Social media is a leading industry tool to bring brand awareness to the forefront of markets.
Due to the nearly unlimited availability of content published daily online, your business’s reputation weighs more heavily than ever on your success.
In traditional marketing and advertising methods, the communication is a one-way street from company to customer. However, social media is a two-way communication medium for client relations. Because of this, your engagement can make or break your brand’s reputation.
One prime opportunity for major engagement in social media is the attendance of a convention or trade show. These occasions offer the perfect atmosphere for social promotion of your brand, and the brands of others in attendance.
Taking the time to visit an exhibitor’s booth is an important step, and one “share” or a “like” provides an ideal follow-up opportunity that could result in equal benefit for both participating parties.
The chance to take advantage of this free networking and marketing strategy lies just beyond the power button of your laptop or smartphone.
However, there are guidelines to success in this realm. Moving into social media is a long-term investment and effective use requires a conscious effort and commitment.
Unlike a website, where technically, you could set it up and leave it be (though you shouldn’t), social media requires consistent updating and monitoring to stay relevant and successfully engage your audience.
There’s nothing worse than researching a company on Facebook and finding that their last post was in 2012.
Once the commitment has been made, the next step is to focus on building an audience. When starting out on social media, everyone begins equally at a base of zero. From there, various tactics can help attract followers. Organically, self-promotion to friends, contacts and other known sources can help kick-start a new profile and spread the word.
Alternatively, you can utilize paid advertisements to place the profiles in front of your target demographic. While this can help build numbers, building a quality audience ultimately requires time and patience.
The following are four tips for social media engagement that every user should put into practice.
Quality vs. Quantity
While it is important to post regularly, less-frequent, quality content will always trump a handful of meaning-less posts. Posting useless information or links over and over, not earning engagement yet still expecting results is almost the definition of insanity.
Take the time to find a piece of content that provides benefits, insights and value to your readers. There is a huge difference in value in sharing a post and walking away, and sharing a post that sparks a conversation among your audience.
By publishing quality and engaging content, an appropriate audience will follow.
Share Your Brand And Others
While it technically is your page, no one wants to listen to “me, me, me” on a regular basis. Thinking of social media as a gathering will greatly benefit your engagement and strategy.
A healthy ratio for posting content is roughly 40 percent self-promotion (your products, services, events, news, etc.) and 60 percent interesting content from outside sources.
Think of this scenario—if you’re at a party and you’re talking with a person who is solely talking about themselves, how interested and invested in the conversation are you?
Listening Is Key
It’s not enough to just post content out there and leave it. Customers love social media because it gives them a voice, but what good is that voice if no one is listening?
Monitor your profiles and respond back to your followers. Take suggestions into consideration and give credit when something works.
Who knows? Your company’s next big idea could come from a complete stranger who follows you on Twitter.
When interacting with your followers or those you follow, personalize your responses. This enables you to create a closer bond between your brand and your followers.
Personalization expresses gratitude and makes your brand appear more authentic to those who interact with you. If you’re attending a trade show and stop by an exhibitor’s booth, reach out via social media to comment on their hospitality. Chances are the exhibitor will respond positively.
In the end, engaging your audience and building a community is what it’s all about. Too often, social media is treated as another marketing outlet and eventually left to dwindle.
Make a commitment, invest the time and foster your profiles. They are essentially the face of your brand and an extension of the brand personality, so be sure to nourish them. Engage your audience, listen to your followers and maintain your profiles for a social media presence that will lead to success.
Five Tips to Quality Engagement
1. Engage your followers by sharing interesting content. Post contests, questions, comments, provoking thoughts, etc.
2. Everyone likes a winner, so showcase where you and your fans are winning. This would provide positive encouraging content that everyone wants to see.
3. Integrate your social media with your website, encourage participation and reference new content from both.
4. Give away free stuff! Providing a free product or service to your loyal customers who follow you on social media is a great way to get feedback and keep them loyal.