Social media engagement is one of the best ways for brands to form meaningful, ongoing relationships with customers. Rosetta’s Consulting Customer Engagement Study shows that engaged consumers buy 90 percent more frequently and spend 60 percent more per transaction. They are also five times more likely to indicate it is the only brand they would purchase in the future.
The value of highly engaged customers is clear. Here are the seven most effective tactics you can implement to ensure that not only is your following constantly growing, but that they’re actively and positively engaging with your brand.
1. Throw social media specific contests and giveaways
According to Buffer, 35 percent of Facebook fans like a page so they can enter a contest. A free product and contest can go a long way if utilized strategically on social profiles: users will excitedly generate content around your product if they see the value in it.
Sobey’s #BetterFoodForAll campaign, for example, utilized Jamie Oliver’s huge social presence to collaborate on a project encouraging the audience to share photos of the healthy meals they had prepared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The campaign skyrocketed their social media engagement.
2. Host live Q&A sessions
If you are launching a new product, holding a live Q&A session on Twitter, Facebook or Periscope is a great way to let your customers ask you about the product while showing off what it can do. These hashtagged chats can get your product trending.
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg is well-known for carrying out many Townhall Q&As to test Facebook’s new products while asking for the community’s opinions and often receives huge engagement from his fans.
Facebook polls are a successful strategy for increasing engagement. People love to answer questions and have their opinions heard. Simple polls such as “Which product name do you like better” will not only help narrow down the decision on a new product name, but will also increase engagement while making your customers feel invested in the creation process.
4. Use call to actions in your social copy
While not every brand will want to do this - and it shouldn’t be overused - according to The Daily Egg, a simple request for retweets will increase engagement on that tweet by 160 percent. On Instagram, similar results are seen by asking your followers to tag a friend or “like if you agree” with the post.
5. Share user generated content
Your followers and fans are constantly creating content around your brand. Monitor your brand hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to find great user generated content to share. When you share a fan content, be sure to tag them in it and give them credit. This builds loyalty and encourages customers to share their own branded content in the hopes of getting their own shoutout.
6. Incorporate social issues into your message
According to CoSchedule, 84 percent of social media users share information as a way to support a cause they care for. One of the best practices was Oreo's Daily Twist campaign. They celebrated daily events around the world and included Pride with their rainbow cookie. It paid off: engagement with the brands’ social media increased by 280 percent and the campaign received Facebook Awards in 2013.
Emoticons have been found to increase engagement by 33 percent. While emoticons might not be right for every brand – those with products targeting a young audience may want to consider using them strategically in their social media output.
These seven steps take extra time to execute, but they provide a significant return on social media engagement. When used regularly, they will keep your followers actively engaged with your content on a consistent basis.