How to increase your social media engagement
How to get your audience talking?
Everything you read about marketing today, is about engaging your customers. But what does that really mean?
Engaging means capturing someone’s attention – connecting – and having a conversation. Not easy to do on the internet! Especially when there are many other sites/voices/facebook pages vying for the same attention at the same time.
That doesn’t mean it is impossible – it just means you have to try harder!
The thing is, your customers want to talk to you. They want to know what you think, and most importantly they want to believe that you care what they think.
It’s not as hard as you may think.
#1 Express an opinion about industry news
Do you want to build authority within your industry or niche? One of the best ways to do that AND to start a conversation with your followers is to express an opinion – particularly if it is new or controversial. (Of course you should only do this if you can back up your opinion).
A good way to get started with this tactic is to follow relevant publishers and influencers in your industry. When you see them post a piece of news that is relevant to your followers, read or watch the article and figure out what you can add to the conversation. Then share it – and make sure to include a call to action that encourages your followers to chime in with their opinion.
#2 Ask for Stories and Experiences
Everybody has a story to tell – and when you are speaking to an audience who has something in common with you, then it is easy to think of a topic that inspires people to share their stories.
The key here is to share your own story and then ask your followers to share their best stories with you. For example, say you own a travel agency. You might tell a story of a trip you booked for yourself before you were a travel agent and how it went wrong. Then you could ask your followers for their travel stories.
The benefit of this type of sharing is that it provides you with an opportunity to respond, express sympathy or amazement and build a bond with potential customers online.
#3 Ask for advice and recommendations.
People might love to tell stories, but what else do they like?🤔
Giving advice and making recommendations!
And asking them for recommendations is a great way to get them talking.
So, what kind of recommendations should you ask for? Ideally they should be relevant to your product or service. For example, I’m in the marketing and creative industry; I might ask:
What are your favourite marketing podcasts?
Who are the best people you follow on Facebook or LinkedIn?
Which marketing technique has worked best for you recently?
What marketing apps would you recommend?
You get the idea. They key is not to stray too far from your brand or product. Instead keep a tight focus and encourage your audience to share their experiences with you and each other.
#4 Promote Your Events and Your Community
Are you appearing at a local charity event or street fair? Sharing your involvement is a perfect way to remind people that you stand for something other than making money! And it underlines your involvement in your community and your industry.
Even if you are not appearing at an event, there’s a benefit to letting your followers know what’s going on in your community. Giving a shout out to other businesses or to local charities can help you build trust and earn the admiration of your followers. You can encourage conversation by asking questions such as:
👉Will you be attending the May morning celebrations?
👉What was the last community event you attended?
#5 Ask about DIY projects
Whatever industry or niche you are in, the chances are good that your followers have some DIY experiences that are relevant. Asking them about them is a great way to learn about potential customers and build a warm rapport with them by responding to what they share.
Ideally a DIY project should be something that uses (or could use) your products. However, it doesn’t have to be. The key is to find a way to make what you post relevant to your brand – and then stand back and let your followers do the rest.
#6 Ask open questions
Asking questions is one of the best ways to get your followers talking. It’s epecailly helpful if you can get them talking in a way that helps you to learn more about them – because that’s information you can use to create future content.
For example if you are targeting small business owners you could ask questions like:
- What’s your biggest challenge as a business owner?
- What problem do you wish someone would solve for you?
- What product or service has helped you most?
The answers to these questions can help you write blog posts, create a social media strategy, or even develop new products that are ideal for your target audience.
#7 Ask for testimonials
You already know that reviews and testimonials are hugely important in the world of marketing. What better way to get some new testimonials to share on your site than to ask your customers to provide them on social media?
Not only will asking for opinions help you get some positive testimonials, it may also help you discover potential issues and nip them in the bud before they become big problems. You should be prepared for some surprises – but if you approach the result with the right mindset, this technique can help you learn a lot about your customers.
Look who’s talking…
The bottom line is that your audience wants to talk to you. They don’t read your blog or follow you on social media because they’re looking for a lecture. They key is to give them the encouragement they need to share their thoughts, experiences and opinions with you – and then to stand back and listen to what they say.