Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are all unique. Before you dive into social media, invest some time in getting to know your audience and how they interact on each platform. Like any successful relationship, it takes two to carry out ongoing meaningful conversations. Don't just push out content to your followers but engage with theirs as well.
Here are some of my top tips on how I've successfully increased social engagement on each of these popular social networks.
Love it or hate it, it’s still the #1 social network and connects well over 1 billion users including my own grandmother!
So how does one gain a share of voice when everyone else on Facebook wants to be heard? Well, Marketingland did a recent study and found that photo posts received 4x the amount of engaged users per post compared to a text post. It also received 4x the amount of shares and twice as many likes. So whenever you post a link, make sure you include a photo (there is also the option to highlight the post by clicking on the little star on the top-right corner of the post to enlarge your photo). Bottom line: be seen, it's the ultimate way to engage!
Polling your readers is super simple to set-up on Facebook and you can instantly collect lots of data.
While most ads drive to a brand's website, use Facebook as your campaign's landing page instead.
Not everyone will like everything you post and customer complaints are inevitable. Take this opportunity to turn negative comments around by being responsive and show a willingness to resolve issues promptly.
Twitter is a whole other beast with an endless feed of information, but it's a great place to build your reputation.
It's easy to get overwhelmed FAST. With a 140-character limit, it can be a challenge to create compelling rich content on Twitter. This is where Vine comes in. Record 6-second clips to generate and share highly engaging content.
Tweet out time-sensitive promotions or limited quantity offers. Get Tweeps to take action ASAP.
Host a Tweet chat to get discovered and gather feedback in a short amount of time. It works especially well if you recently launched a new product and want to get some free user feedback or extra buzz!
Alternatively, host a Tweet-up. Get some face-time with your community and interact with them offline.
Participate by following trends and creating your own. Some trends have existed for ages, like #FF (Follow Friday), which is a great way to connect with followers and recommend them to other like-minded Tweeps.
Lastly, don't be afraid to double dip and stream your Twitter Feed on Facebook.
Forbes ranks Google+ at #2 after Facebook. Users tend to be younger, more tech savvy, and male.
Lead a Hangout. It adds trust and a personal touch when you can't meet someone in real life. It's also the perfect way to demo your product! Hangouts are a unique feature that Facebook and Twitter don't have.
Set-up communities. Create a community about a niche topic that will excite individuals to join the group and create a lively discussion within it.
Circles are awesome! Organize your connections into different circles. You talk to your friends differently than you talk to your customers, so circles are an excellent way to stay organized and send out the appropriate content to relevant groups (rather than just blast it out to everyone).
Any interaction on Google+ appears in search engines. Meanwhile on Facebook, if you post something, it’ll only appear on Facebook.
It’s perfect if your business has a lot of visual products.
Join an established Community Board, or better yet create a branded one and invite influencers to pin. This will raise your profile, give you exposure, and increase your reach dramatically. This is also a brilliant way to let others curate content for you! Don't forget to give your board a catchy and creative name (for example, a board call “Yummy Foods” will not get the same attention and interest as “Foods That Make You Go Mmm”).
Contests are low hanging fruit. A fun contest (such as a photo scavenger hunt or Repin to Win) paired with a cool prize can go viral very quickly. The downside of contests is that it can attract pinners who like to enter everything! In that case, while it may seem like you are growing your followers, they may not necessarily be your target nor convert.
To further boost repins, likes, and comments, use images that revolve around your brand and its lifestyle.
Unlike the other four platforms, LinkedIn is used more for professional networking.
The easiest way to increase social engagement is to participate in groups. People in groups already share a common interest. Be a thought leader and provide value by sharing your blog, asking questions, liking, and commenting. The more likes a post gets the more exposure you will get as it shows up in the newsfeed.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to tag others in a conversation and they will receive a notification that you tagged them.
When you add someone new, write them a personal message rather than use the default “I'd like to add you to my network” message. Follow this same rule when someone adds you. Thank them for the add, check out what they do, see if you can help them out, point out common interests or if there are mutual business opportunities.
Set-up a LinkedIn company page and use keywords so people can easily find you.
Social media can get overwhelming with all the distractions and noise online. The key is to have a focused strategy and set measurable goals (ie. Are you looking for referral traffic, social shares, or more followers?).
Remember, savvy consumers are plugged in 24/7 so become customer-centric and leverage social media as a primary channel to engage with them. Hopefully you find these tips helpful and I’d love to hear what works for you!