This is a sponsored post written by me. All opinions are 100% mine.
Because social media and how businesses leverage it is always evolving, some brands are now beginning to shift their social strategies away from the traditional “churn and burn” approach in order to deliver tailored and more personalized messages in creating a community of engaging fans through social media.
Numbers aren’t everything – it’s how you use them that counts. High forms of engagement and interactions from a smaller social following can be far more beneficial than having a large number of followers who don’t share, like, comment or generate conversation around your posts. If you think about how EdgeRank works, Facebook is actually rewarding those brands with healthy engagement with greater reach for their posts.
Businesses now have to be more careful in how they attract an audience. If you’re also trying to build an engaging fan base in social media, here’s 5 tips to empower your success:
Always Create Interesting Content
If social media is about the convergence of information and communication – and you are not a “friend” of a social media user – you need to provide information in order to engage with consumers.
If your content can affect a follower’s life then you’re really on to something. That can be from blessing them with new knowledge to simply just cracking a smile; if it can improve their lives then your account will be seen as valuable.
‘Interesting content’ can be dissected into a number of forms. It’s been proven that visual content is shared and digested more on social channels, meaning your social following will be more inclined to engage and take the desired action if you’re consistently delivering them images, videos and graphics through your social accounts that can evoke an emotional reaction from them.
Use Content to Build Trust and Relationships
The more valuable content you produce, the more trustworthy your account becomes over time. Transparency is often a major area in which a company can become successful. It’s likely that in the online world, people will be discussing your business, so embracing that and guiding the conversation will show customer care.
Engaging with the right people will enhance your reputation more than an extra few followers would. Thinking long-term is key; there needs to be a distinct focus towards building strong, long-lasting relationships with targeted followers by offering them value with every post. Later down the line, this tailored engagement can create some compelling relationships which can even lead you to developing brand ambassadors.
Know Your Influencers
Sharing and engaging with influential people in your industry can be a powerful way to promote your brand and improve trust with your followers. True influence should never be measured on the basis of a raw follower count, but rather how you utilize the ones you have to generate high levels of engagement (shares, likes and comments). By interacting with the “right” influencers, you give yourself the competitive edge in being able to tap into and appeal to newer audiences outside of your usual industry.
In 2012, Tyson Foods teamed up with mommy bloggers (key influencers in their industry) for a “Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun?” Christmas campaign. The aim was for moms to get festively creative with their meals and share images of their own Christmassy chicken nuggets through their social accounts while encouraging others to interact.
The campaign was hugely successful, with the end result being an impressive 8.8 million impressions across Tyson Foods’ social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blogs and YouTube) – once again illustrating the importance of understanding the right influencers and utilizing them to your advantage.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Providing quality content that adds real value is far more important than filling a follower’s feed with irrelevant content just for the sake of it.
There’s a tendency on Facebook and Twitter to be all “me, me, me” – but if you did that in the real world you’d be already divorced. Don’t divorce your followers by bombarding them with blatantly promotional posts – it’s important to build a community.
While there is no one magic formula for how often you should self-promote versus share the content of others, a simple yet eloquent approach to take is using the 4-1-1 rule. This keeps content engaging without being overbearing, allows you to promote your brand, and also keeps you in touch with influencers and other happenings in the Twittersphere.
Be Careful With Scheduling
In order to maintain a stable rate of engagement, brands and businesses large and small often resort to scheduling social media posts in advance according to a rigid editorial calendar.
Scheduling posts can be useful and efficient, but you have to be careful. Joan Rivers seemingly posted on her Facebook account from beyond the grave to advertise the new iPhone 6, two weeks after her death.
Similarly, when Radiohead had to cancel a show in Toronto due to a tragic stage collapse which killed a member of their crew, Live Nation sent out a pre-scheduled tweet asking followers for their Instagram photos of the cancelled show. Needless to say, Twitter went into meltdown.
By taking all of the above 5 tips into account, you will succeed in building a community of engaging fans through social media; a following that will develop and grow into an online community filled with interested consumers – and that is what you should set out to achieve as the stepping stone to your future Return on Engagement.
Any other advice you would add here?