It’s a common marketing puzzle: you understand the value of social media, and the importance of promoting your company through all the relevant channels. You reach out to your followers, comment on other people’s pages, and frequently post interesting, informative content on your own. Yet somehow, you aren’t fueling the social interaction you hoped for.
People just aren’t engaging with your brand, let alone converting. What might be going wrong?
A recent article by BusinessGrow reveals that 74 million Americans are considered “passive aggressive” social media users – that is, they read and enjoy your content, but they won’t respond to it in any way. Given this epidemic indifference, how can your organization effectively engage fans and nurture conversions?
To begin, step back and take a hard look at your campaign.
1. Are you targeting the right people, through the right social networks?
It goes without saying that any successful marketing strategy needs to clearly define its target audience, and the same is true for social media. Each platform has its distinctive traits and attracts its own unique type of user. LinkedIn, for instance, draws mostly business professionals for networking and career connections, while Twitter centers on fast-paced messages and hot trends to attract a younger, more casual crowd. Pinterest users are predominantly female, focusing on visual content more than conversation or text. Facebook users are more equally balanced in gender, but the majority of them are 35 or older.
To ensure that your social media posts spark interest and engagement, you first need to identify the right type of audience for your product or service. Think about who they are, what they want, and how they look for information – in other words, what form of social networking they best respond to. Then, you can decide which platforms are the most appropriate to communicate your brand.
2. Is your content relevant to your target audience?
It may seem intuitive, but determining what is and isn’t relevant to your audience can be deceptively difficult. Subjects that interest business and industry professionals may bore or even confuse clients and prospects. So, before you start scheduling your social media posts, do some research to figure out exactly which formats and topics best inspire your audience. What are your competitors or other industry leaders posting, and how do their followers respond? Who else do your own fans follow? Post content that not only grabs your viewers’ attention, but also offers them something useful. Then, encourage them to interact with your brand. Invite them to join a discussion, to “like” or retweet your posts, to answer questions, or even to visit your website.
3. Is your social media about your brand, or your product?
Social media engagement revolves around sharing interesting, useful information so that followers can develop a strong relationship with your brand. It only makes sense to promote your product or service once in a while, but don’t make every post an advertisement – your followers will quickly get bored and decide that you have nothing valuable to offer.
Instead of reiterating how great your product or service is, show your followers how you can help resolve their challenges better than anyone else. Provide helpful tips, news updates, or links to articles and other resources – anything that demonstrates your expertise and educates followers about the value of your product. And don’t forget customer service! If your followers leave comments or complaints on your social media page, respond promptly and courteously to show them you can be trusted. Use their input to make your offering even better.
4. Remember, your analytics tell the whole story.
Don’t get discouraged if your social media followers aren’t interacting with your brand! Before you draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of your campaign, check your website analytics. How many of your visitors come from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other platforms? How long do they stay, compared to other visitors? Are they buying your products? Recent studies have shown that up to 34% of social media users are lurkers – that is, they see and enjoy content, but do not participate in discussions or share the information with others. Even lurkers follow links, though, and they can become valuable customers – or even evangelists.
The bottom line: When utilized carefully, social media makes a powerful marketing tool – in fact, an essential one in this age of online interaction. If you provide relevant, valuable information to your social media fans on a regular basis, they’ll be less likely to ignore your posts.