You’ve been posting regularly on your social media page and all you get are a few likes and the occasional comment, but the phone still isn’t ringing. You can’t figure it out. You ask yourself “What am I doing wrong?” The answer to this is simple, you aren’t engaging your customer. To them you are just another business looking for a sale. You still haven’t made the case that you have a solution to a problem they are having. If you aren’t doing something for them or helping them in some way, you simply don’t matter to them.
What to do then? To help answer that, I have outlined below how you can engage them in some of the bigger platforms. If you follow even some of these steps, you will most certainly see some immediate impact to your relationships with clients, improvement of your brand, and simply how people view you as a partner in improving their business.
How to Engage Customers via Facebook in 4 Steps
Facebook is the grand-daddy of them all. You must get traction on this platform to see results. Here you can interact with different groups and audiences. You can tailor messaging to a particular audience and see how your post is working. Follow the below advice and try some or all of the pointers. Many of these can be combined in a post to maximize the affect.
- TELL, TELL, TELL AND DON’T SELL, SELL, SELL – This applies to any social media platform or communication you make. Educate customers using simple friendly reminders and ensure you are providing them with valuable information that helps them whether they buy from you or not – being selfless goes a long way
- MIX IT UP AND DON’T BECOME PREDICTABLE – Make sure you are varying your content and not just looking to close the sale on the spot – talk to your audience and get them to relate to you
- USE VIDEO & GRAPHICS TO AMP THINGS UP – great free tools like canva.com can help you to add another level of color and detail that will help grab attention and veer things away from plain text
- FREEBIES ALWAYS WORK – Use contests where you ask your audience to both comment and tag a friend – this is a surefire way to generate buzz and free advertising
How to Engage Customers on Instagram in 3 Steps
Do it for the gram! On Instagram your audience is critical to your business success. Make sure you are putting in the time to target the right followers and using the optimum hashtags to be visible. You must make sure you are using descriptions that are simple, short, and attention grabbing. The below advice will help you ensure you are engaging your target audience.
- USE THE SEARCH FEATURE TO ENGAGE AN AUDIENCE – target followers that are more likely to talk about your business genre or niche and allow that to spur engagement – essentially create your business following
- USE HASHTAGS TO BE MORE VISIBLE – Hashtags help users find your content, and no one can engage with your post if they can’t find it
- MAKE THE BEST OF STORIES – on average, brands post 2.5 Instagram stories weekly, which in turn have close to an 85% completion rate (i.e. how many people have viewed it in its entirety)
To them you are just another business looking for a sale. You still haven’t made the case that you have a solution to a problem they are having.
How to Engage Customers on Twitter in 3 Steps
Some might say that Twitter is dead, but the truth is it is still relevant and is actually expanding in reach. Here you will find consumers that are searching hashtags to find un-biased information, feedback, reviews and much more when considering a product or service they want to purchase. Below are my thoughts on what you can do to engage your audience using Twitter.
- QUALITY OVER QUANTITY – Due to Twitter’s algorithm, quality content is preferred over quantity of content, so make sure you are giving something of value to your audience so Twitter treats it with greater importance
- FOLLOW LIKEMINDED USERS – Following likeminded users opens you up to their followers, and so on. It is a fast track to building your following and growing your business
- RETWEET – Retweet things that would be of benefit to your followers. It is a fast way to share information, start a conversation, and not only show engagement but encourage it from those you want to do business with
How to Engage Customers on LinkedIn in 4 Steps
LinkedIn isn’t always viewed as being social media by everyone because you aren’t able to be very “social.” However, LinkedIn has evolved into a powerful resource to create networks and connect with likeminded individuals. Your connections can vary from being experts in your field or potential customers. Either way, you will benefit from extending your network here. Use these tips to make your network an integral part of growing your business.
- POST ON YOUR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS PAGE – It can be an insightful question, something you feel will benefit your target audience, or even forwarding some helpful articles or videos that will help your audience in some way. Just remember to be in giving mode more than you are in selling mode.
- USE KEYWORDS EFFECTIVELY – Make sure your profile and business page use keywords effectively. You won’t come up in any search if you don’t have the right keywords built in.
- FOLLOW INFLUENCERS & EXPERTS – Follow people that are relevant to your industry, respond and interact in the discussions those people are posting and start getting known in those circles as an expert
- MESSAGE FOR INSTANT ENGAGEMENT – Use the messaging feature to engage with your network contacts and see how you can help each other, get mentorship from an expert in your field, or simply share a simple elevator pitch with a prospect and see if they would be interested in having a quick chat. One thing to remember is that when using messaging, you have to strike a fruitful balance between engagement and being a bother. Know when someone is not interested to just back off and move on to someone else.
Show them you are listening and they will listen back.
A Note on Using Paid Social Media Advertising Vehicles
Iplan on touching up on this on a future post, but I will say that if you need an instant boost of sales, you will likely find yourself considering paid advertising. If you are leaning towards using this vehicle to get more traffic, I will suggest you be careful not to blindly spend your money. Start small by doing ads with a small budget and watch the metrics closely. See who is engaging with your ads, the demographics of your audience, time of day or week the audience in interacting, the post that got the most reaction, etc. Overall, make sure you walk before you run, and use information on your past performance to plan for the future.
Overall, engagement is all about being relevant and helpful. You must be seen as a partner looking to improve your client’s business, as well as a willing participant in solving the challenges they are facing.
As I mentioned above, you have to focus on some key things to truly engage your audience:
- Tell, tell, tell much more than you sell, sell, sell
- Focus on solving your potential customer’s problems, both those that are apparent and those they don’t even know they have
- Create two-way conversation more than just doing a show and tell exercise
- In most cases, quality beats quantity – so spend time to craft a message that engages and is beneficial/helpful
- Learn from your audience and give them more of what they want – show them you are listening and they will also listen back
I hope after reading this post you are now more prepared to engage your target audience and amp up your business results. However, if time is an issue, or all this is too overwhelming for you and you need help in posting and engaging your intended audience on social media, reach out to us at nHance solutions (nhancesolutions.com) and we can put a plan in place that will greatly nHance your results.
About the Author
Imran Akhtar is the owner of nHance solutions, a digital agency providing high-end web development services, social media management, digital marketing strategies, and maintenance and security solutions. He has an MBA in Marketing from Rice University in Houston, and has over 20 years of experience in the marketing and information technology space.