How to attain social media engagement

Written by Ma. Rachel Yapchiongco, as oriinally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles

Social media has become a potentially powerful tool to boost business. Big and small companies all over the world are realizing that social media has the ability to contribute to success and growth of their businesses if used and implemented wisely. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest are valuable sources of consumer information.

Social media offers a myriad of advantages. Here are some benefits of social media for business:

  • Social media networks have become useful channels for businesses to share their voice and content. Proper exposure on social media can help companies access new customers, get the attention of existing clients and increase brand recognition.
  • Companies that establish strong connections through social media are likely to enjoy loyalty from their customers.
  • Businesses can use social media networks to build a following which can serve as links to new, recent and old customers. The content that you share can spark market interest, encourage site visit or start an interaction.
  • Interacting regularly with customers give companies a positive edge. The more you engage in social media, the higher the chances of increasing social media followers. Large number of followers can be used as a positive indication of trust and credibility in your business or brand.
  • The more quality content you put out on social media, the higher inbound traffic you get.
  • Social media can help companies save on marketing costs.
  • Strong social media presence can boost customer relationship.
  • Companies can use social media to gain valuable insights about their customers.

Social media can become a bridge to success if utilized effectively. Here are several ways to increase social media engagement for business:

Promote proactive social media interaction. A company doesn’t have to lay and wait for clients to come to them. Use social media to interact with anyone who mentions your products or services. Initiate meaningful dialogues with current and potential customers. Consumers who receive quick and positive responses on social media are likely to try your brand again or recommend it to other people.

According to Social Media Today, proactive dialogues can help a company achieve the following:

  • Reach a wider audience.
  • Attract new clients.
  • Develop affinity for your brand.
  • Inspire mutual sociability.

An important aspect of promoting proactive social media interaction is spending time listening and observing consumers’ conversations. Learn to pinpoint opportunities to join conversations and engage in meaningful exchange of ideas and opinions.

Get involved in community discussions or forums linked with your company, brand, products, services, competitors, and other related topics. The company can get valuable information from such sources.

Dedicate time for social media engagement on a regular basis. Come up with a daily target goal and work on that.

Employ social media monitoring tools. Companies can use free social media tools to make “listening” easier and enable the business to take part in proactive discussions. Here are some examples of free social media tools that businesses can consider:

  • Google Alerts – It is an easy way to find out if a website is posting things about your company or brand.
  • Hootsuite– It has the ability to put together and manage social media accounts. For instance, search columns can be used to perform real time scans on Twitter to monitor discussions and give immediate feedbacks or replies.
  • TweetDeck– Businesses can use this to schedule tweets, customize searches and keep the company up-to-date with the latest happenings. It can monitor hashtags, specific topics, events, etc.
  • Social Mention – It collects and sums data from different social media platforms. It provides basic analytics and determine ratio of positive feedbacks over negative mentions.
  • Icerocket – It manages blog searches and other social platform activities.
  • Topsy – It is comparable to Icerocket and Social Mention.
  • Addictomatic – It can help monitor brand reputation by keeping track of recent blog posts, news, images, or videos based on specific keywords.

Think of related searches when using social media tools to get information about your business or brand name. The following may be applied when performing automated alerts for social media tools such as Google Alerts, TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and Topsy.

  • When searching information for your brand name, it is recommended that you add some variations of your company name or brand. Include abbreviations of your company name.
  • Include slogans, tag lines, catchphrases, and key messages related to your company or brand.
  • Keep in mind that some people may mistype your name or brand. Add different spellings of your company name or brand.
  • Add key words that may be linked to your company’s line of business or industry.

Include images and graphics to your content. Increase social media engagement by using visuals. Relevant infographics can stimulate interest and increase interaction rate. Graphics and photos can help captivate the audience and encourage them to share content on social medial platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Photos are considered as the most engaging type of content on Facebook that generates high rate of interaction. Adding a photo URL to a tweet can also help generate more retweets.

Host fun and exciting games, contests and giveaways. People in general like the idea of getting freebies and winning prizes. Giving away something can spark the interest of the audience. The company or organization can ask followers to fill-out an entry form, like your page, share a post about your company or brand, post something about your brand or latest product, invite others to follow your account, post a photo of your product, or create a video about your brand for a chance to win various prizes.

Build your audience as you would in real life. Followers are looking for real people behind the company name or brand. Avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information about your business. Keep in mind that social media is about the people. Don’t focus too much on your company and reach out to your followers. Help others by providing useful information and inforgraphics. For instance, a travel company can share posts about travel advisories, travel tips, packing suggestions, interesting places to visit during the season, etc.

Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.

Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University. Rachel is a chocolate lover, full-time mom to a charming young boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog called Heart of Rachel.