In the world of online marketing, you’ll see many companies and brands that simply post and leave social media engagement up to chance. But whether we’re talking about social media, your blog, or any other digital marketing, you shouldn’t leave the conversation up to the luck of the draw! In fact, there’s plenty of strategies and tactics you can use to boost engagement.
At the same time, you can also show social proof to your audience, increasing conversion rates and growing your brand. And that’s just the start! The best part is that engagement and social proof aren’t overly difficult. Of course, we’re going to walk you through everything today, including explaining the nitty gritty, so you can start getting results today.
A quick survey of sites like Facebook and Twitter will give you an idea of how many brands out there are suffering from this issue with engagement. In reality, we’ve probably all seen an example or two. Perhaps a company has been posting to social media for ages, but they never get any comments or hardly any likes. Or maybe they tweet like crazy… but there aren’t any re-tweets. Well, after today, that’s not going to be your brand!
What is social proof and what is meaningful social media engagement?
These are two great questions. After all, not all engagement is created equal, and we want to drum up some that works best for our brand. First, however, let’s look at what social proof is. If this term is totally new to you, don’t be afraid. It’s simply a fancy way of saying that people look to follow in trends and action that others are following. That’s it!
Let’s also talk about meaningful engagement. Sure, you could buy likes or comments (and there’s always a time and place for that strategy). But that strategy has its limits, one of which is that it lacks that authentic feel that generates more engagement with your audience. Instead, meaningful engagement creates value, strengthens rapport, and gets people talking even more. Sound good? Awesome!
But why are these so important?
When it comes to social proof and engagement, you might wonder why it’s so vital to your online marketing strategy. In short, genuine engagement and strong social proof are like beacons to your brand. When people see these, they develop trust and loyalty in your company. They also begin to view your brand as an authority in your industry. Need we say more? Well, in case you need just a bit more convincing… the research shows that companies all over the world are pushing for more engagement. Today, like never before, social media engagement has become an incredibly important factor in your marketing plan.
Making a social proof and engagement plan
Step one of social media engagement and social proof is planning. By mapping out our goals, we’ll be able to better keep track of our results, as well as what’s working and not working. Now, you don’t have to go crazy and make a 5 year plan or anything like that, especially if you’re just starting out on this journey. Instead, look to reassess your engagement online every month or few. This way, you won’t get overwhelmed, but you can still make changes as needed. Here’s a few steps to get you started:
Segment out your audience into relevant groups
List each segments needs and wants, as well as general interests
Gather your data for your current levels of social media engagement
Set some realistic 3 month goals for increasing engagement
Map out how your new engagement will factor into your sales pipeline
Mark a date to gather your updated data and review what’s working and what can work better
What are some of the best strategies for engagement?
Now that we have a lay of the land in terms of social media engagement, let’s dive right in and talk about some strategies that work. One of the best parts about these strategies is that they can be mixed and matched as you see fit. And really, you can experiment with them as well, so that you can find what works best for your brand.
Adding photos or videos
The numbers point to a serious bump in engagement whenever you add photos or videos to your posts. Whether you’re posting to Facebook or your own blog, you’ll find that these two help draw in your audience and capture their attention. And don’t forget that you can create or stage images for your future posts to give your audience original content instead of stock images.
Include a question in your post
People naturally want to share their opinion and offer answers. While you won’t want to overuse this tactic (or else it gets too obvious), you can still use it often to increase your engagement. And really, just about any question can work.
Focus on different types of content that satisfy your audience
Another excellent way to increase social media engagement is to create different types of content that satisfy in different ways. For example, maybe on one day, you post something that makes part of your audience happy. On another day, maybe you post something that gets them thinking. By thinking of various way to engage them, you also keep your content interesting, which is a huge plus.
Work in quotes, reviews, and testimonials
A huge part of social proof and meaningful engagement is highlighting what other people have to say. Think about it for a moment: when you’re able to work in a quote from an authority or a review from a thrilled customer, you’re helping to establish your cred in your industry. This can lead to further engagement and conversation.
Finally, our last strategy is incredibly simple… yet, many of your competitors probably aren’t following it. When you have your audience engaging more, a surefire way to stifle it is to ignore it. And we’ve probably all been there: we’ve asked a question on social media… and a company never gets back to us. What a buzzkill! Instead, dedicate time to respond quickly when your engagement starts to pick up.
But how do you deal with trolls?
The last part of our guide to social media engagement and social proof is all about trolling. If you haven’t come across this term yet, don’t worry, because it’s pretty straightforward. Trolling is about what it sounds like: instigating arguments online just for the sake of argument. It doesn’t even matter if the person believes what they’re saying or not, the purpose remains the same. Many brands have been dealing with this phenomenon, sometimes in a way that hurts their brand. Well, to make sure you have all the tools for your engagement and social proof, we wanted to bring you a few strategies for dealing with trolls and negative comments in general.
Don’t let your emotions get the better of you
The whole purpose of trolling is to get an emotional response. Yet, the best way to deal with it is through calm, even-handed management, even when you feel otherwise.
Delete comments only when they’re obvious trolling
When it comes to social media engagement, it can be tempting to merely delete negative comments. However, this can often lead to a backlash and cries of censorship, which can hurt your brand even more. Instead, only delete comments when it’s obvious that it’s just trolling.
Let your community moderate unless things get out of hand
Once you’ve started to boost your engagement, you’ll find that your audience will often come to your defense. This is probably one of the best and most authentic ways to deal with negative comments. Of course, if things descend into a shouting match, you can step in and put a stop to it. But use your best discretion.
Have a tip or two you’d like to share with us on how you like to create engagement? Tell us all about it in the comments!