As event season slows for the summer, many professionals look to social media to engage with customers and prospects. Staying top of mind is critical. Stepping up the quality of your posts and the frequency of posting is smart, but how you’re engaging is more important. Let’s dig into a few keys to engaging more with social media because more isn’t always better.
- Don’t just post. Engage. While it can be overwhelming to reply to every comment on social media, professionals can plan a set time each day to reply to comments and shares. Dedicating even 15-30 minutes each day (depending on the size of your following) can make real inroads with engagement.
- Hashtags extend your reach. Upfront, think about the hashtags that are specific to your brand and how you want others to think of your business. Then, strategically use those hashtags in social media. This helps you not only reach followers who use or search your common hashtags, but also widens your reach to non-followers who are interested in the same topic.
- Focused advertising through social media allows you to reach more people for much less budget than traditional advertising. Boosting on Facebook and Instagram allows you to reach users with select interests. For instance, people who love Mexican cuisine, tacos and dining out are interests in Facebook that a Mexican restaurant could use to reach new customers. (We recommend setting the reach to 5 miles from the restaurant.) In Houston, a restaurant could reach thousands of people aligned with these interests for as little as $20 per day.
- Encourage followers to interact with your brand in a real-life way, not just on social media. While social media is fantastic for building a following, consumers (especially younger generations) are craving that personal interaction. Create ways for your followers to feel, taste or see your products in store/office/facility and encourage them to then post their own photos, while adding a hashtag tied to your brand. If your business is service-oriented, produce visuals that prospects can use to interact with your brand. Producing over-sized graphics that are ideal for selfies plays into the popularity of social media, while extending your brand to your followers’ friends.
- Personalize your feedback. Research shows that people respond favorably to hearing and seeing their name. It grabs people’s attention and makes them feel noticed. On social media, don’t just reply with a generic comment. Personalize the response by tagging the person and showing he/she matters to you.
- Where do you find industry inspiration? Share a peer’s post and mention what you admire about the post and about the person or organization. Not only does this foster good will, it also shows that you are aware of others in your industry and confident enough to share someone else’s content. Plus, when you tag the other person or organization, their followers will also see your name and since they’re interested in similar topics, they may be inclined to follow you.
Which of these efforts will you try first? Start with one effort and measure the results. Then, layer on another activity to see if you’re able to reach a different audience and more loyal followers. While there seems to be a lot to accomplish, using social media strategically can drive measurable results without a lot more effort.