You can’t just be on social, throwing up post after post. You have to get involved and take active steps towards driving social media engagement.
Social media is not like “Field of Dreams” — just because you build it, doesn’t mean people will come. Yes, you need to be sharing and posting great content that is interesting and valuable to your audience, but you also have to talk to them. It’s called social media, after all. It’s a two-way street. Start conversations, ask questions, participate in discussions — actually engage with your audience. Show that there are real humans behind your brand.
Easier said than done, right? Driving social media engagement can be difficult. But there are ways you can create content that will naturally lead people to want to respond and react. Then when they do, it’s on you to jump in and keep them engaged.
Here are three of our favorite tips for driving social media engagement.
3 Tips for Driving Social Media Engagement
1. Solve Their Problems
People don’t just use social media to talk about themselves. They also use it for informational purposes. What does your audience care about? What are the most common questions your employees hear out in the field? What do people love about your company/niche/industry? What do they complain about the most?
The answers to those questions are great fodder for content that will drive social media engagement. Not only do you want to answer questions about your brand, products, and services, you also want to address your industry as a whole. Position your social media channels as information hubs. If someone wants to know something about your industry, they should be able to come to you and find readily-available content on that topic. And if they can’t, they should know that they can ask, and you’ll quickly respond with an answer.
Whether it’s through blogs, eBooks, infographics, or a simple response, be there to deliver information and help your audience solve problems. Make their lives easier. Everyone is always looking for life hacks and how-to advice. If your social channels regularly deliver that type of content, you’ll be well on your way to driving social media engagement.
2. Play to Their Emotions
Keeping with the baseball movie references, there IS crying in content. Again, focus on what you do best and how you can alleviate your audience’s pain points, but there is a place for social posts that play to your audience’s emotions. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re an animal lover, you will never again forget the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA ad — even if you’ve never watched it all the way through.
Bottom line, people react to — and share — content that resonates with them. Does something really frustrate your customers (I can never open these cans!)? Play to that frustration and show them a better way (Try a different angle, use your wrists more, and oh, by the way, check out our new revolutionary can opener). You’re not just solving problems, you’re making life better (and happier).
Driving social media engagement with emotions can apply to everything. Make people laugh with a fun video or meme. Using humor can be tricky, but you know your audience. Whether it’s a witty quip or an over-the-top video, craft posts that will entertain, not offend, your followers. Remember, you don’t have to be the next Jerry Seinfeld, you just need to make your niche laugh.
If humor won’t work for your audience, try playing to their intelligence. Make them think about something. Challenge them to think outside the box. Play devil’s advocate. If you have to be buttoned-up, use that to your advantage and give people avenues to showcase their professionalism. If you can be a little more playful, create content to inspire. Share success stories or relevant inspirational quotes. Show people how they can do better and be better — and how you can help them achieve their goals.
3. Keep it Conversational
Let’s say it once more, this is SOCIAL media. Solving problems, making people laugh or inspiring them is great, but you also must interact. Respond to comments and ask follow-up questions. Survey your audience or post polls. Bring up topics and ask for feedback. Any kind of open-ended content you can put out there will not only get your audience talking, it will also give you ideas for future blogs or content pieces.
This is your party. It’s up to you to break the ice. If you can’t think of a compelling question to ask, start a discussion on a recent piece of industry news. Spark a debate. Posit scenarios and see what people would do if they were in that situation. Get people talking about themselves and how they live and work (How do you use this? What do you do to get around that? What are your go-to resources for this?). Keep the conversation going and always have someone available to monitor your channels and chime in. And if you can get more people involved (i.e. employees join the conversation, rather than just the page posting responses), you’ll have a true community that’s consistently driving social media engagement.