With so much business being done online nowadays, the vehicles that support this are becoming ever more important.
Whether it is directing people toward your online store or facilitating orders on your Instagram or Facebook pages, social media is right at the center of the online business world.
To drive orders, and revenue, your social media engagement is something worth really thinking about.
Social engagement, what does it mean? In defining it, it’s as important to dispel any misconceptions as it is to accurately reflect exactly what the term means. So here, it’s crucial to ensure that it is understood that follower count isn’t the be-all and end-all. Engagement isn’t about followers as much as it is about other metrics.
In the world of social media engagement, it’s quality, not quantity that is king. How many people follow you on Instagram is significantly less important than how many people like, comment, and share your content. How many accounts follow you on Twitter doesn’t matter compared to how many people reply to you, or partake in any surveys you may run.
In the same way that a call center recording can show you the quality of your customer service agents, your like and comment metrics are good indicators of the quality of your content.
With this distinction now made, let’s take a look at how you can improve your current level of social media engagement.
Rather than starting from scratch, learn what you can from what you already have. In call centers, we would do this through call monitoring. As restaurant management, you would do this through your online reviews. As a company focusing on your social media channels for results, you’d look at the analytics.
Even if your pages aren’t very big, in terms of engagement metrics, you can often use analytics to decipher what is or isn’t already working for you.
You can find out the time that most of your interactions take place. If you have a body of content already published, you can look at which bits (contextually speaking) are successful and which aren’t.
All of this data exists out there already. It’s just a case of finding and interpreting it.
while your accounts may be individual, your social media presence is a combination of them all, so consider the cross-platform tone and type of content when devising your strategy.
Chances are that, when devising your business plan, you had to decide upon a target audience. Once this was agreed upon, you would customize your product or service with that audience in mind. Social media content, in this regard, is no different.
The type of content which will resonate with a 24-year-old is different from that which will attract a 64-year-old, and these considerations need to filter into your content creation process.
Nothing should be done without your target audience in mind, from the types of content you create (visual, audio, written), to the things featured in them (cultural references, color schemes, etc.).
As customers, we want to feel important. If we shop regularly with a company, we like to use their loyalty schemes. If we have a complaint that needs to go between two or more service teams, we want them to warm transfer us to save repeating ourselves. If we’re viewing social media content, we want it to feel like it’s been made precisely for us.
Tailoring content to be as personalized as possible has been the key to the success of numerous social media content creators, and for businesses, the same is true.
With every new technological advancement that comes our way, so too do new expectations. Where, for example, HDTV once felt revolutionary, it now feels archaic in comparison to 4K UHD.
Where we were once sold to via newspaper or billboard adverts, we are now much more likely to engage with influencer or affiliate marketing content.
Ensuring your content looks valuable means it is more attractive to your audience, regardless of any demographic. Cheaply made, poorly executed content just gets lost in the ether of the social media behemoth.
Much as you would do with a new product or loyalty scheme launch, you have to give people a real reason to connect with your social content. Customer acquisition is being made harder by the day. So the effort needed to maintain good standards in your content is all the more vital.
Poorly-rendered or low-quality visual content is to be avoided, as customers are less likely to engage with something they can’t see clearly.
Don’t expect the conversation to come to you. With more than 500 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, global audiences have more than enough stimuli to see them through the rest of their life. Convincing them to search for and engage with your content requires a proactive approach.
Strike up conversations with users online. Even if they don’t follow you, or aren’t being nice to you, there are gains to be made here. As British Supermarket chain Tesco has found out numerous times, you can go viral with sarcastic or witty responses.
This may be a role for your customer service team to handle more so than your content team. But, whether they operate out of a normal or a hosted contact center, conveying the message that they need to balance being funny with not being rude is critical.
Whilst you’re keeping an eye on your social media feeds, use it as an opportunity to capitalize on current events. Sites like Twitter and Instagram are the epicenters of the here and now. So getting fresh content out there that refers to one of the top trends on any particular day can be of real benefit.
Your content creators and marketers who work on your social media channels must adopt this adaptable, time-is-of-the-essence approach. Being emotionally intelligent with this is crucial. You don’t want to be seen to be profiting off any tragic news stories.
If you use the same timeline for the creation of your social content as you would for a TV advertising campaign, by the time you publish, it’ll be old news. The currency of social media is often in who does something first. So be sure to strike while the iron’s hot.
Social media networks allow for constant conversation, meaning the lifespan of news is growing shorter. Being current with your content, in this environment, is a must.
Throughout this article, we’ve outlined how you should define social media engagement. Highlighting the principle of quality, not quantity, we highlighted how to improve upon your social media engagement strategies.
Often, in lists like this, you can cherry-pick which advice applies to you, and forget about what doesn’t. However, in this area, it helps to take all of this advice as a whole. You can be as current as you want with what your content is saying. But if it’s poorly produced, no one will pay any attention.
You can actively engage with hundreds of accounts a day. If you don’t know who you’re speaking to, or don’t have an idea on how to speak to them, it will prove difficult to increase engagement.
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted screen share software that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.