In today’s world, people go online to feel connected with individuals and brands. In most industries, a strong social media presence can heavily impact a brand’s customer loyalty, awareness, and sentiment. Brands often have to get past the initial barrier to social media engagement: intimidation. Although it may seem scary to interact with consumers in the public eye, it’s a crucial step that your consumers not only love—but often expect.
Did you know that 68% of consumers expect to interact with their brands on social media? With authenticity becoming the forefront of what individuals want from their social media sites, it makes sense that those wants are encompassing what they expect to see from their brands on social media. Consumers expect to feel as if they are in a relationship with their favorite brand, and they aren’t wanting a one-sided one. Whether it is a tag, comment, retweet, share, or even something as simple as a like, these types of interactions are extremely meaningful throughout your brand’s relationship with a consumer.
What does that mean for businesses? Engagement is key for every social media strategy. Don’t fall into the trap of customer engagement becoming an afterthought while working toward building, maintaining, and growing your brand on social media. Organic content and engagement is basically free advertising, after all. With 78% of consumers saying they are more willing to buy from a brand based on a positive interaction on social media, you know what you’ve got to do. Get engaging and keep it positive.
How should you be engaging with your audience? Engagement strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all, but a good rule of thumb is to be responsive and hold your brand’s tone of voice. If your consumers are sending you messages, your brand should be responding to those messages. An efficient response creates an environment where the consumer feels seen which opens up the door for them to engage more frequently because they feel like they won’t be “ghosted”. If consumers are commenting on your content, be sure to comment back or like their comments. If people are tweeting about your brand and your product(s), like it or retweet it. Meet your consumers halfway. If they are taking the time to engage with your brand, you should be doing the same. You won’t regret it.
How often should you be engaging with your audience? How often you should be engaging with your audience depends on how often you are engaged with as well as how often you are posting content. The more engaged your audience is, the more time you will need to spend engaging back. Usually, an increase or decrease in content shared will affect your audience’s engagement. Be sure to continually update your engagement strategy regularly based on what you are seeing take place on your social channels weekly, monthly, and quarterly. This will help you to adjust accordingly to certain trends, insights, events, or virality of posts.
What shouldn’t I be doing when engaging with my audience? One major “no” when it comes to engaging with your audience is handling negative complaints or comments publicly. You should always be responsive, but steer the conversation to a private conversation whether that is through a DM or an email. This will allow you to de-escalate the situation in the public eye and show your audience that you care about the individuals that are reaching out to your brand. The situation can be handled more in-depth in the private conversation. However, treat every private conversation as public. A consumer with a social media presence has more power than you may think. Give them something positive to talk about.
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