Creating your social media profiles is the easiest part of any social media strategy. It is often the first and last steps many businesses take along what should be a long road if they are to be used properly. Getting people to actually engage with you via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and alike is where the real hard work starts. In this post I will show you the reasons why people interact with brands on social media along with specific ideas for you to use.
Why do people follow brands on social media?
Research in to what motivates people to like or follow a brand on social media really highlights how businesses have to play to people’s selfish gene.
Very few people will engage with you on social media purely out of love for your brand, they want something out of the relationship that satisfies them. Exclusive offers and deals are the most popular reason people follow a brand, with interesting content the second most popular amongst non-customers. A tiny percentage follow a brand for service or product news, but I’d argue that is how most businesses use social media, to their own detriment.
|Why do you follow a brand?|
|Special offer/ deals||36.9%||43.5%|
|Service, support or product news||5%||3.5%|
Clearly sitting back and waiting for people to interact with you is not a strategy. The only way to make social media work for you is to be proactive and play to a person’s sense of “what is in it for me?”
Creating the content people really want
The three types of social content that you can create for your followers to engage with are…
- Rewards: As discussed above, the biggest motivator for someone to follow your brand is the feeling they will be rewarded for it.
- Discussion: There will be a segment of your audience who like to get involved in discussions and express their opinions. Use that.
- Your original content: This is by far the most time consuming tactic to increase engagement, but it also have the biggest potential to break out beyond your customer base and reach non-customers who may not have heard of your brand.
Here are some specific ideas for you to use:
|Rewards||Discussion||Your original content|
|Like us/follow us to enter prize draw||Run polls||Blog articles|
|Joint promotion with another website||Ask open questions to initiate a debate||Free resources (e.g. templates, icons etc.)|
|Discount codes exclusively for followers||Respond to other people’s questions||Interviews|
|Rewards system, e.g. http://www.punchtab.com/||Use follow up questions/opinions to continue interaction||“Please RT”|
|Reward active brand fans||Hashtags to organise/track topics||Discount codes for new customers to share|
|Refer a friend rewards||Use your blog content||Useful 3rd party tools and links|
To drive awareness of these activities use an integrated strategy across all your channels including your website, email footers, newsletters, your blog etc.
Measure the right numbers
My advice for any social media marketing is to never chase a number, for the sake of having a large number of followers. Focus on quality over quantity e.g. it is better to have 100 active followers who have an interest in your product than 1,000 who pay you no attention and have no interest in web hosting. The key is to getting started is to be active and not dip in and out once a week or less. It is a daily commitment, especially at the start.