What Is Social Media Engagement & Why Should I Care?
For numerous businesses, social media is a noisy and jam-packed place to try and build brand awareness. And the idea of social media management is overwhelming for some small businesses and organizations because there’s simply too much that goes into learning how to use social media to drive new business or product sales. Trust us, it is a business that is constantly changing and keeping up with those changes is often critical to success. To be successful your eye must always be focused on social media engagement.
Whеn it comes tо figuring out if what your business is doing on social media is working or not, you must set up reporting tools to track your ѕосiаl mеdiа ROI. Rеturn оn invеѕtmеnt iѕ mеаѕurеd in mаnу wауѕ. Uѕuаllу it can be dеtеrminеd thrоugh fасtоrѕ thаt аrе fаirlу straightforward аnd quantifiable.
Tracking your investment in social media is often less of a dollar figure, аnd mоrе оf a human rеѕоurсе invеѕtmеnt. Sоmеоnе (or a company like Luce Media ) hаѕ to create content, роѕt it, update it, оrgаnizе thе соntеѕtѕ, givеаwауѕ, etc. They nееd to respond tо inquiries on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, аnd еntеr into the diѕсuѕѕiоnѕ on оthеr соmраniеѕ’ ѕitеѕ.
Creating an effective social media strategy truly is a challenge that most businesses face today. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to find out what’s really going on with the content and information your business posts to various social media platforms.
Measuring your strategy is simply proof that your social media efforts are working. You need to know that you’re efforts are working and that potential customers or clients are responding to those efforts. The best way to find that out is by assessing your efforts.
By now you likely know there are all types of ways to measure what you are doing in social media. You can track the number of followers on Instagram, the number of comments on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, etc. But as a business, these social media platforms open up a wealth of data on who is watching your activity on their social platform, what the demographic makeup of your followers are and all kinds of information about what interests them.
Are you using the right social media metrics and analytics tools to monitor, assess and improve your social media performance? What analytics are you measuring and what should you be measuring in your social media tracking?
Monitoring your social media analytics can make the difference between the success or failure of your social media presence. And while there are dozens of different metrics that can be measured in social media – the most important metric to track for any business is ENGAGEMENT.
The engagement rate for social media is typically defined as the total number of interactions with your content divided by the total number of impressions it receives. While this KPI (A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives and a key factor in social media engagement) can help you determine at a high-level if people engage with your social content, it won’t tell you if they do so in ways that are meaningful and profitable for your business. What counts as a meaningful social interaction varies from industry to industry, and even from company to company.
A report from Thunderhead said only one in four businesses feel confident in their ability to create strong, customer engagement. If you fall into that category, don’t worry–we won’t tell. Instead, let’s make sure you’re comfortable with how to engage and build your brand on social.
What is Social Media Engagement? How Do You Improve Engagement?
Social media engagement is essentially like a long-term relationship. You can imagine a committed and lengthy relationship takes dedication, readiness to adapt, the ability to think about the future and ensure the other party involved is happy for years to come.
Try not to think of social media engagement as just a single interaction with one of your customers. As Thunderhead shows, you’re creating an open line of communication over a period of time. While the term “customer relationship” may come to mind, engagement is different and on its own level.
Providing More to Social Customer Care
When we think about social media engagement, it’s about how you use networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to build a great customer experience. You want to be there for your patrons through thick and thin.
As soon as customers decide to engage with your business on social media, they’re essentially putting trust into your brand to solve their problem.
As the clothing store Tarnish successfully showcases, reaching out to your customers when they have specific questions increases brand loyalty and even sparks the chance of a future purchase. All it takes is a bit of timely communication.
In the past, customers had to go to great lengths to get ahold of the brand to be heard. While the days of “we’re sorry–all of our customer service representatives are currently busy” still exists, businesses are getting better at making those troublesome interactions a thing of the past by enhancing engagement through social media.
Sprout Social discovered social media is the most preferred channel for customers to engage with brands. This means one way to dramatically improve engagement is to ensure every potential or current customer conversation ends with satisfaction or resolve.
3 Basic Steps to Improve Engagement
Improving engagement isn’t necessarily rocket science, but it does take effort. Try not to think of social business or social branding as something new. This type of marketing has been around for decades.
Now there’s a massive audience out there ready to be targeted, dissected and reached through social media engagement. The important thing is to know how to approach your audience, which is why we’re providing five tips to improve your social media engagement.
1. Start the Conversation
Like we mentioned before, try to think about social media engagement as a long-term relationship. Every great relationship needs someone to initiate the conversation to get things going. And if you are running a business, it has to be your brand.
As with any relationship it takes time to get to know each other. In this case, you are introducing yourself to the other person. You know what your intent is – to get a conversation going back and forth so that you can show them why your business, product or service is valuable. So don’t expect them to react immediately and begin conversing. It takes time to build relationships and until they get to know your brand….they may say little or nothing at all. Just continue to deliver information that is useful and valuable. Soon the relationship will begin to grow.
However, it’s not always that easy to get a group together to converse. If you have issues with getting engagement from content, try hosting Q&As or Twitter Chats. But try joining a few first. Use your brand’s social accounts to join conversations within your field. Be active with questions and provide industry knowledge to users.
You’ll be shocked at how quickly users will follow you. When people understand there’s a human behind the brand, their trust level increases. To build brand awareness, it’s all about trust and engagement.
Pro Tip: Be careful with your early conversations. Don’t promote right off the bat or else you’ll find little interactions and participation. Provide something of value like your industry insights or previous experience.
2. Promote Your Brand Enthusiasts
Another way to show you’re willing to get the conversation going is by promoting your brand enthusiasts’ content. For example, if you’re on Instagram, you could ask for customers to @mention you or use a branded hashtag to show off a new product or service.
Vans regularly uses its branded hashtag #myvans to get customers involved and to post their own content with the hashtag. Try to get your customers to help by encouraging them to submit pictures of them using your product or service. When you post user-generated content, you’re essentially showcasing your customers and to further your social engagement. This also helps push others who are on the fence to interact with your brand by giving an avenue to communicate. It essentially becomes a type of product endorsement or review for you. Almost always, it is a strong, positive endorsement.
Pro Tip: Make sure you are completely transparent with your intentions and how you plan to use customers’ content if you do so. Try using social media contests to give away t-shirts, swag gift packs or your actual product. Encourage your audience to share your material and to use specific hashtags.
3. Hashtags are critical to finding new customers.
A hashtag is a label for content. It helps others who are interested in a certain topic, quickly find content on that same topic.
A hashtag looks something like this: #SmallBusinessSaturday or #ContentMarketing
Why do you want people to use a certain hashtag? It’s all about tracking.
You can use hashtags on platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. Anyone sharing content on a relevant topic can add the hashtag label to their message. People on social media frequently search for specific words that are used as Hashtags. So, by using the right hashtag, you increase the chance of a prospect or potential customer discovering your business.
Keep hashtags as short as possible. It’s best if a hashtag is an understandable word, phrase or abbreviation.
If you are a business that is posting to social media in an attempt to grow, you must track how often and how much your audience is engaging with your posts. Sinсе mоѕt buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ dоn’t ѕtudу thе impact оf thеir ѕосiаl mеdiа campaigns, thеу hаvе nо idеа thаt they mау be wаѕting a lоt оf time and effort on асtivitiеѕ thаt аrе nоt рауing оff.
If you have hired a social media company that is NOT providing you with this information on a monthly basis, then you should consider finding one that does. Luce Media ALWAYS provides clients with monthly reports that focus on social media engagement.
Once you have a reporting strategy in place, start building ways to engage with your audience and watch those numbers climb.
Hiring a knowledgeable marketing agency like Luce Media allows business owners to focus on running operations and increasing the bottom line, not messing around with Facebook, Twitter or trying to build out a website. In the end, the bigger question maybe isn’t can I afford an experienced marketing agency, but rather how much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do these marketing services in-house. For a FREE analysis of your current efforts in social media, please click here now.