Social Media Engagement: Connect With Your Customers, Part 2.

The social media evolution in the past decade has been quite remarkable.

True fans can help build a business with minimal marketing. But even with the relative ease of creating engaged prospects and customers, social media marketing was once considered a Herculean task by marketers.

Some of the questions they ask are:

  • How receptive will cold prospects be?
  • How frequently should messages be sent? Daily? Weekly?
  • Who should send the social media messages? In-house employee or outsourced.

With all these queries and few concrete answers, little wonder that businesses shy away and look for other marketing channels to explore. The first mistake is attempting to find a one-size-fits-all solution. This isn’t possible, as every business is unique in its way. Therefore, individual marketing methods will differ.

Social media marketing inertia is further displayed in a 2015 survey of SMBs, that showed that 25% of them still don’t use social media as part of their marketing effort. Many SMEs blame a lack of knowledge and time for not using social media. These and other marketing hurdles can also be addressed through the use of tools and automation.

For example, it’s quite easy to find out what people are saying about your brand on social media. As people experience your brand in-the-moment, they will definitely be sharing their opinions on social media. ‘Listening in’ can help you gauge customer attitudes.

To drive more engagement on social media, these tips and free tools will help get the ball rolling:

New to this?

Start finding and engaging by tapping into the authority of online influencers. These individuals and their posts are relevant to your target audience; they have wide reach i.e. number of followers and their messages cause a ripple effect in the industry. This can build strategic business relationships; while showing your target audience that you are relevant.

An inexpensive two-step method of amassing these influencers is to first find users with high Klout Scores. Klout is a website that aggregates social media analytics, (up to 400 separate factors) and ranks the social media influence of its users.

By placing the influencers identified on a Twitter list, you can monitor them and reweet, reply, state an opinion etc.

Analyse your competitors.

Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? If you want to be where your competition is, you need to figure out what is working for them. Start by analysing their social media campaign to see what platforms they are active on, the frequency of messaging, the type of messages, even to find out what people are saying about them.

Knowing these and learning what has worked and what hasn’t, can all help you formulate a better plan. On Twitter, Followerwonk, and Tweepi can help you dig deeper by comparing your profile to your competitors or industry leaders.

Listening In.

To engage with prospects on social media you have to show interest in them. Do this by listening for their conversations about your brand, a topic you blogged about or any areas of interest. By listening and replying when appropriate, you can also segment followers and craft different responses.
It can also help with managing negative press.

For many B2C customers, social listening helps them prepare for shifts in market behaviours and demands. Paid tools like Netbase and Hootsuite can offer insights into customer emotions, attitudes, and purchasing behaviour. A free but slightly more clunky option is Google Alerts; which you can use to listen for any mention of your brand name across the Internet.

Create Relatable Content.

One way to engage customers is to take advantage of popular hash tags on social media. You can use tags like #TBT to showcase an older design of your product. You can ask your followers for content ideas. This way, they are telling you what they need and you simply fulfil their request. Getting customers to contribute content ideas goes back to the idea of “social” media. Everyone has an opinion and people love to share, so its a win for everyone.

If you still have a relatively small following and polling them isn’t possible, use the free version of BuzzSumo to find hot topics in your industry. Gauge interest by the number of comments, shares, and Facebook likes that the article receives.

If your brand can, host a contest or two. Everyone like s a freebie; just make the rules clear and the process transparent. You can encourage fans to share the contest to increase their chance of winning. Be sure to notify them as the contest progresses and after the contest, thank winners on the social media platform.

Engaging customers on social media is one of the best marketing methods available. You can quickly create brand advocates for your business. By leveraging them, you can tap into their audiences and their audience’s network too. All these relationships can drive for more traffic back to your product or offering.

Search and More can help find, nurture, and leverage brand influencers and advocates alike. If your business needs a social media boost, call us today.

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