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How many times have you felt important when that notification tone buzzes on your phone or when the little red digit on the Facebook icon is suddenly increasing its count?
Getting social media notifications has become a big part in making sure that your business matters to your audience. It’s a testament that people are actually reading your posts and they are interested in what you are offering. But, these attentions cannot be just a one way street. You have to reciprocate that attention and respond to these interactions.
Little did most people know, engaging with your followers through different social media platforms is extremely time consuming and it requires a lot of effort. It may take a whole day to manage all the responses and comments. So, if you are handling a small business and you are your own social media manager, you don’t want to be spending your entire day replying to these conversations.
Aside from utilizing some of the proven social media engagement tools that measures your productivity and popularity in the social media scene, what are other factors that should you consider to make sure that you are making a dent to your followers?
Here are some pointers that you can consider to continuously develop your social media presence, drive the target market, and consequently turn your attentions to conversions.
Make your replies more creative (and it should sound human)
You do know that people are already expecting that companies utilize automated responses, right? For some reason, most users are already aware that businesses have machine-operated social media accounts. They know that your posts are scheduled and you use canned responses. But, it’s not really the case all the time. There are some companies who still have actual humans managing their social media networks.
Regardless, though, users are still looking for an authentic reply that sounds human. So, how do you make your audience feel that they matter? Create engaging responses. It’s good a start if you are thanking your customers whenever they comment or applaud your posts online. But these common responses will not trigger their enthusiasm.
You can start with a question. Asking more information about their comment or post is a good conversations starter. You can also make use of emojis and stickers on your replies. It’s not informal. It’s a way of showing your emotions. And what attracts more than pictures and GIFs, right? You can also reply with images to make it more original. Throw in some videos too! It feels more engaging. It’s time to beef up your GIFs, videos, and photo library. It can come in handy on all types of conversations.
Make sure you are on your target audience’s schedule
It may be acceptable to post anytime you want for your personal accounts. But if you are trying to post for your business, you may want to consider the schedule of your target audience. Yes, there is such a thing. Every age group in every profile has a schedule as to when are they going to be online and when do they usually engage on their news feeds. It’s important to strategically schedule your posts when your target users are online to make sure that they will see what you want them to see.
Of course, there’s another point that you have to look into – responding to comments and messages. Surely, you can create an automated response on Facebook so the users will see that you acknowledged their message. But the usual, “We received your message and we are currently reviewing it. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can,” type of message is not really convincing. Make sure that when you reply to an interaction, it will not take more than 15 minutes and it has to be something meaty. It may really require more time and effort but it will really create a positive impact to your followers. Acknowledge them appropriately and provide a solution to their problems. Respond to them the way you want your friends to respond to you.
Make sure you promote your brand enthusiasts (doesn’t have to be just celebrities)
It’s really overwhelming when a celebrity admires your brand and post it on their social media accounts, especially if you did not pay them to do so. But of course, they are not your only customers. It’s also good for the business if you will give attention to your “commoner” enthusiasts. If someone posted your products or services online – say they are at your store or they brag about their latest buy – you can retweet or share their post and thank them for supporting your business.
You can also ask your customers to mention your business name or include a hashtag on their posts. It will also help to have a staple branded hashtag for your brand so people would immediately know what to tag whenever they use or purchase your product. It can also help in tracking what people has to say about you. Remember, people only flag brands on two occasions – either the experience is positive or it’s extremely negative. You can use either of it to your advantage.
Make an effort to choose the right network
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t really need to be active on all social media platforms. Part of your market study should include information as to which platform does your target audience usually lurks on. If most of your customers are on Facebook, then you should put more attention on your Facebook account. If your market strategy is to showcase photographs for travel and fashion, then you should invest your time creating contents for your Instagram account. If you have countless news and updates, and you would want to interact more directly with your users, then you have to make sure that your Twitter account has many followers. You have to make sure that your chosen platform aligns with your brand’s image and goals. Otherwise, you won’t really make too much of an impact.
It’s not that you shouldn’t have other social media accounts apart from what your target market is using. But, it’s a matter of choosing which one should you put more effort and attention. Don’t get us wrong. You still need to be omnipresent, you just have to have a priority. You can start on reviewing your customer demographics and cross reference it to all the social media platforms available online (yes, there’s more than the big three of social media, trust us).
Make sure that if you’re on board a current trend, you ride your own train
It’s really tempting to ride on the current trend, especially if almost everyone is talking about it. If all brands are on the hype about a certain current event, you can’t help but give in to your itching marketing tactic and dig into the pool of a viral issue. But, you have to be careful on choosing what to post about. Surely, every opinion matters. But as a business, you have to keep it professional. How do you do it? Tweak the viral issue to make it relatable to your brand. You have to make sure that you keep consistency on your topics and you stick on promoting your brand.
Say, for example, there’s an ongoing buildup on Marvel or DC these days, right? You don’t just post or promote their movies and TV series. You have to conceptualize for topics relating your brand to these movies or its actors. That way, it’s more creative and more engaging. People love metaphors. People are fascinated with correlating two impossibly related subjects. They dig that.
Make sure you are active all the time (and not just on “Active” status)
It’s a known fact that the green, round icon is really important. It has become the “welcome, we are open” sign on this technology-inclined era. But what kills this idea is when being Active is nothing but a status. You can log in to your social media accounts all day, do nothing, and can still be marked as Active. You can sign in without engaging but can still be marked as Active. Well, that’s a bad habit.
Being online doesn’t end with checking your notifications and logging in all the time. Make an effort to post from time to time and make extra work in interacting with your customers. Schedule regular posting and make it frequent. In this rapidly increasing social media business, it’s a big mistake to miss a day of engaging with your users. Be there by actually being there, not just making people think that you are there.
It’s time to socialize and make a commitment
Apart from search engine optimization and search engine marketing, there’s more that you can do to promote your business online. You can hire a social media manager and make use of the available social media management tools, or you can have a team of experts from your local SEO agency help you strategize.
Honestly, it’s easy to put up an account, curate valuable contents, and grow the number of your followers. But, it’s difficult to monitor if your presence is actually making a difference. The social media is created to connect with other people. It can do more than what other marketing and advertising platforms can. It gives you the ability to interact with your audience in real time and immediately act on their feedback. Make use of it. Make your social media strategy more engaging. Commitment and effort are the key.