Try to imagine a time when the worlds of social media and business weren’t so intertwined — it’s difficult, right? If you’re a business owner, you’ll understand just how crucial it is to get to grips with platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Social media marketing is arguably one of the most potent strategies in the war for consumer attention, but how do you forge a deep connection with your audience?
Do you often feel like you’re just posting content mindlessly, in the desperate hope that one day one of your ideas might gain traction? If so, you’re not alone — it’s a common challenge that many businesses face. When you’re acting as a brand, creating meaningful interactions with your audience can be tricky.
It’s been well over a decade since the mass adoption of social media, and the general public are now experts at sensing thinly-veiled sales pitches. There’s even a meme dedicated to silencing any brand that dares try to tap into internet culture or blend in among the common people of the web.
So, how can you engage your social media audience the right way? In this blog post, we’ll share practical tips and strategies that will help you connect with your audience, offer value, and foster a sense of community. From understanding your audience to using visuals, encouraging two-way communication, and monitoring your metrics, we’ll cover everything you need to know to engage your social media audience effectively.
Understand your audience
Before you can engage your social media audience, you need to know who they are and what they care about. Take the time to research your audience and develop a deep understanding of their demographics, interests, and pain points.
Are your followers affluent or less well-to-do? How old are they? What’s the predominant gender makeup? These are all questions that will need answering, and obtaining this information is a lot easier than you might first think. Here’s how to do it:
- Analyse your social media metrics. Most social media platforms offer analytics tools that can provide insights into your audience’s demographics, engagement, and behaviour. Use these metrics to identify your most engaged followers, which posts perform best, and what topics your audience is interested in.
- Conduct audience surveys. Survey your audience to gather feedback on their preferences, interests, and pain points. You can use tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to create and distribute surveys to your followers.
- Monitor social media conversations. Keep an eye on social media conversations related to your industry or brand to understand what people are saying about you and your competitors. This can provide valuable insights into your audience’s perceptions and opinions.
By understanding your audience, you can create content that resonates with them and build stronger relationships with your followers. Use this information to inform your content strategy and tailor your messaging to your audience’s needs and interests.
Consistency is key
Posting on social media consistently is crucial for building and maintaining an engaged audience. Posting sporadically or infrequently can lead to a loss of interest from your followers, resulting in a decline in engagement and ultimately, fewer conversions. Consistency is particularly important on TikTok, where users are expected to post three times per day in order for the algorithm to treat their content favourably.
In other words, if you’re going to create a commercial social media presence, you need to commit to maintaining it just as you would any other operational aspect of your business. One of the common mistakes many business owners make? Spreading themselves too thinly.
Keep in mind that there’s no obligation to have a presence on every social media platform out there, but rather just the ones your audience is most active on. To begin with, we suggest setting up accounts on Facebook and Instagram, given their widespread use and popularity.
To establish consistency, try creating a content calendar and scheduling your posts weeks (or even months) in advance. This allows you to plan your content and ensure that you’re posting at regular intervals, which in turn keeps your audience engaged. Remember — the time you post your content matters, too. By scheduling your posts in advance, you’ll also have precise control over when they’re posted. No more staying up until 3AM just to maximise your post’s reach overseas!
However, it’s important to note that automation should be used with caution. Over-automation can lead to a loss of authenticity and can make your brand appear robotic. A balance must be struck between consistency and genuine engagement.
Visuals are a crucial element of social media content and can significantly enhance engagement with your audience. In fact, according to a study by Adobe, social media posts with images or videos benefit from a 650% increase in engagement.
There are various types of visuals that you can incorporate into your social media content, including videos, GIFs, and infographics. When creating visuals, it’s essential to ensure that they align with your brand’s tone and messaging.
Here are some tips for creating engaging visuals:
- Keep it simple. Simple visuals are often the most effective. They are easy to understand and can quickly communicate your message to your audience.
- Use high-quality images. Blurry or pixelated images can make your brand look unprofessional. It’s important to use high-quality images that are visually appealing.
- Crack some jokes. Humour can be a great way to engage with your audience on social media. Memes, in particular, can be incredibly powerful. Don’t be afraid to hop on a trend and remix the most popular memes to fit your brand. You don’t have to be a comedian to make people laugh, and humour can help to build your brand’s personality.
Who knows, you might even go viral! Remember, social media is all about human connections, and making your audience smile is a great way to establish a connection. However, if you’re reposting someone else’s meme, always remember to follow the proper internet etiquette by crediting the original creator. Passing off someone else’s work as your own is never a good look, and you’d be surprised how quickly this could backfire on your business!
- Incorporate text. Adding text to your visuals can make them more engaging and informative. Text can also help to reinforce your brand’s messaging.
- Use video. Video is a powerful tool for engaging your social media audience. Videos can be used to showcase your products or services, share testimonials, or provide educational content.
Encourage two-way communication
One of the most important things you can do to engage your social media audience is to encourage two-way communication. Social media platforms are designed to facilitate conversations, and your audience expects you to engage with them.
Here are some tips for encouraging conversations on social media:
- Ask questions. One of the simplest and most effective ways to encourage conversations on social media is to ask your audience questions. You can ask for their opinions, feedback, or suggestions related to your brand, but you can also get creative with your questions. There’s no reason why your questions can’t be completely unrelated to your brand. For example, you can hop on a trending topic or event in pop culture and ask your audience for their thoughts. This is a great way to spark a debate, generate a buzz, and build a sense of community. And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about your audience’s interests and preferences!
- Respond to comments and messages. When someone takes the time to comment or send you a message on social media, it’s important to respond in a timely and thoughtful manner. This shows that you value your audience and do not simply see your followers as numbers.
- Utilise shared inboxes. A shared inbox tool is a great way to manage social media conversations and ensure that all messages are responded to promptly. These tools allow multiple team members to access and respond to messages from one central location, which can help to streamline your social media communication.
- Host live events: Hosting live events such as Q&A sessions, webinars, or live streams is a great way to engage with your audience in real-time. This provides an opportunity for your audience to ask questions and share their thoughts on a particular topic. It also allows you to showcase your expertise and personality, which can help to build trust and rapport with your audience.
So there you have it — some actionable steps you can take to ensure your social audience remains engaged with your brand. Fancy learning more about how social media marketing can supercharge your leads and sales? Then you’re in luck! Sign up for one of our free social media clinics to discover expert tips and tricks for taking your social media game to the next level. Thanks for reading!