Social media offers unprecedented opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers and enhance their experiences. From a brand perspective, social media gives you a chance to solicit powerful feedback directly from your customers and bring information to them that that is valuable. It also lets you turn loyal customers into evangelists for your brand, letting them spread the word about your goods and services and draw more people to your business. Simply having a social media page doesn’t translate into all of these benefits automatically, however. Instead, you need to be proactive about driving customer engagement via your social media pages, so that you can reap the maximum rewards from them.
Fortunately, boosting customer engagement on social media doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Start by finding your voice. Your engagement with customers has to be authentic, and one easy way to ensure that your interactions are viewed as authentic is to make sure your voice on social media falls in line with your brand. These actions will also help you increase customer engagement on your social media pages.
Always Respond—and Keep the Conversation Going
A surefire way to disengage customers on social media is to ignore all the comments you get. If a customer takes the time to engage with you, you need to respond. Ignoring a customer who reaches out on social media does more than give that customer a negative impression of your brand. Your interaction is happening in full view of your other customers and potential clients who are checking you out, which makes your silence deafening.
Responding with a simple thank you is better than ignoring a comment, but it also passes up on a valuable opportunity to keep the conversation going. A great way to do this is to respond with a question. Use the comment from the customer to frame your question. For example, if a customer leaves a comment telling you that they’ve just bought a new product from your business and that they like it, you can ask them how they are using it or ask if they have tried another product that complements it.
Everyone likes to be asked for an opinion or to share some expertise. Another way you could turn a positive comment from a customer into a question response from you is to ask them if they have any tips for getting the most out of the product to share.
The questions you use will vary, depending on your business and the original comment from the customer, but responding in a way that invites further conversation is a great way to generate engagement.
Take the Bot Feel Out of Your Communication
Most customers who approach businesses online have a suspicion that they aren’t actually communicating with a human being. They assume that all replies are automatically generated and that no one is actually reading their posts. If you engage with customers in a stilted way, you’ll end up furthering the belief that they’re talking to a bot and not a person, and they won’t bother trying to engage with you.
Shake off the stiffness of your replies and engage with your customers like a human being, in the manner in which people tend to communicate on social media. Use emojis—they’re standard on social media, and they help you communicate the tone of your message, which is difficult to do with text alone. Adding a simple smile at the end of a comment makes your business look friendly. It also opens the way for communication.
Using gifs in your responses is another way to humanize your brand and help you connect with customers. Gifs are humorous, spur conversation, and, like emojis, are common currency on social media. Say thank you for a good review or welcome a new member to your community with a gif, and you’re likely to not only encourage more direct engagement with you but also engagement from customers who weren’t involved in the initial conversation. After all, everyone loves to share their favorite gifs.
Use Images as Content in Your Posts
Web users have always been averse to blocks of text, but thanks to Instagram and other image-driven sites, social media users are increasingly conditioned to respond to photos and videos rather than text alone.
Videos score big with social media users. Short videos explaining products and services or answering common questions do a better job of getting your point across and soliciting conversation. Video is also highly shareable, and gives you content you can incentivize customers to share. For example, you may enter everyone who shares a video post into a drawing for free item or service. Don’t leave video just for posts you generate. It also makes a great response tool, particularly when a customer uses social media to ask questions.
High-quality photos are also helpful in getting customers to engage—and share—your content. Any time you can stay away from text-driven content on social media, do so. Your customers will respond positively.
Create an Easy Pathway to Your Social Media Profiles
If your customers aren’t engaging with you on a social media, the next question becomes if they even know you are there. Many customers won’t actively take the time to search for your social media profiles to follow or like. If you put your profiles within easy reach of them, they are more likely to make the connection.
Your website should have static social media buttons that connect to your profiles on the banner or bottom navigation bar that runs through your site. Your profiles should also be prominently displayed on other content you create, and your handles should be on printed marketing materials and even your receipts.
Salem Surround specializes in helping businesses get discovered and driving customer engagement with social management. Our surround philosophy means that your business will be everywhere your customers are, from social media to search results and radio advertising. Talk to our team today to learn more about how we can generate engagement for your brand and get your customers talking about your company.