I’ve had several clients ask me how they can get more social media engagement, especially on channels like Facebook where organic reach continues to decline. Many are frustrated with the lack of response they receive to content they spend time and energy on. Some are even considering keeping the majority of their posts lighthearted and entertaining – even if it conflicts with their brand message – just to get to some kind of activity.
First, keep in mind that we as a society are overwhelmed with content. It’s getting more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Second, 80% of social media users are “lurkers.” This means that the majority of people view the content but very few actually engage with those who post it.
Despite this, there are a few effective ways to boost engagement. Below are three ideas:
1. Use pictures. It’s well known that sites like Instagram and Pinterest are gaining traction. We crave the visual element. In fact, studies show that the majority of us are visual learners (rather than audio- and experience-based learners). Pictures are so important that some of my colleagues have decided to make it a goal in 2014 to hire staff photographers and designers.
Quick tip: I’ve found pictures to be very popular on LinkedIn because the channel is not yet saturated with photos like Facebook. I simply shared the picture you see below. To date, it’s received 68 likes, nine shares and five comments.
2. Humanize. I’ve said this countless times, but it’s worth repeating: Try to incorporate the human element whenever you can. Social media is about people – we connect with other people on a basic level. More so than a logo or brand image. We crave human interaction, which is why social media is so popular. Incorporate you and your team, and what’s going on in the business, whenever you can.
Below is an example of a photo posted by our client, The Victory Bank, in the middle of an ice storm. Not only was it a photo (point #1), it was a photo of team members. They had a cookout in the dead of winter and invited the community to join them. Indeed, it received a huge response!
Quick tip: Go behind-the-scenes especially with the people who interact with your customers and clients the most. Let them know what you’re doing behind the coffee counter, the project you’re working to complete for a client, or how you start your work day. Sharing is what it’s all about.
3. Synergize. The best way I’ve found to bridge the gap with engagement is synergy. That means social media should be incorporated into both your business operations and existing marketing outlets. Remember to include your social media sites on your website, brochures, and business cards. Your current customers should be aware of and invited to join you on the social media channels. Bottom line: the key to engagement is getting people who already know and care about your business to your social media sites. Without exception, this includes your current employees, staff, board and business partners, too.
Quick tip: If you have walk-in customers or if you have events in which you interact with clients and prospects, perhaps you can give them a social media card such as what I’ve created below:
Social media cards – just like a business card – offer a physical reminder to follow your sites because many people won’t remember by just mentioning it.
Can you see how all three of these tactics can work together? I encourage you to brainstorm ideas for engagement and get started today!