If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve probably obsessed over customer engagement since shortly after launching your business. Somewhere between the construction of your website and the creation of your social media accounts, you envisioned how the power of the internet would help you land customer after satisfied customer.
With each stage of business development, your attitude evolved: from the nervous, fearful, frantic early days leading up to your launch, to the eager-to-please and hopeful days of signing your first customer or client, to the hey-it’s-really-working days of running your business—you always put the customers’ needs ahead of your own, hoping to ignite that critical spark that would send your business soaring.
Social media promised to help. All the magazines, blogs, podcasts and celebrity marketer-types agreed it would, provided you had content to share that people (more specifically, your audience) would care about.
So, you (or your marketing person) created content. You thought it was good content (all your friends and family members said they liked it). But when you posted it to your social networks, nothing happened. No real traction to speak of, and certainly no stampede of customers. Your friends and family have nothing more to say on the matter (it’s not their job, after all); and, apparently, your followers are a pretty tight-lipped bunch.
Maybe you’re wondering, by this point, if social media is worth the hassle and expense. Can anything be said in its defense? Fortunately, there’s plenty to say about social media, especially when it comes to customer engagement.
Most entrepreneurs and small business owners understand the appeal of social platforms. Some have followed through by honing their social presence online, but the challenge of triggering actual conversations with customers and prospects based on your content may elude even your very best efforts.
To help make it easier, here are six tips for boosting engagement with content:
1. Poll Your Audience
Nothing makes customers feel important like being asked for their opinions. Given the opportunity, most will sound off with their thoughts, ideas and wisdom. Why not invite them to comment via the social network of your choice? It will show them you care and it will provide useful insights into their way of thinking, which will inform your marketing decisions.
2. Why So Serious?
All entrepreneurs want their businesses to be taken seriously, but consider your audience for a minute. If you market to consumers, they’re accustomed to seeing “fun” creative content. If you market to businesses—sure, they have work to do, but most appreciate a break from the mundane. In fact, many will take to social media as a way to break up their “serious” work throughout the day. So, lighten up. There’s no law against lighthearted or humorous content. And a little levity will likely make your posts more shareable, which just might grow your business.
3. Don’t Fear the Spotlight
One of the reasons customers and prospects visit your social pages is because they want to know more about you. Not just your company, but an actual glimpse into the people and culture behind your logo. So, don’t be afraid to show your personal side. Connecting with people on a personal level is the power behind social media marketing; business owners can embrace this reality by sharing personal things about themselves. Marketers, you can seize the opportunity to show what’s happening behind the scenes at your company (or client’s company, as the case may be).
4. People (Still) Love Quotes
From the gym to the sales meeting to the board room, uplifting, empowering quotes are a great way to inspire and motivate people. Social media posts that feature quotes tend to be very popular for just this reason provided they share a connection with what your followers hope to achieve. Figure out what will resonate with your audience and post away.
5. New-to-You Reposts
You go to a lot of trouble to create content that’s fresh, captivating and relevant, so don’t toss it out just because you’ve posted it once before. The truth is, social media moves at warp speed. Just because you’ve posted something doesn’t mean people have seen it—most haven’t. So, feel free to repost evergreen content that’s relevant to your followers. In all likelihood, you’ll be engaging a whole new audience. And, remember, one great evergreen repost is your opt-in content offer.
6. Create, but Also Curate
Yes, you need to create fresh, relevant, engaging content that’s all your own, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. Curating other people’s content that resonates with your audience is an effective way to complement your own contributions. Just think of the topics that are of interest to your followers, find relevant posts on other sites or blogs, and then share them with your audience. By curating content from other sources, you’ll be providing your followers with valuable content and forging relationships with others who cater to your ideal customer. Curation is also a great way to reward your followers with more in-depth content than you’d normally provide on a given topic, or information that’s hard to find.
Social media isn’t going away. People will continue to flock to their social platforms of choice for entertainment, as well as solutions to their problems. By following these six tips for boosting customer engagement, you’ll be crafting your content to their interests and needs—and that’s always good for business.