Social media engagement in 2016? What does this really mean for business?

 

Social media engagement is a phrase used everywhere. What does it mean to businesses in practice? It’s a pertinent question. The fact engagement is challenging to measure as a precise scientific result doesn’t help. [Tweet “Social media engagement is actually a mixture of things. “]Now it’s appearing fluffy and amorphous business your eyes are beginning to glaze over., right?

[Tweet “Many businesses still don’t ‘get’ the need for engagement and are still broadcasting away without thinking of the consequences”].So, let’s begin with a definition of social media engagement. We can all do with a reminder.

 

 

To remain ahead of the curve, continuously evolve social media engagement strategies to help fans and fans you are yet to meet to get closer to your brand.

 

I’d like to say it’s as simple as that but actually this is just the beginning. OK you can find a creative social media strategist to drive likes, comments and shares but then what? Does a sackful of likes actually represent anything? Where’s the social media marketing ROI people?

Yet, probably one of the most significant mistakes businesses make is expecting that engagement can be created in a one off quick fix splash of activity. As a social media strategist I despair when I see people posting job descriptions that say:

 

I would initially be looking for someone to spend a month on this social media campaign and then I would review and decide if we wanted to carry on or not. So in your quote, please quote for 1 month’s work.

 

The business is obviously keen not to squander money. Yet the irony is a month will be wasted effort. They are flushing their money down the drain with this approach. Sorry. It takes time to gain visibility, gain passing interest, then developing trust before any results can be expected. Tweeting twice a day is never going to create social media engagement through trust, visibility, reliability and knowledge.

 

The business that posted the 1 month cut off advert certainly had increased social media engagement in mind:

 

We currently have freelancers who produce content/articles for our site daily, and at the moment we just post links to this content on our social media accounts. This is the extent of our own social media marketing/content marketing, and are looking for someone who can manage this and take it to the next level to help increase promotion of our content and get more people talking about it and possibly linking back to it from their blogs/websites etc….

 

But who cares about articles being shared on FB? Who ever says: ‘OMG X has just posted a new blog! I must stop everything and read it right now!’ I really do wish that was the case – honestly I do!

 

To see the rest of this  social media engagement infographic click here

 

Engagement is promoted by careful content strategy. Let’s use content in its broadest form. Whatever it does include, your post MUST have value. That doesn’t mean it is a glossy piece about your latest release. It MUST have value for the person experiencing the content. If you’re reading this you want to know  how to improve social media engagement. Perhaps you’re pissed off already and have jumped down to the bulleted list to follow. ‘Patience my ass’ you’re saying. ‘Give me tricks I can use to improve my social media engagement ,right now!’ Here they are:

 

Ways to improve social media engagement right now

 

  1. Explore ways to communicate in such a way that your audience actually pays attention. Undertake the research!
  2. Hire a social media strategist. They should understand your niche, market and audience to present content in such a manner that people can’t help but interact.
  3. Analyse what your competitors are doing. You can learn much this way. It’s NOT a waste of time.
  4. Set up two -way communication. A conversation has two sides or it’s termed a monologue.
  5. Use likes, comments, shares etc. as a starting point not an end in themselves. Interpret insights and analytics and not only measure but find ways to use the information to improve your strategy. Hire a social media strategist for this. When something is measured it’s managed. Tattoo that on your forehead!
  6. Define your goals. A scattergun approach will never promote real progress. Are you creating awareness? Are you driving traffic to a website? Or are you selling a specific product? They require different approaches.These are just three examples but they can be measure and tracked.
  7. Monitor your content. What does well? What was the reaction? Why was it successful? However, don’t use that as a blueprint forever. NOTHING in social media and its management is written in stone. People quickly tire of the same kind of strategy. Sorry, but we are all fickle beasts.
  8. Measure the type of content that works. Do short videos highlighting alternative uses for your products create more engagement? What happens to them? Are they being shared on another platforms – pinned to Pinterest for example? What insight does that give you regarding the type of follower you have? Explore. Follow your users back to their caves and find out their interests, passions and desires. Dangerous territory it might be, but blimey it’s fascinating and very useful.
  9. Make use of new tools being developed. One of the latest is Twitter’s conversational Ads.
  10. Check the success of varying number of characters in a post, specific times for different platforms, use of hashtags. Check stats re longevity of posts on different platforms. Pinterest posts have a massive half life and can represent real value for money. Instagram is also great for engagement. Different mindset, different perspective, different results. So be aware of them.
  11. Check stats and learn from them. For example for 1 million followers on FB only 700 interactions are elicited. Twitter is just 300 interactions per million follows. Time to switch strategies. Targeted messages will probably gain more interaction, click through and sales than blanket, generic messages.
  12. Explore trends, technologies, changes. Disrupt your social media marketing before someone else does.

 

If you need an experienced digital strategist to discuss YOUR specific strategy for YOUR product, brand and service do contact me. For a 30 minute, no obligation conversation about how you can develop engagement on social media, contact me here. I’ll even send you a personalised and unique meme for your business as a thank you for engaging with me.

 

 

 

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