Recently, we discussed why a social media content strategy is essential for your business, even if it doesn’t traditionally convert into sales. Today, we want to expand this idea.
Now that you’ve created a social media content strategy, let’s discuss the crucial next step: social media engagement.
It’s not enough to just post relevant content to your social media channels. It doesn’t do much for the social part of social media. With content, you’re hitting the media part of it, which is only half of the puzzle. Now, you want to ensure you’re also incorporating a strategy for the engagement part of social media. Because, let’s face it, no one wants to have a one-sided conversation.
Let’s dive into some of the many reasons why you need to prioritize social media engagement for your social media strategy.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is what happens after content is posted. It helps to measure how people interact and engage with your social media channels and content. “Social media engagement” is a very general term that encompasses many different actions.
These can include:
- Direct Messages
Because of how social media is structured today, it’s changed how communication works between businesses and consumers. Rather than traditional marketing, which was one-sided, social media has essentially created a public forum where communication is a two-way street, enabling customers to engage with businesses in new and exciting ways.
When you don’t have this piece in your social media strategy, your business could be left in the dust behind all the brands prioritizing consistent and meaningful content.
Why It Matters
In 2022, the average daily social media usage worldwide amounted to 147 minutes spent on social media per day. That’s almost 3 hours a day your business could be connecting and engaging with people. And your posts, retweets, and videos are definitely helping your engagement, but you can’t stop there. If you’re not actively engaging on social media, you’re missing out on that opportunity.
People are not on social media to have one-way experiences. Someone can browse social media the same way they can browse through a book or newspaper, but that’s not what is drawing people to spend more and more time on social platforms, is it?
They’re on it to seek out connections with both people and brands. This puts your business in the unique position to engage in meaningful conversations and turn those conversations into followers and customers. Wouldn’t you want that for your business?
So, why is it so important? Well, in short, because social media platforms say so. As much as it’s possible to control many elements of your social channels, at the end of the day, the algorithms have the final say, and the more active you are on your platforms as a whole – posting, commenting, liking, etc. – the more the algorithms boost your brand and push it out to the people you want to be engaging with.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a consistent drop in organic reach across every social media platform. This, in part, is due to platforms like Facebook using “meaningful engagement” as a deciding factor as to what posts and accounts get prioritized on feeds. Facebook expects brands to create meaningful content and encourage conversations. And they’re not the only ones who expect that.
Your customers expect that, too.
How To Boost Your Social Media Engagement
We know it can feel overwhelming trying to manage engagement across multiple platforms. But we have a few tips to help organize your strategy and create more meaningful engagement and conversations with your audience.
1: Be Social
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s an important point to make. You probably wouldn’t go to an event or party, immediately launch into a grandiose speech, and then refuse to answer any questions.
We hate to break it to you, but if you aren’t engaging on social media, that’s essentially what your channels look and feel like.
To be social, you need to actually engage and socialize. And this means more than just replying to the comments and questions on your pages. You have to engage with other creators, brands, and individuals. Social media is a platform where your pages are all about you or your business, but when you are trying to build a community of followers, you also have to care about what they care about.
Go back to that party example for a moment. We’ve all been to a gathering where that one person continues to railroad other conversations to talk about themselves. When this happens, the experience for the group is greatly affected.
The same is true online. If you are popping into threads and comment sections just to offer unsolicited marketing plugs for your products and services, you aren’t the person at the party that people want to be around.
But by meeting your prospects where they are engaging most heavily on social media channels, you can build relationships and brand rapport.
2: Offer Customer Service On Social Channels
Just as much as people expect brands to engage with them, they also expect to get support directly on social media. On a global scale, 54% of people had a more favorable view of brands that responded to customer service questions or complaints on social media.
Social media is now the number one choice for customer support. People look for and love seeing interactions between brands and real people. In fact, businesses that answer complaints on social media can increase customer advocacy and trust by as much as 25%.
And conversely, if your brand is inconsistent about customer service issues and is unwilling or unable to answer requests through social media, you will turn away many potential leads and prospects.
3: Be Proactive More Than Reactive
As much as communication is an art form, it can also be seen as a sport. Just like a tennis match or volleyball game, you need to be “volleying” attention and questions back and forth.
That give-and-take approach is essential to put into practice by having both a proactive and reactive approach to engagement.
Proactive: You’re sparking conversations with people, whether they’ve been directly talking about you or not.
Reactive: You’re answering direct messages, mentions, comments, and tags.
4: Be Quick With Your Responses
We live in a world of instant gratification and speedy internet, so it’s important to take that approach as much as possible and be fast and efficient with your responses. Your responsiveness to your audience’s questions and your willingness to help them will not go unnoticed. You’ll often be rewarded with further loyalty and trust.
5: Be Human
Nothing is worse than when someone tries to engage with a business, only to be faced with a bot and never actually connect with a real person. The same concept goes for how businesses engage with consumers on social media.
More and more consumers want businesses to show their human side. This could look like personal sign-offs, having a laidback tone, apologizing if you missed the mark, and looking for genuine feedback from your customers.
Beyond those, there are endless ways to get more human and personal with your engagement:
- Start conversations rather than only responding to them
- Acknowledge the good and back and answer questions honestly
- Respond to people with humor or warmth
- Show the people behind the brand by highlighting photos or videos of your team(s)
Social media is constantly changing, but one thing that never changes is people’s desire to connect. At the heart of human beings is our desire and ability to create intricate and meaningful relationships. Therefore, businesses should prioritize engaging in those conversations and connections to help boost their brand and increase customer trust and loyalty.