So, your business recently ran a Facebook campaign incentivizing people to like your page in exchange for the chance to win a free product, a local food critic gave your restaurant an excellent review and put your Twitter handle at the bottom, or a celebrity posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing your clothing brand and tagged you in it. As a result, you have a bunch of new followers!
The rush is exhilarating, and maybe the first few posts you make get a lot of engagement. As time goes on, however, that engagement starts to dwindle. Your posts at 1,000 followers begin to get as many likes as they did when you had 100. It’s as if those new fans of your brand just completely disappeared, but the follower count remains the same. The number of followers should directly indicate the scope of your social media presence…right?
Many businesses don’t realize that acquiring followers is only the first step to running a successful social media campaign. Those followers mean nothing if they don’t actually engage with any of the content you post, because what you really want are customers, not followers. If followers were all you cared about then you wouldn’t be running a business- you’d be running a page that posts cute dog memes. And sure, we all love dog memes, but most businesses want a tangible ROI from their social media efforts. So how do you up your game and encourage your audience to engage with your brand?
This may sound obvious, but engaging content is more than just content that catches the eye. Engaging content prompts an audience to interact with your brand and with your brand’s community. Tweets inviting your audience to use a new hashtag, Facebook polls asking them questions about which products are their favorites, or Instagram photo caption contest are all great examples of truly engaging content. People who use social media enjoy taking part in active conversations, and encouraging your audience to be a part of your brand’s unique conversation forms crucial relationships that lead to brand loyalty.
Engaging directly with followers is important for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and small businesses especially. The quality of your followers is far more important than the quantity, and engaging with your followers, even if there are only a few of them, will make them more loyal to your brand. When you interact directly with your audience on social media, they feel valued and important. Who wouldn’t want to buy clothes from a brand that values its consumers’ thoughts and opinions, and even makes an effort to make them laugh from time to time. At the end of the day, it’s really all about building relationships. Even if your brand doesn’t have thousands of followers, be sure to engage with the audience that does follow you. Think about it this way- would you rather have 100 passive acquaintances or a few best friends? Who is going to bring more value to your life?
If you’ve just struck a goldmine of new followers, you’re going to want to start talking to them immediately and keep that conversation going. If you aren’t at the forefront of your followers’ minds on a consistent basis, they’re going to forget about you. If your brand posts frequently and successfully rides the wave of attention from new followers, those new followers are more likely to engage with your content regularly and become loyal customers.
The current meta of social media marketing requires businesses to be posting engaging content frequently. If you’re a business owner or work in the marketing department of your organization, you might not have the time to develop and post as much content as you should to successfully promote your brand across social media. After all, online marketing is a full-time job. If you find that your current team doesn’t have the capacity to properly develop and execute a social media marketing strategy, it may be necessary to increase your marketing staff or entertain the idea of working with an agency partner. When done correctly, consistent social media efforts can be one of your strongest and most effective marketing assets.