The ability to connect with your audience is the foundation for any successful social media campaign. But many companies are finding it difficult to engage with their social audience. And without effective social media engagement, finding potential customers to grow your business is more difficult. If this sounds familiar, try the following five tips to increase social media engagement:
Share interesting content
Your content, whether a web page or a blog, is the place where you normally engage with your customers, therefore, you should always make it count. Your content should not only be interesting, but it should also be genuinely useful, inspiring, and educational. You can share local stories that are relevant to your business, or you can tap into current trends in your industry. The bottom line is to find creative ways to update, inform, and entertain your target audience in a way that's relevant to them. The more they enjoy and finds value in your social media posts, the more likely they'll be willing to engage with you.
You also need to post more often to yield higher levels of engagement. Consider creating a social media schedule to help you post consistently. In addition to that, make sure you are posting at the right time. You will gain more engagement when you post at times when your audience are tuning into social media channels.
Another great way of increasing social media engagement is to run contests; these could be for discounted services or products that you offer, or something that runs alongside your particular brand. That said you should know that social media contests have become rather common these days, so it is important do something different that stands out for attention.
This is an effective and easy way to get more engagement with your social media posts. Followers usually tend to comment and interact with content when prompted by a question. By including a question, you will be able to make your posts much more personal, which will in turn increase your social media engagement. If you want to make things even more interesting, try asking thought-provoking questions designed to genuinely get to know your audience.
You should also consider including a call to action in your social media posts. Call to actions usually instill psychological nudges which help businesses drive their target audience to respond in a manner that they want. However, you should avoid using common phrases such as “Like this post..." or "Please RT,” unless it's a promotion. Instead, you should try to be a little more creative.
You should always respond professionally and promptly to any comments or/and questions from your social audience. If someone comments on your post, you should respond promptly, whether it is by answering the question or simply saying “thank you”. By doing so, your audience will know that you’re listening to them.
Use quality images
Using interesting images or short video clips with your social media posts is an easy way to dynamically increase engagement. Followers typically respond more to posts containing video or images. As a result, images can be very useful for capturing your audience’s attention. They also tend to stand out as followers scroll through their feeds.
Image Credit: Reyner Media
What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago social media barely existed and today just about every individual and business on the planet has a social media presence online. And with corporate accounts often managed by multiple individuals there is a treasure trove of information available.
Social media is an attractive target for hackers. “It’s an easy way to get information on individuals,” said Don Konzon, Phoenix campus chair for the College of Information Systems & Technology at University of Phoenix. Not just the social media posts that are published, but also the “hidden” or “private” data that is supposedly protected by various security settings. According to a University of Phoenix survey, approximately two-thirds of adults in the U.S. with social media accounts have been hacked and nearly half of them don't feel secure.
Use strong pa$$words
Use a strong password consisting of at least 12 characters of random numbers, letters and symbols. In a University of North Carolina research study it was discovered that most users create predictable passwords that make them easy to crack. For example, using a $ in place of an S, for instance. This makes it relatively easy for hackers to either guess the password or use a computer program that automatically tries different combinations. Symantec has a random password generator that you can use to help create more secure passwords for all of your online accounts.
Don’t use the same password
Create a different password for each social media account. In a 2010 survey by Symantec, only 18 percent of respondents reported having a different password for each site and the majority of them, 64 percent, don’t change their passwords often. While using the same password for multiple accounts may be easier to remember, it also makes it easier for the hacker to gain access to your accounts.
Change passwords often
Most hackers know that the vast majority of users don’t change their passwords very often. This allows them to take their time to penetrate a target. So regularly changing your passwords will help make your account more secure. Stanford University recommends changing passwords at least twice per year.
Limit account accessibility
In a corporate environment you often have multiple individuals managing social media accounts. Therefore, it is important to limit accessibility to only those individuals whom you can trust and educate them on your corporate security policy. Be sure to immediately revoke access to users who no longer need them or are no longer employed with the company.
Use multi-factor authentication
Whenever possible you should use multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of security protection by requiring the use of a device to verify the identity of a user. When multi-factor authentication is enabled, users must enter an access code that is sent to their smart phone to gain entry or make changes to an account.
Image Credit: Jason Howie | Flickr
Companies of all sizes are actively using social media to grow their business. And one of the best ways to do this is with Facebook Groups. This is because Facebook Groups allows an organization to build an engaging community where customers can meet and interact with your organization. What’s great about Facebook Groups is that it works for any size organization whether it’s a start-up, non-profit, mom and pop shop or a Fortune 500 company.
Getting started with Facebook Groups is easy. Simply log into your Facebook account and select Create Group (hint: it’s on the left side panel). Next, choose a name for your group and then select one of the three group privacy settings, public, closed or secret. We’ll discuss these in detail in a moment. Then write an inviting group description, upload a cover photo for your group and pin a welcome post to the top of your group.
Just as the name implies, a public Facebook group is open to the public. Anyone can join a public group. Use public groups to create awareness and build authority as well as interest in your business. For best results, however, consider a narrower niche, so your group will be more relevant and engaging. For example, if a company sells coffee and tea having a coffee drinkers group and a tea drinkers group will help ensure the topics and conversation are more relevant to the members in those groups thus maximizing participation. Also, try to focus on participation rather than just sending marketing messages. Remember, groups are about dialogues, and not direct sales. You should, therefore, create a group that encourages customers to interact and post comments often.
With a closed group prospective members must be invited or they can ask the group host for permission to join. Use a closed Facebook group to deliver support to a specific customer segment to cut down on email clutter and provide a central place that allows you to get feedback on what is and isn’t working for your company. With a closed Facebook group, you’ll be able to generate an open dialogue with your customers because you’ll have a special place for them to pose questions.
A secret group is by invitation only. Use secret groups as networking hubs for current customers because they allow you to come up with a personalized, private feedback channel that can be a priceless retention and engagement tool. Secret groups are great for providing extra value to your VIP-level customers. In fact, a secret group may be particularly appropriate for businesses whose products and services have a more exclusive audience like coaching organizations and training & consulting providers. With a closed group atmosphere, you’ll be able to create a sense of exclusivity and give your customers an opportunity to have direct access to you and your organization.
Image Credit: Josef Jerabek | Flickr