking to a friend over email. You should adopt a tone like this.
Keep your formal speech for your website or articles. Avoid using a great deal of jargon or technical language.
Try to Be Someone You’re Not. Look at your social media activity and ask yourself, “Is this me?” Don’t try to act like a bigger success than you are.
Authenticity is important because this is how you create a true relationship with people online. For example, if you can admit to a failing of yours, others will see this in themselves and it will make you more relatable.
Be Overly Promotional. Naturally, you’re here to promote your business. But on social media, you have to do it in a roundabout way. If you sound like a used car salesman, this isn’t going to come across as “authentic” to anyone.
Instead of promoting, focus on helping people. Create a space on social media where people can get to know you. You want to be their go-to source of information, help, and entertainment. They will come and buy from you when they’re ready to.
If you’re unsure about how to be authentic and follow the above guidelines, spend some time looking at successful brands you like on social media. You’ll see that their posts are light in tone and friendly. You’ll see how their personalities come through. Most of all, you’ll notice that no one is bombarding you with endless promotional deals and offers.
Social Media Engagement Is A Learning Process
While these are five keys to better social media engagement and social media success, there’s much more to engaging your audience on social media. The tips above will at least give you a good start.
No one can become successful at social media engagement without learning about their target audience through trial and error.
This means that you have to get out there and post and interact, then see what works and what doesn’t!
Share with us in the ‘Comments’ below how YOU have been successful at getting engagement in your social media efforts. OR… if you’re having a problem with your engagement, tell us about that and we’ll help you come up with some ideas to improve!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”