How-Tu Tuesday: Boosting Engagement Levels
As most businesses are now discovering, social media is one of the most effective ways to increase the exposure of a brand and reach a much wider and often more targeted audience.
However, simply telling your customers that you are on social media is not enough; you have to engage with them. If people are going to follow you they expect to both receive information and have the opportunity to interact with the brand. The following tips for boosting engagement levels allow brands to both maintain the followers they have, and also simultaneously grow that following.
1. Ask People To Engage
It may sound surprising, but often asking your followers to share your content will work. With Twitter in particular, it has been found that tweets have a 12 x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it and 23 x higher if you actually use the word “retweet”.
When posting, you should ask those following you to share it, like or give their opinion on it. To avoid confusing your audience, focus on a single call-to-action and give them a reason to do what you are asking of them; this could include offering an incentive in the form of a discount or freebie, or letting them know that their share will have social benefits if it is spreading the message of a charity or humanity appeal. Always recognise those who do share your content by liking their post or tagging them in future posts, as this will encourage them to repeatedly share your messages.
2. Start a Q&A Session
A Q&A session is a great way to strengthen the relationship between the brand and your customers. It allows both sides to participate in a two-way (and often instant) conversation and enables them to gain insight into the company and brand ethos. It also highlights the areas where consumers want to know more, which may indicate that the website needs further information added or the brand needs to inform and communicate with it’s customers better on certain issues.
3. Respond Quickly and Appropriately
Social media is a unique communication tool in the way it is so instant. Consumers often use a social channel as opposed to emailing, phoning or writing a letter, as they will (or should) get their query answered more quickly. It is important for brands who encourage their customers to get in touch with them via social media to ensure all enquiries are dealt with straight away and that they fully answer the customer’s question. It is also key to maintain the brand voice when replying and should be done so in a personal way that the customer can relate to and feel like they are speaking to a real person on the other end.
4. Be Knowledgable
Being ignorant is never a good quality for a brand to possess. A way to avoid this is to show your knowledge of worldly issues and acknowledge that your content doesn’t always have to be about the brand or even relate to the brand. When disasters and other big topical events are making the news, you should talk about them on your social platforms and encourage your followers to comment, thus starting a conversation. This highlights your human side and respect for the world and the events that affect it.
5. Use Images, Emoticons and Hashtags
It was recently discovered by Buffer that sharing images on Twitter increases retweets by 150%, and images on LinkedIn get 98% more comments than posts which only have text. As a general rule, an image should be posted for every 100 words that is published and can include anything from a photo to a screenshot, infographic or chart.
It is not only images that increase engagement levels, but posts with emoticons also increase comments by 33% and likes by as much as 57%. Emoticons have proved to be so popular as they reflect human emotions and often allow for a deeper and more interesting level of conversation.
Finally, hashtags should never be forgotten. Although they been around for a while, they continue to be one of the most poplar tools on social media (Twitter especially) for allowing users to discover the content they want to read. A great way to engage in conversation using hashtags is to start a Twitter chat, as you can easily access all of the comments and users participating in the chat by searching all of the tweets tagged with the particular hashtag associated with the chat.