A digital marketing strategist who is passionate to help B2B SaaS companies achieve organic growth.
In today's world, many businesses rely on social media to level up their game of marketing and brand awareness. With 3.8 billion social media users worldwide, there's a vast field of opportunities to interact with your target audience as a brand.
“Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI. It’s about building relationships.” — GaryVee on social media engagement.
It has been proven through analytics that consumers often look at social media before deciding on what to buy and what not to. As per the report by UPS, millennials being the largest consumers in the globe today utilize social media as a vital part of their buying journey. Considering the digital revolution which has taken over the globe, social media isn’t only a marketing option now but an essential limb of a body called “brand”.
Take a brand like “Nike” which has over 121M Instagram, 8.2M Twitter, 34.43M Facebook followers, and a ton of engagement, this brand is no doubt one of the best brands on social media today.
What most amateur or established brands don’t realize is that there is more to social media than just creating an account and uploading posts of products. It requires a solid base of strategy on which the future of the brand can be built, and that isn’t easy. The Manifest research found that 24% of the companies do not have a formal social media marketing strategy in place.
So, how do you do it?
Below, I have mentioned some crucial steps to level up your brand's customer engagement on social media right from the beginning.
First thing first, you need to know where you’re starting from. So put on your analytics hat (looks cool on you!) and note down your present number of followers, comments, and shares on average per post, sign-ups on your website or whatever numbers are significant to you.
Then make sure to keep tracking regularly so you know how far you have come from where you started.
I understand it isn’t the most interesting stuff to deal with. So you can use social media engagement analytics tools to make your social media strategy hassle-free.
Now that you know where to get started, let me help you understand where you can find your target audience and how to reach them. And for that, you need to ask these questions to yourself:
You can also collect this data from your website using tools such as surveys, quizzes, chatbots or various chat systems. Actively engaging with your visitors in real-time can help you get quality insights into their preferences and expectations towards your brand. On the other hand, by automatically tracking their behavioral patterns, you are able to spot trends, see the pages and products they are most interested in, and then build your social media strategy around that.
In a nutshell, focus on creating content that your customer wants to see on social media platforms based on the data you collect.
As geeky as this sounds, your online presence is built upon this aspect. Of course, a one-size-fits-all solution is not available for this as every company’s business goals are different, every company’s social media strategy is also no exception. Take 2 esteemed brands like IBM and Netflix for an example.
B2B giant IBM is one of the largest technology companies in the world. Established over 100 years ago, IBM has a rich history of innovation. And their social media strategy is one of its kind which targets an audience that is business-minded and their social media strategy has that point as an epicenter.
Also, this post is also an example of a highly effective social media marketing strategy because conventionally, B2B companies do brand storytelling in long-form-content like blog posts and videos. But IBM’s twitter feed is an example that you can tell a story in a single Tweet as well.
On the other hand, Brands like Netflix nail their social media engagement strategy by interacting with their fans. They regularly joke around with them. For example, on their Canada Day post, all of their responses to their fans made Canadian references such as using the word “eh”.
As an established brand, they understand that their target audience is primarily teenagers and young adults, so their strategy is built around them.
Here is a bonus point for you to boost your start in creating strategy in the form of essential parameters brands use to build their social media strategy.
B2B companies should also consider:
Creating relatable content helps you to establish a meaningful bond with your audience. It requires analyzing your audience in-depth and then creating your content accordingly.
A study by Monetate found that 79% of companies that had exceeded their revenue goals had a well-documented personalization strategy. A study by Accenture also found that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that acknowledge and provide relevant recommendations.
Now that you know how important it is to create relatable content, below given are the growth hacks used by brands for creating personalized content.
a) Create Multilingual content — If your audience is spread across the globe, content creation in the local language can help you immensely in connecting with the audience.
b) Build One-to-One Connections — Whether it is replying to a customer’s tweet on social media or replying to comments on Facebook or Instagram in a way that spreads brand awareness, creating a one-to-one connection with customers can help you travel a long way as a successful brand.
c) Use Consumer-Generated Content — Motivate your active community members to share their experiences, photos or videos by using a branded hashtag. Apple, for example, ran a campaign on Instagram with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone. The brand encouraged customers to upload photos with the said hashtag and used these images to promote their brand and the iPhone camera’s capabilities.
Most brands forget to be social on social media!
To grow your social media engagement, you have to be social too. When a person sends you a message in an inbox or leaves a comment on your post, you are given an opportunity to initiate a conversation with them to convert them into your customer.
Jeremy from uSERP says: “Every social touch point is a chance to either (a) convert a potential customer or (b) build further brand loyalty and extend your brand image. You can’t leave social media without interacting with people. It’s no longer just a promotional tool for your content. It’s an engagement platform to connect and build real relationships with people who will buy from you!”
Never ever lose a customer who approached because there are higher chances of them being converted into a loyal customer. Whether they leave a positive comment or negative message, respond to each of them. Show appreciation for positivity and provide a solution to negative ones.
Do you know about 56% of social media users experience FOMO, when they see other consumers enjoying products of your brand? They too want to feel that, which encourages them to buy the product. But, before anyone can trust your brand, they need proof that you provide value. Replying to an audience on social media shows them you care for their problems.
There are two primary ways you can respond to users on social media:
It’s important to respond to comments you get on your Facebook ads, not just your organic posts. So whether you are running your ads yourself, or using a vetted ads expert, you need to make sure to respond to every single ad comment.
Besides, people also trust you if you have a verified account. But, we all know that building up your presence in such a way that you get a blue tick needs a lot of time and hard work.
Who doesn't like to get a response? To get acknowledged especially by someone whom people admire, right?
So why in the world would you as a brand not go out there and show that there’s a genuine person behind the brand? It’s way more tempting to engage with a brand when you see them showing their warmth and care for their customers in comment sections.
Below mentioned are the steps to get the ball rolling while showing the human side of your brand.
Scheduling is important to reach your target audience at the time they’re online especially on the occasions when you aren't available to post. Let's say, when you are on a holiday, or can not post at a specific time, each day scheduling allows you to maintain an active social media account.
Being consistent is important because if people reach your account and notice that it is inactive, that reflects badly on your brand. Many people will look at that and assume you don’t care enough about your audience to keep them updated on new products or other important information.
Brian Greenberg, CEO of True Blue says: “For social media engagement, always remember: automation in moderation. Automate the tasks and processes that don’t directly involve customer communication. Tasks like content calendars, publishing, and promotion. Then, ditch the automation and actually engage with people.“
It is important that you find the right social media management tool to develop your social calendar. Some good tools you can use to boost your workflow are Sprout Social, Coschedule, HootSuite, and Buffer.
According to John Medina, author of Brain Rules, "Visual content can support information recall by up to 65 percent three days after the information was delivered. Compare that to text-only information, which offers a recall rate of only 10%."
Using trending memes, images and GIFs is the new cool in brand strategy these days.
At this point, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that GIFs have become the international language of the internet. Also, animated content is a perfect way to show your audience who you are and what your personality is as a brand. GIFs are an easy way to communicate effectively on social media platforms like Instagram.
Websites like Giphy, help you find and add all sorts of animations which in turn adds flavor to your brand.
In this dynamic era, engaging customers on social media is no less than a challenge. Your followers have a dwindling attention span and are perpetually bombarded with huge amounts of content – which makes getting their attention (let alone engagement) difficult.
Yet, difficult doesn’t mean impossible. By observing your audience in-depth, replying to their messages, comments, and showing your brand personality, you can establish a connection with your community easily.
Which of these tips you found most useful and what do you think about these methods, do let us know in Community!
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