Almost 70% of consumers who are satisfied with brand interactions on social media networks will recommend the brand to their peers. In short, to have a successful social media marketing strategy, driving engagements is the key.
However, getting more engagement is easier said than done, especially for smaller, relatively unknown businesses. Where should we start? Are you just using social media to promote your products and nothing else?
Here, we will discuss five prompts you can use to effectively start a conversation over social media.
1. Ask Engaging Questions
Just like our day-to-day social lives, asking a question is simply one of the best ways to start an engaging conversation.
In social media marketing, we can ask two types of questions: general questions not directly related to our brand, and brand-related specific questions. Both have their own perks, and you can switch between both types to achieve the best results.
Asking General Questions
Here, we capitalize on the fact that we all love to talk about ourselves. Encouraging people to answer questions about themselves or their environment can start an engaging conversation and even a community.
It’s important to understand that with this type of question, the goal is not conversion—but engagement. If you can relate a question with your brand/product/service, good. If not, it’s perfectly okay.
Some examples of this type are:
- “If you have unlimited money today, how would you spend it?”
- Ask about current trends. If you can, relate the trend with your brand
- “What is your biggest regret?”
Asking Specific Questions
When asking specific questions related to your brand—or at least, your niche—, the goals are not only to introduce your product or service and to engage with users. However, you can also use this type of questions as an effective way to gather data and insights to shape your strategy. Here are some examples:
- “…is your biggest challenge around (your niche)?”
- “…do you wish you could change about our product?”
- “…do you love about your current (your product’s niche)?”
With these types of questions, the most important thing is your understanding of your audience: their specific problems, why they bought (or are going to buy) your product/service, and their behaviors.
2. The Flex: Show Your Expertise and Thought Leadership
Yes, over self-promotion and hard selling simply don’t work on social media. However, you can still show your credibility and build trust by showing that you are an expert, a thought leader, and a credible source of information in your niche.
The best way to achieve this is to have a proper content marketing strategy: consistently publish relevant, high-quality content to establish your position as a thought leader in your niche.
Examples of this approach are:
- Sharing a branded video discussing a relevant topic in your niche
- Sharing new blog posts
- Media coverage (earned and paid)
- Interviews of your board members
- “Behind the scenes” videos showcasing your team and the processes behind your product/service
Credibility is a very expensive asset in this saturated marketplace, use social media to ‘flex’ your muscle, but make sure you can back it up.
3. Be a Relevant Source: Share Important Information
Being a credible source of information has many perks. People will follow you (increase in followers), you will get more shares, and people might cite your profile and/or website on their content (giving you those valuable backlinks).
Here are some examples of valuable information to share:
- Unique, original data. For example, research results, case studies, testimonials, industry statistics, etc.
- Inspiring quotes (if it’s industry-related, the better)
- A quote from your competitors, you can either agree or disagree with it.
- Useful and inspiring photos
- Actionable tips and how-tos
This approach can sometimes be easier said than done. After all, finding relevant information consistently can be difficult. Use many different sources, and you can use various content curation tools to find unique but relevant information.
Also, it’s generally better to focus on just one or two niche when spreading information. The goal here is to grow followers and engagements.
4. Tell Interesting Stories
We are all addicted to stories. This is why we gossip, read books, watch movies, and try to write our own life stories. If you can tell interesting stories surrounding your brand, not only can you improve engagements, but you will get more people to relate with your brand and convert as customers.
There are various approaches to brand storytelling, but the main principles are to be unique, genuine, and interesting.
Here are some examples:
- If you have an interesting history of how your company was formed, capitalize on it.
- Share stories about your local community, your employees, people behind your company, and especially your product/service
- Use community-generated content (testimonials, or even complaints) to show your company culture. For example, invite a customer giving bad reviews and show how you fix their issue in a video.
- Give back to the community, stories showing how a company stood up for a social cause are always engaging (if it’s genuine).
5. Host a Giveaway Contest
Hosting a giveaway is virtually a surefire way to get more engagements and grow more followers on social media. However, this approach can be tricky, as if you are not careful, you will only get people that are only interested in the giveaway itself—and not your brand.
The most important thing in hosting social media giveaways is to first define your goal(s).
- Grow followers
- Promote the launch of new product/service
- Drive engagement
- Get more email addresses
- Build awareness
Design your campaign according to your specific goal(s). For example, if your goal is to drive engagement, you can set the rules of the giveaway so that users must share a post to their followers, and those who get more likes win.
It’s also important to combine giveaway campaigns with the other approaches discussed above. For example, you can promote your own content during the campaign to build credibility.
Also, use the right analytics tools to measure the performance of your campaign, and make the necessary adjustments for the next.
Ultimately, the key to effective social media conversation is understanding your audience’s behaviors and needs, and use these insights to develop your conversation. Remember that your conversations should always aim to entertain: your audience is using social media to kill time and have fun, not to be bombarded with promotional messages.
Is it time for your business to get the conversation started on social media? We can help. Contact us today!
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
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