When it comes to social media marketing for small businesses, getting ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ is relatively easy, but doing so does not necessarily translate into increased success for your business. To get real results from social media marketing—to build brand loyalty and encourage repeat visits from your customers—you need to figure out a way to get your customers to engage with you consistently. To help you succeed, here are five strategies for boosting customer engagement on social media.
1. Analyze Your Existing Followers
Before you jump into content calendars and marketing strategies, take a step back to analyze your existing follower base using tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. Specifically, you want a clear understanding of the following:
- Who Are You Talking To? It’s important to know who your audience is in order to be able to create marketing strategies for them. For example, you may discover that a sizeable number of your followers speak Spanish, so posting in Spanish every now and then could lead to increased interaction from that audience.
- When Should You Post? New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that when brands align their posting schedules (for both social media and digital ads) with the sleep-wake cycles for their target audience, traffic to their websites can increase by at least 8 percent. So, just because you’re up at 2 a.m. creating a Facebook post, it doesn’t mean your customers are. Write that post, and then schedule it to go live when your customers are actually awake.
- What’s Working and What’s Not. Go back and analyze what previous content of yours gained maximum interaction. What matters more is the number of shares and comments, not the likes. So if content like inspirational posts and videos are getting more engagement, make it a point to add those to your marketing calendar more often.
2. Constantly Update Your Content Calendar
When you’re creating content for social media, remember that you’re adding a needle to the ever growing haystack. So unless your content really stands out, users aren’t going to stop to interact with your brand. Here are some content ideas you should consider integrating into your marketing calendar:
- Visually Appealing Content: Content with images are 34% more likely to get shared, as opposed to just text-based posts. If you’re using SpotOn Marketing, we already provide you with an array of templates that you can use to create social media posts and share across your accounts. There are also a number of free websites that allow you to create stunning social media graphics within minutes. Our top picks are Canva and Adobe Spark.
- Video Content: According to research, social videos generate 1,200% more shares than text and images combined, and native video uploads to Facebook have a 10x higher reach than sharing YouTube links. That means get your camera out and share some behind-the-scenes videos of your team at work or of happy customers enjoying themselves at your business.
- Emotional Content: Of the 1.6 million organic posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, almost 99 percent of that content receives little to no interaction. The reason behind this is that most posts lack an emotional appeal and don’t connect with users. Social networks are built with the intent of friends and family members sharing things with one another, and consumers will only choose to share brand content that they can relate with.
3. Start a Conversation
You cannot expect your followers to engage with you if you don’t initiate a two-way conversation. Most of the content that users come across online are posts that are just providing them with information, so of course, all they can do is hit ‘like’ and move on. The easiest way to initiate a conversation is to ask a question. It can be something as simple as asking your followers what their weekend plans are, or something a bit more related to your brand, like what they think the newest addition to your fall menu should be.
4. Reward Your Followers
People love to compete, keep score, and of course, win, so incentivizing social media campaigns is a fail-safe way to engage your followers. The easiest way to execute this is to have multiple small giveaways (as opposed to big expensive ones), and to do so frequently. This way, interaction on your page is prolonged and your followers will have a reason to keep coming back to your page. For example, if you own a cafe, you can have monthly contests where the winners receive a gift card in the dollar amount of your choice. With SpotOn Marketing, you can create marketing deals quickly and easily with the platform’s built-in campaign wizard.
5. Don’t Sell 24/7
If you keep posting content about your products or services, sooner than later, your followers will lose interest and maybe even unfollow your brand. Instead of focusing on brand promotion only, try to make some posts about industry-trending topics, seasonal content, and sometimes even a simple ‘Happy Weekend’ image. Content that’s more relatable is always going to have a higher engagement rate, so keep that in mind while creating your social content.
Need pro advice on devising an engaging marketing strategy for your business? The SpotOn team is here to help. If you’re already one of our merchants, contact the SpotOn Customer Success Team at (877) 814-4102 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not yet a SpotOn merchant, get a free demo today to see how we make marketing easy for you.