If you’re new to social media, you may think the buck stops with the amount of followers you have on your profiles, when in fact, your social media strategy shouldn’t focus just on the number of followers, but on their engagement with your brand. Social media, by its very nature, lets your followers spread the word about your brand, but you need an engaged crowd to help attract new followers. Successful social media marketing means you must engage your followers and build relationships with them.
Here are 6 questions to consider when crafting your social media strategy to best engage your followers:
1. Are you taking advantage of all possible ways to funnel people to your social media profile? Periodically inviting those who receive your newsletter to follow you on Instagram, or having a Twitter button in your email signature line are both examples of quick ways to invite followers. Social media platforms and search engines measure the amount of activity your posts generate in order to put relevant content in front of their users.
2. Are your posts worth paying attention to? Social media activity (comments, shares, favorites, etc.) lends credibility and respect to your brand – which leads to the platforms and search engines presenting your posts to more people. Inspire your followers to share your content by providing solutions, entertainment, services, and resources. If your feed is a constant sales pitch, your audience won’t be able to see the value in following your brand and will quickly lose interest.
3. Have you asked your inner circle to follow you? It stands to reason that the more people engaged with your brand, the more potential customers you reach. Asking your employees, family, and friends to actively share your content opens the door to their circles. If they ask members of their circles to do the same, you’ve grown your audience.
4. Are you being consistent? A regular posting pattern promotes engagement from your followers and also creates anticipation for your next post. Frequent updates can also help boost your search engine relevance. Two or three daily posts, depending on the platform, is the common recommendation for keeping your presence off the back burner in your followers’ minds. If you can only commit to one post a day, that’s still better than posting three times today and then not getting back to it for a week. In fact, erratic posting can actually drive followers away.
5. Are you utilizing all your resources? All the major social media platforms have tools you can use to see when your followers are online, and which types of content attract the most engagement from your followers. This can help you when you’re deciding which of your posts to promote to those who don’t follow you. Chances are that if much of your audience has responded positively to a video you posted, sharing that post with an even greater audience will garner more followers.
6. Have you provided incentive for people to share your content? People like free things. People like their voices to be heard. People like competition. People like attention. Take advantage of what people like! Use games, quizzes, contests, and giveaways to solicit engagement from your fans. Share pictures of your followers with your product, ask your audience to post their favorite experiences with your brand, or invite fans to offer suggestions on how you can be better.
The bottom line is, if you show your audience that you value them, their opinions, their time, and their loyalty, you’ll keep your fans engaged and attract new followers – ultimately leading to greater brand recognition and loyalty.