The Answer to Your Social Success

This week on all my social media platforms I have been sharing snippets about social media engagement. The question that we marketers often get is, “why are less people seeing my posts”, the same goes for liking, commenting and clicking through to your site.

Social Media is not a place for selling, sure every now and then we should get a sale through the platform, however looking at the traditional sales funnel we can put Social Media into ‘Awareness’ and ‘Consideration’, for many brands, this means simply letting your audience know yours there.

The point that keeps being missed time and time again is ‘Social’, the platforms ability to carry ‘Media’ is almost irrelevant. Too many businesses treat social media like those annoying rose sellers in European cities. You’re having a lovely time with your friends or partner, and this guy barges in, shoves a rose in your face and says “you buy, beautiful rose for a beautiful lady”, you say “no thank you” and he still stands there shoving the plastic rose in your face.

Engagement is not to just chatting to one customer every now and then, it is having a permanent open line of communication all the time. This is not customer service this is an approachable ‘person’ to chat to. When people understand there’s a human behind the brand, their trust level increases.

On Social Media, your aim is to engage with your customers, show them what makes your business interesting and share information with them that may be of value. For a fashion business, this may be videos of clothes being designed, for a coffee shop images of their customer’s pug ‘Wilson’ having his water while the owner had coffee or a travel agency showing a 360 of Piazza San Pietro – rose sellers and all.

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” –Andrew Davis

But it’s not just about posting content, it has to have some form of engagement. Facebook has continued to increase the weight of engagement in its algorithm and it is now more important than ever. (all of the platforms consider engagement important but Facebook and Instagram are the most stringent on it).

“What does your business gain from not engaging on social media? 42% of users complaining to brands via social expect a response in less than an hour. Are you prepared to do and what do you feel is realistic for your business?

When a person engages with your posts (likes, comments, shares, clicks) then this post is shown to their friends, increasing the reach of the content. The more frequently one of your followers interacts with your posts, the higher up their news feed they will see your posts, the sooner they will see your posts and they will see your page more frequently.

“As more content floods social networks, the slice of engagement for the average brand shrinks. With a limit to how much content can be consumed, liked, or shared, brands must create their own competitive advantages with distinguishing content.”

So you see the importance of this content is worthy of a click is vital. With this, you need to consider your audience. The type of audience you have will determine the content that works for you and the platform that you choose to use the most. You will also need to combine different types of content on a regular basis, a good balance of video, images, articles and other websites content is important. Customers like to see that your a ‘authentic’ company so sharing behind the scenes stores or images are great for engagement. Showing and sharing your knowledge goes a very long way, as does asking for other people to share their knowledge – On LinkedIn posts that end with question receive 50% more engagement than statements. Video is the way to go but keep it short and sweet, there is a vast array of content that you can share with video (how to, before and after, behind the scenes, showcase events, share some knowledge, product launch etc)

Try not to think of engagement as just a single interaction with one of your customers. You’re creating an open line of communication over a period of time. While the term “customer relationship” may come to mind, engagement is different and on its own level.

Finally, you need to bear in mind the importance of consistency – long periods of silence followed by waffle at warp speed? List off your content options (article, video, tips, infographic etc – a good search will uncover hundreds of ideas). Create ideas and themes around these, that also align with your overall business goals. Then you build this into a plan or a calendar and make it interesting so your audience will enjoy it and gain something from it.

However, while putting your content out there in a consistent and predictable manner, it’s vital that you only share content that will be meaningful, provide value and will help to gain some form of interaction. You won’t get it right every time but when you do, take note and ask why it worked. 

“As more content floods social networks, the slice of engagement for the average brand shrinks. With a limit to how much content can be consumed, liked, or shared, brands must create their own competitive advantages with distinguishing content.”

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