Tactics for better Social Media engagement
Success on social media is a like walking a tightrope or balancing a see-saw. Typically the success of social media engagement for brand and businesses is defined by two major KPIs. Growth, in both social following and brand exposure. And improvements in positive sentiment toward your brand. The see-saw involved is that growth requires activity, regular posting, responding to customers etc. Though over post to the point of cluttering your audience’s timeline and you run the risk of losing them as followers, boring them with repetitive posts or even annoying them to the point of lowering their opinion of the brand.
So how can you find the balance between inspiring social media growth and engagement without overdoing it or leaving yourself open to negative sentiment? Here are some of our tried and tested tactics:
Quality & Regularity
When it comes to posting, the old saying quality over quantity doesn’t quite fit. You need both to really succeed in social media especially if you have big ambitions. The key is to post quality content at a regular frequency. For top brands with ambitions to be an authority or even considered a publisher within your industry niche, posting at least once per day on social media with a worthwhile piece of considered content is the minimum recommended to ensure regular exposure.
So when planning your posting schedule, don’t blow all your content at the start of the week or crammed in to a weekend, play it cool and spread the content out over the week with one significant post daily.
Example: Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a large global company using social media not only as a way to communicate with its employees, recruits and partners but also as a tool for business development. BCG is known for regularly posting insightful content on their multiple Twitter handles and LinkedIn accounts. These platforms allow the company to get product out to its audience, interact with followers, and recruit for new talent.
Dell also embraced social media and created a bright interactive cross-platform community. Multiple Twitter accounts, blogs, Facebook pages and so on have allowed the company to strategically scheduled its rich social media content.
Cree is a B2B company selling industrial LED lighting known to be energetically and environmentally sustainable. Against all odds, this company selling LEDs to grocery stores has built a strong reputation and is now considered extremely social-savvy. Thanks to their daily valuable and sometimes humorous content, Cree managed to pique their audience’s attention.
Limit recycled content
Content curation is common on social media as many brands and businesses struggle to create enough unique content to keep their audience engaged on a regular basis. The go to solution when unique quality content resource is scarce, is to find existing digital content and simply re-post/share to your audience to fulfil your urge to post regularly enough.
Finding highly relevant content that will resonate with your audience and reflect your own brand beliefs and values is an art form in itself and it has its place. Our suggestion is to keep recycled and curated content to 25% of your overall social media activity. Any more than this and you risk losing your brand integrity and your audience ends up being potentially exposed to the same content multiple times.
Count example where it went wrong: Kmart
In November 2013 Kmart announced on social media they would be open earlier than ever this Thanksgiving and would stay open through all Black Friday. The followers quickly expressed their criticism and questioned the ethics of such decision. By responding to each of these complains with the same robotic-like statement, Kmart tarnished its reputation.
Be direct about sharing
A heavily underestimated tactic on social media to drive engagement via sharing, is simply to ask for it. Performance statistics for twitter suggest that you are as many as 12x more likely to receive a retweet from a user who reads your tweet if you ask for a ‘retweet’.
The benefits of inspiring your audience to share your posts and content is relatively obvious; more exposure for your efforts and the potential to reach a larger audience than you currently have access to by reaching some of the sharing users other connections. But there is also a positive sentiment element to inspiring this kind of engagement, discovery of your content and existence of your brand via shares comes with additional credibility. Content discovered via the recommendation of an existing connection is far more likely to be acknowledged than direct brand posting or sponsored content.
Example: Tourism Australia
Tourism Australia reached potential new customers by inviting their followers to take and share photos on Instagram and Tourism Australia Facebook page with the hashtag #seeaustralia. The company then tracked and highlight these photos which turned out to be a successful campaign. This simple invitation to share content not only was a smart way to get free publicity, but also expanded the company social media network.
Example: Convince & Convert
Jay Baer is the founder of Convince & Convert: a social media strategy firm. Needless to say this social media expert knows how to boost his social media outreach by including many social share buttons in strategic locations on his site.“To get more people to share your content, provide more opportunities via social share buttons in numerous places throughout your site.”
Make Social Media Engagement simple
In contrast to our direct sharing suggestions above, some brands make the process a little over complicated by trying to squeeze too much in to their posts. How often do we see the typical contest post that requests users to like, share and follow in order to win said prize? If you want to encourage your audience to engage with your posts don’t ask too much of them. Stick to one call to action or in this case, call to engagement. If you’re looking to drive traffic via a link in your post, make sure this link and the content it leads to is the sole focus of the post and don’t dilute it with clutter.
“Zappos is an online retailer that sells shoes, clothing and accessories. They’re known for the enormous emphasis they put on creating real relationships with their fans and customers.”
A few years back they created a smart strategy to make social engagement simple while enhancing customer relationship. They refer it as “Let’s be in a Like-Like Relationship” campaign. Zappos started by asking customers to like their page first. Once people clicked on the Like button, they were then offered the opportunity to join their email list and interact with Zappos products. Because Zappos campaign was more focused on building a relationship with their fans first, the company efficiently increased its popularity.