The goal of every brand is to sell a product or service, but generating leads takes time. It all starts with increasing brand awareness. Social media is the cheapest, fastest, most effective digital marketing tool brands and marketers have. The platforms may change, update or reinvent themselves, but they will always be a place for brands to connect with customers. Social media marketing may seem like a more natural fit for B2C companies, but connecting with people is just as important for B2B companies. Once you have started building relationships and making connections, you can begin thinking about turning those connections into leads. When creating social media campaigns, keep in mind that social media is a tool, not a fail-safe solution, and that every tactic must map back to goals and objectives.
5 Simple Ways to Increase Engagement on Social Media
We all know that visuals get viewed, liked, commented on and shared more than text-based posts. The general rule of thumb is that one visual should be used for every 75-100 words posted. Visual content can be anything from photos, stats, quotes or “Did You Know” images, to infographics, animated GIFs, video clips or live stream video such as Persicope, Facebook Live or Snapchat. Don’t have the budget for visuals? Push for it. Visual content gets shared 40 times more than any other content on social. Take a look how many visuals are posted to our favorite social networks every second. If you think your brand can get ahead with a few text-based posts, think again. The competition is stiff.
Social Media Contests
Social media contests encourage current followers to interact with a brand, and passive users to take action by encouraging them to like, post or follow in order to participate. This increases followers, and encourages engagement from a new audience. People love getting free things. If there is a free shirt, gift card or airplane ticket on the line, people will like you. They will really like you. They may even give you their email address for a chance to win a branded pen or laptop bag. Do a little research on your audience before choosing prizes. Offering a knitting basket to Doctor Who fanatics will narrow your participants. If anyone has questions about the contest or prize be sure to answer them right away.
Polls and Surveys
Many of today’s social media users are obsessed with their favorite channels, because they love having the ability to share their opinions and thoughts. Polls and surveys feed right into that social media ego. The poll/survey ask must be very small in order to get significant participation: “Tell us what you think about ___.” This makes it quick and easy for people to show off their smarts, take part in a conversation and see that their opinion is important to you. Most quizzes take less than three minutes. Polls take even less time. Offer an incentive to take and/or share the quiz, and things will get really spicy. The results from a survey/poll can be used to provide even more content to your audience. Use the responses and key learnings in an eBook or blog post.
Engage in Conversations
Social media is supposed to be about social interaction. B2B companies often use social media to share their own content, pass on company updates or to share the opinion of someone else. You should look at social media as a way to make your brand human to your audience, establish trust and build lasting relationships. If consumers like the people behind the brand, they will like the brand, giving them more incentive to click on your content. Therefore, ask questions, answer questions, have an opinion, educate and be authentic. Respond to tweets in your own voice so consumers know you are actually a human, and don’t say “tweets are my own” in your bio if they aren’t. It is disingenuous. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are great social interaction tools. They may not have the immediate click-through you dream about, but they instantly give you a personality and can help companies build a brand image. If people like you, they will not only reward you – they will become advocates for your brand. Consumers trust word-of-mouth reviews more than written product/service reviews.
Tailor Content to Social Media Platforms
Increasing social media engagement takes time. It is necessary to create consistent, valuable, relevant content for your target audience, and to distribute that content in the right places. Once consumers realize that you are offering them something they can’t live without, they will fill out your forms, buy your product/service and spread the word to their friends. Posting a few images on Twitter won’t get you leads. Posting relevant images on Twitter (if that is where your audience is) consistently will get you engagement. Engagement sparks conversation. Conversation builds trust. Trust gets you sales. Cha Ching!