Five Easy Methods to Social Media Engagement
As I meet with clients and discuss various activities associated with their marketing programs I find that many small and mid-size businesses don’t really understand how to create engagement. One really needs to engage their customers and fans to really be effective in developing brand loyalty and brand advocates. Invariably the tough question that always gets asked is “How do I do this engagement thing” Outlined below are 5 starting points for simple engagement.
1. Share Pictures / Video: I am a fan of pictures and video, as the old saying goes “a pictures is worth a 1000 words”. I contend that sharing a good picture or video will spur good discussion and may actually be worth a 1000 words. As I follow the likes of Chris Voss, it never ceases to amaze me how much response he gets from some of his pictures/videos that he posts or tweets. I contend that pictures or your life, business, customers, products, processes and I know you won’t believe this but even your mistakes make for great engagement and good topic of conversation. (Did you take your employees out to the ball game? Post the pictures, put a face with your company. Were you building something really cool in your shop this week? Share the pictures or video, be careful and maintain professionalism but you can let your hair down a little, people want to know that your a real person and real people run your company)
2. Ask the questions you really want to know: Engaging questions are always a good starting point. If you could put yourself in the skull of one of your customers what would you want to know? Well there is a really easy way to find out, make a list of those questions and then engage your customers until you learn all you want to learn. (e.g. What do you think of our new twisted rye bread? Have any of you tried our super duper piano tuning widget? What did you think? How easy was it to use? What would you do different)
3. Discuss your industry: If your on top of your game and I assume if your reading this you are. Then your keeping up with your industry or market segment. Your customers probably aren’t, if they were they would probably be your competitor and not your customer. So as you find that industry news, new product, potential changes in your industry, or critical trend, share it. You might be surprised how much you know about your industry that your customers don’t.
4. Share your secrets: Not all your secrets but every business has some little secrets that your close customers will find interesting and willing to engage with you about. Maybe it’s a new product thats coming out, sneak peaks are always great conversation tools. Maybe it’s news about an expansion, or new building or new location, all of which will create a buzz. Think about your secrets and which ones you can actually let go of and will help engage your crowd.
5. Engage on the simple things in life: I started out thinking that all my posts needed to be related to my business and what was going on in my business. The reality is that sooner or later your going to have to start recycling and you will have dry spells where you struggle to engage. It happens to the best of them, I can tell because they usually resort to tweeting or posting quotes from Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein. Thats ok, not my favorite but it keeps your name out there and can cause some interaction. Interestingly enough one of my most engaging posts ever was when I ask “What was your favorite childhood candy?” Over 100 comments followed and I learned about candy I had never heard of, great discussions were had about candy they don’t make anymore. The second best and most engaging posts I ever ask was “What was your favorite childhood television program?” Everyone can relate, they don’t have to be an expert on the topic, they all had one, and they were anxious to share.
This list could be seven, ten, twenty or thirty things but these five items will get you started and should provide a good strong basis for your Social Media engagement. Sure you will find some work better than others, some wording will work better than others. Keep trying different things and when you find things that work with our particular audience, give them more, they really are anxious to engage.