I’m not a social media expert, yet ;-) but I’ve learned a thing or two about engaging your audience through social media simply by imitating how others engage with me.
It really can be that simple.
For me it’s been the little things that work like crazy when it comes to getting social marketing results and these are my favorites.
Give them a try. They’ve helped me not only engage with my audience but also find new friends, build loyalty, trust and develop lasting relationships; and that’s the best part!
6 Easy Tips For Engaging Your Audience Through Social Media
Tip 1. Passion vs. Product. Social media can be frustrating with all the ‘buy this’ and ‘buy that’ tweets and messages we get.
If you’ve been in this business any time at all you know that’s a big turn off. It’s also the wrong way to engage your audience.
When it comes to social marketing you’re far better off putting your focus on passion instead of product/service.
Here’s what I mean.
Friends and followers are more likely to interact with you when you connect with things they are passionate about. So it just makes sense that when you share something share the things that help your reader DO something they are passionate about.
For me my followers love what content marketing can do for their business and their passion is having a profitable business, not that they literally love content marketing.
Appeal to your readers passion, not their wallet.
Tip 2. Be a Bragger. Brag About your friends and followers on Social Media.
There’s not one of you reading this that doesn’t want recognition, validation and acceptance so give that special recognition to friends and fans that you think deserve it.
Here’s how to brag.
- Make reference to them with a link within your content.
- Do a blog post interview
- Re-tweet their tweets
- Like their Facebook page and Facebook posts.
- When someone does something kind or acknowledges you post a public Twitter and FB Thank You.
People not only love being mentioned, they also respond to it and will share your tweets and pages with their friends.
Tip 3. Use Hashtags on Social Media channels. Hashtags (keywords with the ‘#’ sign in front of them) use to be a twitter thing only, now they’re also used on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and even Pinterest.
According to Dan Zarella, the social media scientist, tweets using hashtags get 55% more retweets.
Hashtags mark a specific keyword or keyword phrase which helps engage conversations on social media channels. For example, #contentmarketing is a hashtag used to make content marketing tweets, comments, etc. There are lots of hashtags already out there or you can create your own.
Don’t know what hashtags to use?
No problem. You can make them up or use tags already out there. Go to Hashtags.org for current hashtags and discussions.
But be careful! Use hashtags in the right context. I recently read a true story about a tweet Entennman’s bakery did when tweeting with the hashtag #notguilty, maybe you heard about it.
The tweet was:
‘Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?‘
The funny thing was that Entennmans didn’t know that the hashtag #notguilty was also being used during a famous murder trial going on at the same time. So their tweets didn’t exactly get in front of the right people.
So test your hashtags first to see who’s using them and what context they’re being used in.
Tip 4. Great content. No one discusses content that isn’t discussion worthy. It has to resonate with your fans and readers. That’s what builds trust and loyalty.
Whenever someone likes, retweets or shares my content I’ll thank them and the one common remark I get back is that people love to share good content.
When you have social conversations with your readers and followers because of the great content you write you’re building friendships and connections. But no one is going to discuss content that they don’t think is worthy.
Tip 5. Use Email Consistently. Email comes and goes as the favorite tool to get crapped on, pardon my French.
But people love to pick on email saying it’s dead and that the social platforms are replacing it.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Email all the is still one of the most effective ways to socially engage with your audience and build trust with them, so you want to use it.
But use it correctly.
It’s not a tool for blatant advertising or making phony sales pitches. Email is an opportunity to open up to your readers letting them see your personal side and making them feel like they’re the most important person to you.
It’s also a way to give your readers a heads up on what you’re doing, particularly with your website or blog.
I share with my readers every time I publish a new blog post and I do it automatically. With an autoresponderlike Aweber, it’s easy to do with their broadcast feature. The big advantage here is that you’re connecting, sharing and giving your readers an opportunity to engage on your blog.
That’s a call to action opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
Tip 6. Post Thoughtful Questions.
As questions come to mind post them on Twitter or Facebook and make them engaging.
A good example is Adrienne Smith. She LOVES asking questions and as you can see she got over 45 comments with this engaging question.
Now that’s engaging
Tip 7. Reply to your Blog Commenters.
Replying to comments that come into your blog is a super easy way to engage with your visitors.
But I’m not just talking about replying with a simple ‘thank you for commenting’ or ‘nice to have you here’ and then call it good. That’s just wasting data space and time. If you were at a party and someone commented, would you simply say thanks for saying that? Of course not. You’d reply by saying something that adds ideas or prompts another response.
That’s what getting social is all about. Prompting and encouraging dialog.
Granted not everyone is easy to engage, so try adding ideas or ask a direct question. You may not get a response from the person that made the original comment but you may prompt ideas and comments from others.
If you’re using Wordpress, the ‘Replyme’ plugin is perfect for engaging your audience because it sends an email to your commenter thanking them for commenting but the email also includes a copy or your response to them.
This is a perfect way to acknowledge your commenter and make a great impression. I highly recommend it.
A quick Heads Up: As good as the ‘replyme plugin’ is, it’s not been updated by the author. That means it could be vulnerable to bugs and spam. However the plugin has become part of the premium version of the commentLuv plugin which is better and safer. It’s also designed to attract more commenters and more traffic. There’s also a Top Commenters widget. See mine to the right? Another awesome way to engage!
Now it’s your turn. What social media ideas have you learned from others that you use to engage your audience?
Photo Courtesy of adamr & Freedigitalphotos.net