Boost Your Social Media Engagement By Starting Conversations
Social media is constantly changing.
What do we mean by constantly changing?
In 2020 alone, Google had seven core updates to their search engine, Facebook updated both their feed and marketing algorithm, and Tik Tok officially surpassed 500 million users. That doesn’t include changes to Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or YouTube.
Oftentimes, just simply setting up social media accounts and creating marketing plans can feel overwhelming, let alone staying on top of every search engine that is coming and going.
However, despite the seemingly impossible task of staying up-to-date on the ins and outs of social media, it doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, utilizing social media can be downright easy.
So how exactly do you do that?
Your social media strategy should boil down to two simple steps:
1.) Prioritize your channels
2.) Create a plan
Prioritizing Your Channels
The first step in following through on a winning social media strategy is discerning which platform will work best for you.
It may come as a surprise but you don’t need to be everywhere all at once. Sure it would be nice to have dedicated messaging on the top 100 social media sites across the web, but realistically, that isn’t an option. In fact, having dedicated messaging to the four main platforms may not be an option for you either.
That is why it is important to understand which platform is going to be the most effective for you. Essentially, you want to apply the 80/20 rule: find the platform that will take 20 percent effort but will result in an 80 percent positive outcome.
Understanding Each Platform
Having a basic understanding of the different channels and how to use them is going to go a long way in helping you decide which platform is right for your business.
Instagram — With over 140 million users Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms. The majority of Instagram is populated by 13–29 year-olds with about half that audience living in urban or suburban areas with more than half of those users being female. As a largely visual platform, Instagram is great for any industry that thrives on visual presentation such as home design, food services, apparel, and beauty.
Facebook — Unlike Instagram, Facebook’s demographics are evenly split among 18–65-year-olds. With over 183 million users in the U.S. and a robust advertising platform, Facebook is the most accessible social media platform.
LinkedIn — While Facebook and Instagram are largely recreational, LinkedIn is specialized for professional networking. Currently, LinkedIn has 160 million users, however only 12 percent of that audience checks that platform once a day, meaning 20 million users make up the majority of the engagement.
Twitter — With less than half of the active user base, Twitter maintains just shy of 70 million active users. Due to Twitter’s quick, timely content, the platform is ideal for time-sensitive information such as news and blogs.
Create a Plan
Creating a plan for your social media marketing doesn’t have to be robust. In fact, planning out what platforms to utilize and how you go about posting can certainly be enough. When considering what content to post we suggest you determine your voice, consider what is relevant content, and develop conversations.
Determine your tone and stick to it
No one likes to read monotone, corporate speak, and especially not while they’re browsing social media. To stand out on the platforms, you need to take a different approach with your language and copy.
Engage your audience by speaking to them in ways that are familiar to them and that would likely fit in with the rest of their feed.
The important thing to keep in mind is that, if you are posting on different platforms, this voice may need to be different on each one. Take note of your audiences on each of these platforms, how their demographics and interests are laid out, and consider how each of those groupings might want to be spoken to.
Consider what is relevant content
By staying up-to-date with the latest events and trends, you can find and create conversations that are relevant in the moment.
This is harder to do than scheduling out content, but if done well, it can be a great way to add life to your social media presence. People who see your brand reacting to the latest big news will know that your finger is on the pulse and that your content is fresh.
Plus, by commenting on the current happenings, your brand could come up in search results and hashtags, which will generate even more impressions than before.
But, be careful. Before posting, be sure to consider how aligning your brand image and voice with current events may appear, and think of what associations people may make with your company if this is the way they are to discover it.
If you have nothing constructive to add, it’s probably better to not say anything. But if you do, you may find a load of potential by merely joining the conversation that’s already taking place on a wide part of the platform.
Ask more questions and prompt responses
So how do you create conversations? The easiest way is by making sure you’re giving your following something worthy of responding to. If they don’t feel like they have anything to contribute, they are not likely to feel obliged to reply or engage with the post in other means.
Start asking questions. The beauty of asking questions is that they are easy to formulate and can fit with all kinds of content.
Just posted a new blog about a product or service? Ask your followers how they might use it or benefit from it. Sharing a post about an upcoming holiday? Turn it around and have your fans share their favorite traditions and customs for these festive times.
You want to create a space where the people following you feel like they can contribute to the content and add to it to make their own adaptations and elements. This, of course, necessitates good, transformative content, but also prompting and prodding from your copy to elicit that urge to respond.
Follow up on incoming comments
One mistake many make is leaving comments unattended. You’ve asked them for their input, be sure to follow up!
Take the time to look through your comment sections and craft a thoughtful response to each one. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to promise anything, but be sure to make the effort.
If you show an interest in your followers, they are more likely to return that interest back to you.
Above all else, show your humanity
Everyone wants to know that there are people behind their favorite brands. When the words and materials being published are too stale or riddled with corporate lingo, people will have a hard time forcing their interest.
Loosen the tie a little and join or start your own conversations. Social media isn’t a place for press releases, so meet your followers at their level and talk to them and engage with them as another human would.
Rinse and Repeat
The good news is that once you’ve established the habit and know the best practices, you don’t need to worry too much about altering your strategy; at least not for now. People come to social media to be social, and more and more people want to be social with brands. Whether they’re contributing to a conversation you started, or starting their own with some praise or even a complaint, it falls on your shoulders to make sure they’re heard.
But if you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. That’s where THRIVe comes in, making it easier for you to manage your social media presence and brand conversations.
THRIVe is an easy-to-use marketing tool that helps your business grow. Whether you are looking for ways to connect through email, automate your social media, or simply track your website’s analytics, THRIVe is an all-in-one marketing solution that can help you get there.
To get more information on THRIVe, simply head over to our website HERE. Be sure to use the chat feature to get all of the answers you need to make this next year your best yet.