In this article, we’re serving up 4 reasons social media engagement is important for your business, a few examples of companies doing it well and 4 strategies you can use to organically improve your social media engagement.
4 Reasons Social Media Engagement is Important for Business
1. Merely posting content results in diminished reach for the brand.
Organic reach, especially on Facebook, has dramatically dropped over the last few years. Social media platforms have moved toward a freemium model to encourage brands to use advertising to boost their reach. In 2018, Facebook changed their algorithm to favor personal posts over posts from brands and businesses. This was to prioritize “meaningful engagement,” particularly from family and friends.
What does this mean? Posts that receive more thoughtful engagement in the forms of likes, comments, and shares will see more reach. Businesses must move from broadcast-style posting of social content to creating content experiences that inspire meaningful engagement. Without it, their reach will continue to diminish.
2. Customers demand businesses respond on social media, and do so quickly.
Social media has become a popular place for people to reach out for customer support, product inquiries, keep in touch with their favorite brands, advocate for change and, yes, complain.
Hootsuite reported that “69% of U.S. residents said that directly messaging a company makes them feel more confident about the brand.” The report also points out that how quickly businesses respond is important. Twitter found that 71% of their users expect a response within an hour.
Failure to engage with social users who expect timely responses undermines brand trust and leads to further disengagement.
3. Loyalty and advocacy are increased by social media engagement.
People love to interact with their favorite brands on social media. These interactions are what social media platforms were created for and they provide a way to share positive (and sometimes negative) experiences.
There is a lot of data that shows that responding to complaints on social media drives customer advocacy while ignoring customers shows that they are more likely to switch to a competitor. You can’t prevent all complaints, and being silent can send the wrong message.
4. Learn valuable insights from customers and potential customers
Social media gives business owners a direct line of communication with its customers and potential customers. You can use this as a tool to learn how you can improve their experience, create a better product offering, and most importantly build relationships.
Social Media Engagement Examples
Social media engagement comes in many forms:
However your audience chooses to interact with you on any of your social media platforms is social media engagement.
Here are a few examples of brands actively engaging with their followers.
Nike has a Twitter account specifically for providing customer support to its customers. This helps customers know that if they have a question or concern, they can reach out to Nike for a direct answer.
Wendy’s is another great example of a company using humor to post captivating tweets and engage with its fans.
Starbucks uses its social media platforms to interact with customers and answer questions, as well as use the feedback for new services.
How To Increase Social Media Engagement Organically
1. Post Relevant Content
The content you post should be specifically targeted to your ideal audience. Targeting works best when informed by analytics and audience insights including what resonates with them and how they prefer to consume content.
To determine the type of content your audience wants from you, look no further than the built-in analytics for each social platform. Instagram Business Insights, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics are all informative resources. Looking for more in-depth information? There are many analytic platforms out there to provide you with insights.
2. Interact With Your Audience
This step is one of the biggest game changers when it comes to increasing social media engagement organically. It’s important to set aside time to like, share and follow others. And as mentioned before, be timely in responding to comments and messages that come from your audience. This demonstrates that you care.
It’s also important to reach out and interact with individuals in your target audience. For example, if your audience is defined as ‘moms looking for stylish ways to dress their kids on a budget,’ then looking under hashtags such as #momlife and #momstyle give you opportunities to authentically interact with those individuals. This increases reach and brand awareness in an authentic and organic manner.
3. Consistency is Key
The world of social media is always “on” which means posting and interacting consistently will help keep your brand relevant. If you only occasionally post and rarely interact, then your audience won’t know if you are still in business and most likely will go with a competitor who has a consistent presence and interaction that shows they care.
Creating a content calendar and using a scheduling platform can help you maintain consistency, but be sure to interact in channels regularly, too.
4. Create Valuable Content
If you follow all the steps above but your content is weak it will limit your success. Create valuable content that serves your audience and makes them want to interact with you. Ask them what their pain points are and how you can help. Solve problems. Offer advice or expertise. By becoming an authority on your topic, providing valuable content and interacting around it you will see engagement grow organically.
If you are looking at social media solely as a content distribution platform, you are seriously limiting your marketing opportunities. Social media is now also a PR platform, a customer care outlet, an SEO factor, and has many undetectable effects on your overall brand presence. To make the most of these opportunities, keep an open mind and be observant. There are likely many more ways you can boost your organic reach in your own niche.
Investing in social media engagement brings valuable returns. You’ll learn more about your target audience which will serve you in marketing, improving products and service. You’ll have a more active audience helping to provide reviews, promote your brand and impact sales. Increasing engagement rates take time and consistency, and it’s worth the effort.