What if you wrote a blog post and no one read it? Or posted a cool photo and no one saw it? Or published a tweet and no one engaged with it?
Not getting any love online can be frustrating, especially if you've spent a great deal of time on a given piece of content. But fear not. There are simple and practical ways to boost social engagement. Here are just a few:
Automatically share on social networks. Tools like AddThis and ShareThis allow you to instantly share a post on dozens upon dozens of social networks instantly. It's a huge time-saver and it will greatly expand your reach. However, it should be noted that auto posting should not make up your entire strategy.
Remember your buyer persona. Your social network is a diverse collection of unique individuals. Different people have different interests, behaviors, and needs. Your posts should reflect that. A great way to engage users is to focus your message on a particular buyer persona.
For example, let's say you're a solar panel company. A majority of your clients are family homeowners. Explicitly dial up their economic concerns: "Looking to save money on your summer heating bills? Here's how a residential panels can cut your bills by 25%." Directly speaking to their personality and concerns will make for a more powerful message.
Ask questions. Appealing to a reader's unique situation is only half the battle of course. Sure, you've got them reading, but now you need to engage them. Don't be shy about asking questions. For example, using the solar panel company example from above,
- "The typical family can save $330 a year on summer heating bills - what will you do with that money?"
- "We all love to save money, but what are other reasons you installed solar panels?"
- "What surprised you most about your home solar panels - the installation, the cost savings?"
Circumvent objections. Your sales team, in particular, knows why prospects may be reluctant to purchase a product. Oftentimes the reasons are either price point or lack of value. Be upfront about these issues when you ask a question to your audience: "What's keeping you from purchasing a new fuel-efficient vehicle?" If you get responses, then the door is open for a dialogue whereby you can allay these concerns.
Ask for people to "Share" and "Retweet". You'd like to think people will share stuff out of the kindness of their hearts. Some do. Others, however, need to be prodded. So ask them. In fact, do a little experiment: track the shares and retweets of social media content where you asked versus those where you didn't ask. You'll likely find that a gentle nudge goes a long way.
Listen and respond. Within your social networks, you'll inevitably have a subset of users with a disproportionately large influence. They may be happy customers, friendly small businesses, or industry experts. Track their posts and comment accordingly. Be proactive. Share your opinions and others will follow suit.
Get non-commercial (and maybe even controversial). Make sure to periodically post or share social media content with a non-commercial element, like something intriguing a local charity is doing or a funny picture or video. If you're feeling especially bold, you may consider posting content that may, to some, come across as controversial. Whatver you post, make sure it is still in line with your brand identity.
Other miscellaneous tips:
- Publishing polls.
- Guest bloggers.
- Embracing video.
- Considering a paid content marketing service provider.
Ultimately, social media engagement is a marathon, not a sprint. If certain posts under-perform, keep the big picture in mind: by methodically adopting the aforementioned strategies, over time, you'll inevitably generate more social media engagement while reaching more prospects and leads.
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