Social Media Engagement: Best Practices for Building an Army of Loyal Fans
Businesses can provide better and faster support for their audiences online with an effective social media engagement strategy. Meet your customers where they are, and engage with them on the platforms they already love!
Social media engagement is imperative for building your fan base, tuning your brand voice, and deepening your customer relationships.
Engaging with your fans, rather than constantly sales pitching them, generates loyalty by building genuine relationships. Show customers you care about them, and why they should care about you too by first establishing a connection.
“In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine human connection. People are going to be most invested in that which creates a sense of intimacy, warmth, and shared meaning in a world that would otherwise relegate them to a statistic. This is what creating a fanocracy is all about.” ~David Meerman Scott, Author
In this article, you will discover best practices for how to build loyalty and relationships with customers that are already fans of your brand, and social media engagement strategies to skyrocket your efforts.
Know Your Audience
It’s not easy to engage with people when you don’t know who you’re talking to. So, take time to learn key details about your audience. Where do they spend their time? What resources do they utilize? Why do they consider your brand one? Do you both use the same language and tone to communicate? The more you understand your audience, the deeper your brand and messaging will resonate with them.
Beyond the obvious fiscal impacts of knowing your audience, its benefits stretch far past your bottom line. Fundamentally understanding your audience supports your social media marketing strategy, builds your brand credibility, and cultivates passionate fans.
Knowing your audience will also help you determine:
- What social media sites to be on
- When to publish
- Type of content
- Brand voice
Before publishing a flurry of content, begin by listening to your audience. You can do this by observing their behavior on social media. Determine common themes, likes, and dislikes, and make note of the language they use.
Use these findings to develop a content management strategy. Having a content strategy for social media marketing ensures that your efforts are intentional, targeted, and true to your brand.
There’s no use in having a social media marketing strategy that doesn’t resonate with your brand, as it won’t resonate with your audience—who follows you for you—either. Maximize your time, impact, and reach with a social media marketing plan that engages your audience.
Engage With Your Community
Now that you know your audience, you’re ready to listen to and engage with them to foster a full-fledged community. Your audience is comprised of real people. They want to feel heard, the same as you. Acknowledge and appreciate your community by genuinely considering feedback and interacting with them on social media platforms.
Granted, listening to feedback doesn’t necessarily mean implementing every suggestion. It’s mostly about hearing your audience and dually mulling over their thoughts. This includes both positive and negative feedback—being open-minded is critical to social listening. If a particular suggestion does align with your business objectives, bring it to life!
Promptly responding to concerns is also part of social listening. Not only does this reinforce your customer’s knowledge, but it also encourages two-way engagement with your community.
Social listening and responsiveness impact brand loyalty. It caters to one of our most essential human needs: to be heard. When a customer can tell that a brand truly cares about their needs, they’re more likely to continue supporting it.
Keep the Conversation Going
Engaging in your community doesn’t stop there. A healthy social media marketing strategy includes ways to keep the conversation going. Keeping the conversation flowing keeps your brand at the top of their feeds and in the back of their minds.
Steady conversation requires you to participate and respond. The conversation will be fairly one-sided if you constantly post on social media but never respond to comments or messages.
There's no need to fully engross yourself in customer correspondence. Instead, include intentional customer correspondence methods in your social media engagement plan. Think of different ways to regularly follow up on inquiries and have efficient conversations with your audience without spending too much time on social media.
Loyal customers love to be in the know. Keep your audience in the loop by sharing exclusive updates about your company.
- Are you offering a new product, service, or promotion?
- Do you have new team members to show off?
- Have you expanded or partnered with someone noteworthy?
These are all things your customers are interested in knowing—and more importantly, what keeps them coming back.
Find Your Unique Brand Voice
As you develop your social media engagement strategy, it’s also important to develop a unique brand voice.
- What makes you, you?
- And how are you different from your competitors?
- What makes people feel like they can approach your brand?
Developing and maintaining a brand voice that is consistent across all channels and platforms helps you to become both recognizable and memorable.
Your audience wants to get to know you and your story. The openness of storytelling intrigues customers to come inside and make themselves at home. These connections stoke long-lasting relationships. Still, in the same breath, don’t rush the process. Take time to find your brand voice and story, and then use customer insights to fine-tune as needed.
Be sure to balance professionalism while always staying true to yourself! Letting your personality shine through portrays authenticity to your audience.
- Does your brand prefer to communicate with a sense of humor?
- Do you have unique, attention-grabbing tag lines or hashtags?
This is part of your brand personality. Learn to embrace it and your customers will follow suit.
Furthermore, to ensure your brand voice and personality are safeguarded, consider implementing guidelines for social media engagement. Guidelines can help your brand’s voice stay true to itself.
Make Sure Your Content is Valuable & Relatable
In general, content on your brand’s social media pages should address the needs and problems of your customers. This helps you to serve your customers, nurture your relationships with them, and educate them about your brand.
Your social media engagement is a great opportunity to responsibly promote content from your site. Responsible content promotion entails sharing information that is genuinely informative, reasonably timed, and legitimately helpful to your audience.
Some examples of valuable and relatable content can include details from your website, informative blog posts, updates on services, or product developments. Maybe your brand firmly advocates for social causes that your audience also believes in. These important stances can act as great, meaningful conversation pieces, especially in times of social tension.
Emotionally impactful content that aligns with your brand and audience’s values further cements your relatability—as well as your leadership in your industry and society at large. Be sure to keep content in good taste.
Don’t underestimate the impact of user-generated content. When a customer leaves a great review or shares a video positively portraying your brand, they generate social proof. Your brand can promote itself as often as it wants but know there is power in third-party approval and endorsement.
Should you choose to add user-generated content to your social media engagement strategy, be sure to give credit where it’s due. Don’t take digital content that isn’t yours without permission or credit attribution. Including user-generated content from influencers without crediting them can negatively impact your brand’s reputation.
Keep Up With The Cool Kids (Stay Relevant)
Are you running low on social media engagement ideas? Fortunately, some of the best ideas are right in front of us! If you’re blanking on what to share or post on a given day, just take a look around you.
What’s the news looking like? Are there current world events or global issues you feel are important to take a stand on? Feel free to further break the ice by asking your audiences’ opinions on said issues. Engaging in comment sections under trending topics can help your brand connect while staying relevant and relatable.
If your brand chooses to use this social media marketing strategy, be sure that your engagement aligns with your brand’s values and public perception. Being genuine and authentic while striving for relevance is essential. Your audience can easily spot a fake. Don’t overcompensate; you only risk hurting yourself.
Now that you have some background, what are some relevant topics to post or engage in? Consider the following:
- Whatever’s trending in pop culture
- Big sporting events
- Viral memes
Don’t just flood your platform with all of your posts—invite your audience to join in! Try making use of polls, reels, or asking relevant questions to naturally spark customer input. Use this as a jumping-off point to keep the conversation going. As always, post and reply responsibly.
Share Your Advocacies
Sharing your advocacies with your audience goes a long way in establishing trust, connection, and credibility. People want to see what you’re about, particularly if they have or are looking to redistribute their hard-earned cash into your pockets.
Be open about your values. What does your brand stand for? What are your guiding principles? This further connects your audience to your brand while encouraging loyalty. After all, first-time buyers are more likely to become long-term customers if they’re investing their money into something they can get behind.
Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed. Social media engagement simply enhances your reach and makes you accessible to like-minded people, who may then decide to engage with and purchase from your brand. So, showcase your brand values where it makes sense. If your brand has a strong and clear set of moral principles, determine how and when is best to speak about them.
Show Them You’re Human Too
Humans desire common ground and connection. Displaying your humanity is a great way to show your audience you understand them and want to connect with them too. People feel more comfortable interacting with people they know on a personal level. Talk to them like you’re old friends catching up over coffee.
You may be thinking, how can business be personal? By sparking interest! Raise your base’s curiosity. Include some content from your daily operations and brand’s journey. Bring them behind the scenes.
Include exclusive business content (like sneak peeks!) in your social media marketing strategy. This combination of curiosity and relatability is sure to increase social media engagement.
Keep Response Times to a Minimum
Before you think we’ve just contradicted ourselves, hear us out. Aiming to keep response times to a minimum caters to two of our foremost human needs: being seen and being heard.
Aim to provide great customer service. Have you ever sent an email and received such a belated response that you forgot you inquired in the first place? Maybe you’ve called someone with time-sensitive information, only to be serenaded by silence? We’ve all been there, and it doesn’t feel good. If your brand doesn’t have reasonable response times, your customers will feel the same.
Conversely, quick responses can help customers feel supported. In turn, they’ll want to support you. This contributes to higher customer satisfaction.
Response times matter, almost 75% of millennials said they would be more loyal to a brand that responded to them. Don’t lose loyalty by letting your customers’ concerns linger.
Save your team time by using time frames, relevant templates, or apps for your responses on social media. Stay true to your brand by being supportive and including a human touch wherever possible.
Partner with WriteForMe to Maximize Your Content Marketing Strategy & Boost Your Social Media Engagement
Devising a content marketing and social media engagement strategy can be daunting—but you don’t have to do it alone.
WriteForMe is here to help! Our dedicated content marketing team produces uniquely tailored, top-of-funnel content plans for your blog and social media.
Contact us to learn how you can use your brand voice and personality to put your best, most authentic foot forward to boost your social media engagement and increase your fan base today!
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