4 Ways to Engage Your Customers on Social Media
Just because you’re on social doesn’t mean you’re good at it — learn 4 simple ways to engage your customers and improve your social media game.
In the turbulent social media marketing landscape, we hear the word “user engagement” every day.
Unfortunately, many brands don’t know exactly what it stands for and how to achieve it. Namely, just having a Facebook or Instagram account is not enough to engage your customers and build relationships with them. To get them to follow you and keep them coming back to your social channels, you need to provide spectacular user experiences.
Here are a few tactics to better engage customers on social.
1. Ask Questions
One of the greatest advantages of social networks lies in the fact that they let you build and nourish closer relationships with your target audience.
On these channels, you’re more than your customers’ favorite brand. You’re their friend. And, one of the best ways to cultivate friendships on these channels is to show that you care about your customers. For starters, ask them a question.
Now, there are numerous ways to ask questions to engage customers on social channels and here are just some of them.
- Create a “test your knowledge” quiz. This kind of content challenges your customers and entices them to click on your link and test their knowledge. Most of them will even share the results of the test with their friends, driving more traffic to your site.
- Post a poll. These are ridiculously easy to create on Facebook or Twitter. This is a great way to engage your audiences and, at the same time, understand how they’re feeling about a certain topic.
- Ask them to share feedback with you. Say you’ve posted a new blog article or launched a new product. You want your audience to tell you what they think about it. So, ask them openly in the description of the post to share their thoughts in the comments.
- Take advantage of Quora. This awesome Q&A platform is perfect for asking timely, relevant, and thought-provoking questions.
- Personality quizzes are inevitable engagement magnets. Customers use them to learn more about themselves and, on the other hand, let you learn more about them. Apart from boosting user engagement, this kind of quizzes can also skyrocket your sales. For example, you could create a quiz that tests your customers’ preferences and personalities and, based on them, recommend the right products from your site.
2. Always Deliver Value to your Audiences
When building your online presence on social, you need to focus on delivering constant value to your audiences.
For starters, create a detailed social media marketing calendar, where you would strategize when you will publish your content and what kind of content will be promoted each day. Sure, this depends on numerous factors, such as who your customers are, when they are active, what channels they use, how they interact with brands, etc.
Still, there is a general rule you should follow when creating and publishing content on social – the 50/30/20 rule. Let’s look at the example of Four Dots that uses social media marketing not only to offer SEO services in New York, but also to position themselves as an authoritative resource.
Namely, 50% of their social media posts are high-quality content that educates.
These are high quality SEO copy written blog posts and guides both from their site and credible sites in the digital marketing niche. They’ve even started publishing weekly industry news on their blog and then promoting the posts on social networks. The idea is simple – your social media content should teach your audiences something new, inform them about the latest industry trends, and keep them updated about their areas of interest.
Next, 30% of their posts are engaging and fun.
These are, for example, custom animations, behind-the-scenes photos of their staff, Instagram stories, content their employees create, or photos from team-building events. Some other types of content that could work for you are memes, quizzes, fun animations, gifs, videos, etc.
Finally, only 20% of your content should be a sales pitch.
Remember that your customers don’t follow you on social to make purchases. For example, Four Dots has an entire section on Facebook dedicated to their services. They rarely promote their services, tools, or events in the News Feed and, even when they do so, they wrap the story in meaningful content. Explaining the why behind your product/service promotions will keep your audience engaged and, most importantly, help you drive valuable traffic to your site and turn it into sales.
3. Provide Hot Offers
Social networks are a perfect place to reward your customers’ loyalty. And, one of the most powerful ways to incentivize loyal customers is to provide attractive deals and offers, such as instant coupons, exclusive membership clubs, free shipping, large discounts, or pick-your-discount promotions.
This is exactly what a popular brand Pura Vida does.
Namely, in their bio, they invite followers to join their club. Each month, you pay your club membership and get 3 bracelets, while shipping is free. The brand is incredibly popular on Instagram, where they share user-generated photos, ask intriguing questions, host challenges and giveaways, inform followers about charitable causes, and encourage conversations.
Now, when it comes to the type of offers, there is no one-size-fits-all rule. You should experiment with different forms of offers to find out which ones resonate with your audiences.
Here are a few simple rules to follow:
- Choose valuable discounts. For example, you could offer free products or provide a greater discount that will make sense for your audiences.
- Always use attention-grabbing images. These should be high-quality photos of people using your images. If you want to build trust with your target audiences, you can always pick user-generated content. Working with a social media influencer in the same niche is another option to stand out.
- Set an expiration date. Your offers should build buzz around your brand and evoke FOMO (fear of missing out). For example, your offer should last for a week or 10 days. Help customers discover it, share it with friends and, finally, act on it.
- Promote your exclusive offers widely. Create a blog post, design dedicated landing pages, invest in paid social ads, post status updates on social to increase the exposure of your offers and reach out to the right audience segments.
4. Gamify User Experiences
No matter how amazing massive discounts or large giveaways may sound, they’re not always enough to engage your audience. To grab their attention and encourage them to participate, you should create unforgettable user experiences. And, that’s exactly where gamification steps in.
Your customers love to play games and compete. Above all, they love to win. So, why not create a contest that will help them unleash their creativity?
Now, there are multiple types of contests to choose from. For example, this could be a photo or a video contest, where a customer would take an authentic photo or make a video featuring your product. Those who don’t participate in the competition can vote for original ideas. Drawing contests are also immensely popular among social media users. For example, Starbucks hosted a cup drawing contest. Customers were supposed to make authentic doodles on Starbucks’ white paper cups and publish photos on social networks, along with the brand’s hashtag. The winning cup design was printed on their limited edition of reusable plastic cups.
Gamifying user experiences makes your rewards more relevant. You would be surprised to see how even some small rewards can make your customers happy and proud.
Engaging customers in the already overcrowded social media ecosystem is not easy, but it’s possible. You just need to understand your audience and know what works for them. Ask questions and participate in conversations regularly. Create user-centric and magnetic content that delivers value to them. Provide exceptional offers to incentivize loyalty and gamify their experiences through engaging contests.
Hope this helps!