Here are my social media engagement tips for 2020.
There is no magic formula, so if you are looking for a magic button, I am going to stop you right there. Sorry.
Engagement on social media is the exact same as engagement in person. It is your online network, treat it like your traditional, in person, face to face network.
And any good networker will tell you it is hard work and takes time, energy and commitment.
Tip number one – Ask Questions
How do you start a conversation in real world? Or even over the phone?
You ask questions, you show an interest in the other person. You exchange information.
Exact same works with your followers. Okay, so we don’t want to see a multitude of ‘How are you?’ and ‘How’s it going?’ posts everyday so what else could you ask?
- Ask questions that are relevant to your business that invite people to share their opinions or advice on something. People love to weigh in on things they are passionate about.
- Polls – lots of social media platforms have an option to create polls now. Put something out that is going to add value to your knowledge of your customers whilst also creating a way for them to provide that information.
Tip number two – Use Hashtags (#) and Geo Tags
If there is a relevant hashtag trending at the moment and it aligns with your brand, then jump on it. It is a great way for new people to find you.
Twitter is all about the hashtags, check out what hashtags are trending near you or globally and join the conversation. If you are at an event, join the conversation with others also attending by using the event hashtag.
Instagram and hashtags. Where to start. Ever found yourself on the #CutePuppies hashtag and then ended on #BestHolidaySpots an hour later? Instagram is a rabbit hole of beautifully woven images all connected by hashtags and geo locations. It is easy to get lost but what a ride you go on. You need to be using these features to make sure you are part of the ride and it will open you up to being found by others.
LinkedIn is similar to Twitter in the way that will show you trending content, but it will be relevant to you if your LinkedIn is set up correctly. Not sure if you are, click here. It is also a great place to use event hashtags.
And last but not least, Facebook. It has a brilliant geo tagging feature which allows you to tag where you are but also allow others to tag that they are at your business. Great if you have a physical premise people actually visit. Which if you do, make sure you have something there for people to take a picture of. Cool artwork, awesome coffee table books, office with a cool vibe. We all carry a camera with us at all times now so when we check in we are more often than not accompanying it with a picture.
If you are going to hash it out, do a bit of research into what hashtags are relevant to you and more importantly, to your potential clients.
One last point on the good old #. You can create your own. Not just for events but for your business as a whole for your followers to use when they want to bring something to your attention or if they think it aligns with their perception of your brand. Don’t go too specific or too generic and make sure it makes sense to your brand.
We use #GetRelevant
Tip number three – Mentions
Posting about a happy client, supplier, member or partner (with their permission)? Then remember to tag them in it. This alerts them and will hopefully prompt them to share it with their followers.
Tagging is easy and works pretty much the same on most channels. Use @ to find the person or business you want to tag.
You could also ask the abovementioned to create the content which gives the content more authority and gives them ownership and more motivation to share, comment and engage with it. It is like the old rule – I can tell you I am awesome but it is far more beliveable when it comes from someone else. And no, it can’t be your mum no matter how awesome she thinks you are!
Be sure you are checking your notifications too for anyone who is tagging you. You want to be all over this in case someone tags you in something negative you need to address or something that wasn’t meant for you and you need to un-tag yourself.
Just read or watched something awesome and you want to share it – be sure to tag in the original creator. Everyone loves some appreciation and it’ll get them checking your socials out too.
Tip number four – Be Human
People buy from people they like, trust and can relate to.
You are a real person (either that or a very smart pussy cat) sure, you are using technology to connect but you are connecting to another real-life people.
Make sure you come across as human and not sterile.
Name drop staff and what they are working on. Ask people to ‘email me’ rather than ‘email us’. Use real pictures of real people. Avoid stock images at all cost, especially of people. Need a nice pic of a cat on a laptop to make a point – exception made!
But seriously, keep it real. It is much easier to keep your momentum on social media if it is true to you. Trying to be someone you’re not day in day out on social media is tiring and won’t get you far in the long run.
Tip number five – Gamification
I love gamification. You may never even of heard of it before, but bets are you love it too.
It’s basically the application of game-design elements and game principles in a non-game context.
The US Army way back in 2015 used gamification as a recruiting tool where candidates interested in enrolling sign up and then download a free game to test their skills alongside other players to test if they are army material.
Little bit closer to home and more relatable to you and I, McDonald’s Monopoly. The only time you usually venture into McDonalds is on those hungover Sundays but suddenly they’re giving out prizes and you need to keep going back to keep collecting to see if win big. Next thing you know you’re a regular and they know what drink you want as you drive in.
So these examples are on a bigger scale but you can take the concept and use your followers to get it started.
For example, if we go back to 2011 when I had my first business in Scotland, I was putting together a Baby & Toddlers Show. I needed a picture for the flyer but wanted to avoid stock images and I didn’t know many people with children (I was only 21 myself) so I asked my social media followers to send in their baby pics and we set up voting. Baby with the most likes won. And this gorgeous little boy, Matthew, was the face of my campaign. Facebook rules have changed slightly since then so make sure you check them out before you start anything.
Tip number six – Add Value
This is really simple, just add value. Like this post. Hopefully, even if you just skimmed through it, you have taken something away from it or it’s made you slightly adjust something you are already doing.
You don’t have to give away all your secrets, but you do need to show people you know what you are talking about. Be mindful that you aren’t always right and by posting content you are inviting people to comment (yay, engagement) and they might have differing views. That’s okay, in fact it is great. You can learn from it. Use that humanness you have down pat and respond to them, find out more, learn!
Last tip – Mistakes
Failing all that, misspell a few words or make a couple of grammatical errors and your engagement is sure to go through the roof!
Ps. Just for those of you out there who are very literal, don’t purposefully misspell anything. You might be like me and it just comes naturally! #NotARealTip