You’ve worked hard to attract your social media followers. But now what? How do you keep your social fans engaged so your follower counts are more than just a number and your social media efforts can translate into real business results? Here are some of our top tips for B2B marketers to increase social engagement:
1. Ask questions. Social media content from brands can often feel like someone is talking at us, rather than to us. Questions are a great way to switch this up and invite conversation and participation. There are also a number of different ways to use questions in your social posts, giving you options for expanding the variety of content that you post. Perhaps the easiest way to get started utilizing questions is to ask for opinions on a blog post or a piece of curated content. For example, “Here are 7 habits of highly successful marketers. What other habits would you add to the list?” Polls, quizzes and contests are other great ways to ask questions to increase engagement.
2. Talk about topics instead of yourself. Focus more on the subjects at hand, rather than your brand. Identify content themes that you will post about and stick closely to those. If your company makes HR software, for example, some of your topics might be hiring, employee retention and change management. While some of your posts may talk about your product in relation to those issues, only a small percentage of your overall content should be promotional. By being seen as a trusted resource first and a company out to sell something second, you can greatly increase your social engagement.
3. Be visual. The attention span for the amount of words people will consume online at one time seems to decrease year after year. That’s why visuals have become increasingly important on social media. Be sure that provide variety in the types of visuals that you post, rather than simply attaching stock photos to your posts and calling it a day. While stock photography certain has its place in social posts, branch out to include illustrations, infographics and images of real people or products within your company. And don’t forget to include video in your visual mix. With eye-catching movement and visuals, videos are an effective way to communicate information and increase social engagement.
4. Engage in conversations. Social media gives brands an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their audiences in real-time. Make sure you make the most of this opportunity. While you don’t need to respond to every comment that comes your way, take the time to regularly engage with followers. Compliments and complaints are two big opportunities for engagement, but also be sure to weigh in when someone shares their opinion or perspective on content you share. This two-way communication, no matter how simple, speaks volumes about your company’s willingness to engage with your audiences and shows a much more human side of your brand.
5. Know what matters to your audience. Give your audience what they want, and engagement will naturally follow. Of course, in order to do that, you must first figure out what they want. Use social analytics to determine your most popular posts on each platform. This will help you identify trends and uncover what posts resonate most with your audience, so you can give them more of the same. Don’t let this prevent you from experimenting, however. Try new things, analyze their performance and repeat where successful.