Everything you read about social media tells you must ‘engage’ or build ‘engagement’ with your audience, your target group of clients and customers. While I completely agree with the principle I find the word ‘engage’ tends to worry those responsible for social media activity.
We all know that people buy from people or brands they know, like and trust. Social media provides you with the opportunity to get to know your followers and for them to get to know you so that you can build a relationship.
One of the main reasons why many businesses struggle using social media is that they want to treat it as a traditional form of advertising and just broadcast their message. You will quite often see a string of promotional messages all sent out at the same time that bombard you with offers or the latest product news. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work.
The types of posts that work best on social media are ones that educate or entertain, pose or answer questions. Your sales people, customer service team, or whoever talks to your customers most, are a good source of material to use.
Facebook is a great example of the emphasis you should put on engaging your followers.
All the posts you put out on Facebook don’t automatically appear on all your followers’ timelines. Facebook makes the decision on whether they do or don’t. Part of their criteria is that you do get a response and have interaction with your followers on a regular basis. The best way to make sure this happens is to ask for comments or for your posts to be shared. If someone does comment, it’s important to recognise that and either reply or just hit the Like option on their comment.
My preference is to describe social media as a dialogue, a conversation or may be just a chat with your target audience. I did decide to look up ‘engage’ in the dictionary – online, of course. The definitions were:
-- to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)
-- to secure for aid, employment, use, hire
-- to attract and hold fast
-- to attract or please
-- to bind, as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; make liable.
These definitions are exactly what you do want to achieve with your social media marketing so I encourage you to think of the word engage from now on!
Twitter rolled out two new mobile features last week that are aimed at making Twitter more social and also to compete with Instagram! One is photo tagging, which lets you tag the people in your photo; the other is the ability to include up to four photos in a Tweet. Both photo-tagging and Tweets with multiple photos will display in embedded Tweets. To get these new features, download the latest iPhone and Android apps.