Social media has exploded in the online business space in recent years, with even a quick online search for any business almost certainly returning at least one social media page, if not many more. This is with good reason though, as social media has enormous potential to drive traffic to your website or relevant landing pages, typically resulting in increased engagement which can lead to sales. While it’s easy to establish a basic social media presence, piloting these pages is another story and requires a delicate mix of art and science. How your social media is managed can be the difference between thriving consumer engagement and liking your own posts to gain popularity. So what’s the secret, and how can you reach the full potential of your social media and engage consumers in meaningful conversations about your brand? We’ve compiled a list of key strategies below that can help you achieve your goals for social media, creating more opportunities and ultimately more sales for your brand.
1. Be on the right platforms
To effectively engage your potential and existing consumers, you need to be where they are. Many businesses today are casting their social media presence too wide, believing the more platforms they are on the more engagement they will receive. There’s little point however in filling up a Facebook news feed if your target audience only engages with Twitter. A small amount of research into your target market could save you misdirecting copious amounts of valuable time and resources into unprofitable social media platforms. A far more effective strategy is first discovering where your potential consumers are and then exploiting these and other complementary platforms to their full potential. Using this strategy will mean less work for your social media team and more meaningful engagement with your consumers rather than superficial connections over a broad range of channels.
2. Make people want to know about you
It’s easy to throw around terms like meaningful engagement, but how does that actually happen? It’s far more than throwing together a Facebook post or tweet and hoping it catches fire. A great deal of strategy is needed and for the most part it doesn’t happen overnight. Engaging with customers means involving them and this where most socially media plans fall flat. You need to remember that you shouldn’t speak at your consumers; you should speak with them, or better still, let them speak for you. Posting photos of your customers or inviting your followers to submit their own allows them to become part of your brand. Offering prizes is likely to promote affection and is a great way to help your social media campaigns short and long term. When offering incentives however, be sure to offer these prizes for the right reasons, a customer sharing your post is far more valuable than a like and should be rewarded accordingly to encourage this more.
3. Be real and relatable
Optimally, one of the most desired outcomes for your social media presence is for your consumers to see your personality, that you are real people with ideas, values and experiences that they can relate to and join. It’s far more valuable to tell an engaging story about your company than constantly trying to push products and sales.
Even though your story is best told in your own words, writing for the web is a learned skill and if you aren’t confident in this or struggle to create an engaging narrative, you may want to enlist the help of a social media management team. Engaging a professional team to work alongside you can be invaluable as they are able to take your ideas and brand personality and develop them to deliver a strong, consistent, unified message to your consumers.
4. Deliver on your promises
There are a multitude of companies and organisations who claim to have the secret for unlocking exponential social media growth and solving all your online brand issues. Unfortunately there is no magic potion to tip on your keyboard that will bring your fingers to life, creating engaging content. It can take months or even years before you build a following that you can effectively monetise. If your current social media team doesn’t understand that, they could be holding you back. Your team should know and understand your brand values well enough to be able to translate them into consistent and engaging brand stories on your social media.
At its core, creating a loyal brand following online is a lot like creating a loyal brand following offline. You need to connect with your customers, encourage them to take action and give them a reason to do so. If your company has a quality product that it is proud to stand behind, there is no reason why you cannot increase your online following and enjoy the benefits of engaged, connected and loyal customers through social media.