(image credit: Mike Gingerich)
As a business leader, you know the power social networking can create. Say the right thing on your social media sites and you could be banking. Say the wrong thing and you could be begging your audience to come back.
In particular, amping up engagement from platforms like Facebook can definitely increase your brand image, as well as get your audience excited about your product or service.
Statistics show Facebook is where you need to be in order to create positive customer engagement. The social network has, on average, 727 million daily active users, 874 million monthly active mobile users, and 1.19 billion monthly active users.
Takeaway? No matter what you’re selling, more than likely, your audience is present on Facebook.
So, what are some key engagement strategies to consider? Do you post three times a day or do you throw news out there whenever you get the chance.
Not necessarily. It’s not so much about how often you post (while this is still important), it’s about what type of content you post.
Historically, certain types of content has done better than others. While every business is different, check out these categories and evaluate whether or not your company can use them to increase engagement.
If you want to interact with your audience and increase engagement, contests are the way to go. They not only provide an incentive for audience participation, they also differentiate your brand from your competitors.
A great example of this is personal care brand Dove, most notably their “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” contest.
In it, Dove encouraged their audience to submit a photo of a friend who represented real beauty, as well as provide two reasons as to why they are beautiful. The winners would then go on to represent Dove, or become the face of “real beauty.”
Why did this work? In short, it provided the value Dove was looking for. The contest created successful engagement because it aligned with Dove’s values of real beauty, as well as giving audience members a prize that reflects this as well.
If you want to want to interact with your audience in the right way, why not talk to them directly? That is, ask them questions that go along with you messaging. This gets them thinking about your brand, what you represent, and their involvement in both.
There are tons of great examples of this. Inc. Magazine, for instance, gets people thinking. In particular, they posed the following question on Facebook: “What lessons do you share with other entrepreneurs?” The question also featured a related article, giving users something to check out along with the post.
Beauty chain Sephora constantly asks customers questions on Facebook. To go along with the recent cold snap, Sephora asked followers this: “Dang, it’s cold. Are you moisturizing properly?”
The question also showcased a photo of popular moisturizers. Both of these examples created engagement with followers because it gave them something to interact with, while showing off products, services, and messaging.
Interactive elements always get people talking. Videos are a great way to create engagement because they provide that visual element to nab the attention of your audience, while promoting your brand at the same time.
So, who does video well on Facebook? Coca-Cola tends to do a great job posting videos of commercials, events, and other notable forms of content. Most recently, Coca-Cola posted a video in regards to the new season of “American Idol,” asking fans to hone their “Coke bottle musical chops.” The video has already garnered tons of likes and comments, proving that the power of video can create engagement if it aligns with the interests of your audience.
Along with video, images are also a great way to boost engagement. Whether you’re posting cute pictures of animals, inspirational quotes, your product, or business leaders creating success, images give your audience an added visual element that they can interact with, as well as share with their friends and family.
Starbucks does a great job of this. The coffee giant is continuously posting images of their products. For example, a recent image showcased coffee cups with the caption, “One cup at a time.”
They also post images of new items, such as their caramel flan latte and salted caramel mocha. Both of these images have been shared over 200,000 times and have countless comments, illustrating the real potential the image can create.
If you’re looking to increase your engagement, especially as you reevaluate your social media marketing plans in 2014, give the above Facebook posts a go.
As I noted, every company is different — there isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy. However, if you try a few of these tips, you’ll find the post that works for you, as well as for your audience.
Let me know what you use to increase engagement in the comments below!