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Social Media Tips: Making Conversation

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

October 27th 2015

The seas of social media can seem vast and difficult to navigate.  But you don’t have to have a big budget to create ripples – sometimes a short video shot on a mobile phone could be the pebble that increases reach.  As social media is all about engagement and connection, I wanted to focus in this post on the importance of communicating with your audience.

I recently came across the Facebook page of Argyll Holidays who have eight holiday parks in Argyll and I noted that they are doing three things that I believe are important for any Facebook business page, whether big or small: generating conversation, responding to customers and encouraging user generated content.

Encourage conversation

Argyll Holidays encourage their audience to engage in conversation in many of their posts – simply by asking questions.  When scrolling through their posts, I liked the chatty/friendly tone of their page (and their use of fun hashtags) as well as the interesting mix of posts – everything from pretty pictures and last minute offers to links to blog posts.  Other than asking questions on your posts, conversation with your audience can be prompted by sharing interesting articles, inspiring photographs, creative video content and competitions (see below).

Respond to your audience

I have been on many a Facebook page recently where comments are ignored completely, both on page posts and in the Visitor Posts section.  Argyll Holidays get a big thumbs up from me for responding to, and liking, comments as well as sharing photos posted by fans/customers.

It is important to acknowledge comments, both positive and negative – as with reviews, it is the way in which you respond to a negative comment that people are most interested in.  I’ve even noticed recently that Facebook now tells you how quickly the page usually responds to any messages.  I saw a comment on one Facebook page saying that they would not be returning to a hotel because a previous comment they had left about a negative experience had been totally ignored.

User generated content

Guests are taking photos of your accommodation, customers are taking photos of their meals, visitors are documenting their travels in your area… why not make the most of this user generated content?  As well as simply asking fans to upload photos from their stay and sharing any images posted, you could offer a prize to encourage this content.  Argyll Holidays are currently running such a competition, using the hashtag #ArgyllEscape, where fans can upload their best photos of a holiday in Argyll for a chance to win a voucher.

High Seas Hobbit, who offer luxury camping (or glamping) on the Banffshire Coast, are also trying to make the most of user generated content with a Facebook competition, asking guests to post photos of themselves during a holiday at High Seas Hobbit with the hashtag #hobbitholiday to be in with a chance of winning a night’s stay.

As well as potentially increase your reach on Facebook, asking fans or followers to share images alongside a specific hashtag is a great way to build up a bank of images that promote your business, as emphasised in last month’s post on Culloden House and the use of Instagram.

If you’d like some advice on using Facebook or planning a social media strategy why not contact the Tuminds team?

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