Small businesses see more customer engagement through social media, but trying to maintain their accounts can seem a bit overwhelming. First problem is knowing which platform is the right one. Then, there’s the need for frequent posts. Depending upon the social media platform, this can be a twice-daily task. Each post takes time, which is one of the reasons why many small businesses miss this huge opportunity to engage more with their customers.
Schedule Time to Post on Social
To be successful on social media, it has to become a marketing priority. The best way to prioritize it is to start with a plan that schedules when and where posts will appear, as well as organizing everyone involved. Allowing employees to take part will distribute the responsibility, so it doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders. The plan also needs to include what should and should not be posted, as well as how to respond to customers’ comments.
Small Business Tips for More Engagement
Part of the strategic plan should describe who the audience will be. What are their unique characteristics? What do they like? This will target all of the posts toward the people watching for their favorite things to pop-up in their feed.
Because engagement is what really matters, small businesses shouldn’t concentrate on increasing the number of followers. Their goal should be to increase engagement and the following tips are designed to do that.
1. Monitor Conversations
Always respond to comments on posts and when customers post something to the wall. Customers are expecting a quick response within an hour of their response. This means that setting notifications is essential for everyone monitoring each platform. Also, when questions about service or products arise, bring public conversations into one-on-one interactions.
2. Be Proactive
A great way to increase engagement is to create a poll or take a survey. Make sure these are not sales pitches or advertisements. Contests are another way to capturing people’s attention. Educational content helps customers learn more about products and services they may otherwise have not known about.
3. Customer Service
Today, customer service means so much more than an employee behind the counter. It’s about providing a great experience even when there isn’t a sale involved. When people are always looking for recommendations, they will often use hashtags to widen their search. Following the right hashtags can make more connections.
Share common frustrations and customer pain points as a short story. Readers are more apt to remember the story and how it made them feel, rather than the features and benefits of a product or service. Focusing on quality, not quantity, will show customers the human side of the business, which allows them to relate with it on a personal level.
5. Analyze the Data
How do customers respond to these campaigns? What works? What doesn’t? All of these questions are easily answered by the data. Comment sentiment is a term used for all the positive and negative feedback. This data shows what really resonates with the audience will guide future posts.
Don’t Be Afraid to Explore
Social media platforms are changing all the time. The more traditional platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, continually expanded or refine their offerings to compete with the latest trends, like Snapchat or Tik-Tok. When it first appeared, Instagram was just photos and a few words. Now it has video for stories and extensions to take surveys.
These platforms will always change through innovation and with technology. The key is to keep everything fresh and new—to not get caught in a rut—and to not be afraid of exploring alternative avenues of engagement.
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