You got your social media planning template. Your social media marketing strategy is in full swing. You’ve selected the social media channels that will help you reach your target audience, and you’ve created the accounts. You started following your industry leaders and you’ve been sharing quality content. You’re growing a good following and continue to gain followers each day.
Sounds great, but in order to keep your current followers and to keep growing, you have to engage. Social media is just like a plant, you have to keep watering it to keep it growing and thriving.
To engage, means to occupy, attract, or involve. And in the social media world, it’s no different than the traditional definition. Basically, you need to be present, entertaining, informative and responsive.
Mention Them by Name
People love their name and their handle. Even more, they love seeing it mentioned; it makes them feel special.
The best way to mention others on social media is through tagging. Tagging allows others to know you’re talking about them and with them; it gets their attention and awareness. There is such a thing as too much, so tag with tact and mention others as often as it’s appropriate.
If you’re sharing photos or a status that involves other organizations or individuals, be sure to tag them. If you’re working on a partnership or meeting up somewhere, you can tag the individual and the location.
Sharing and tagging events and promotions for others is a great way to encourage reciprocation. Sharing others content, posts, events, etc., makes them more likely to share your content as well.
Encourage Sharing and Posting
First, you must create and curate good content. Good content should be interesting and relevant. Your fans won’t automatically share a post just because it’s in their news feed. They will share what’s useful and interesting to them.
Community building starts at home. Ask your network, employees and coworkers to connect with your social media accounts; encourage them to share and comment.
If you’re struggling to gain followers and build your audience, start with your supporters. (Believe it or not, my mom is still my number one fan. Whenever I write a blog or share something – I can almost always guarantee at least one like will be from her.)
Network sharing creates a trending effect among followers connected to your business. When followers see several people talking about a topic and sharing the same content, they’re more likely to be interested. So, tell your network when you’ve shared great stuff, and ask them to check it out.
Create a hashtag around a discussion, keyword, phrase, promotional campaign, or event. Hashtags are clickable links to keywords and phrases in social media. When preceded by the pound sign or hash symbol, the entire post will be displayed in a real-time live feed with every other post using the same hashtag.
Hashtags can be used to reach new audiences, connect like-minded people, and monitor streams of conversation. Choosing and using the right hashtag can greatly broaden the reach of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers, fans or customers.
Listening and responding to your followers helps you build a community around your brand. Share and repost others’ content to build relationships and remember to give them credit for creating such great content. When others share or comment on your content, thank them for it. Be sure to tag them by name in your reply so they receive the notification and revisit your page/post to read it.
Thank your new followers by name. Acknowledge any type of positive interaction you can. Interactions can include shares, retweets, favorites, and mentions.
There are lots of fun ways to interact with your followers. Some common ones are photo caption contests and voting. People like to compete and express their opinion, even more, they love to win.
Offering small and simple incentives can encourage interaction. Some of these include giveaways, coupons, exclusive events, and exclusive content. You have to keep in mind the different motives. Some people will engage with your brand just for entertainment purposes, but some are only there to win.
These social media tips will help to create a more comprehensive social media strategy for your organization. Doing so helps attract new followers, delight those already following you and convert more fans into customers. For more tips, check out our introduction to social media marketing.