When it comes to social media, some may believe the best metric to track is follower count. While follower growth is important, it’s not always about quantity – quality is just as important. A highly engaged digital community can prove to be even more valuable in the long run. With an engaged platform, your business is able to develop real and lasting relationships with your target audience. Do your potential customers feel a connection to your brand/business? Are they going to share your services with their friends? Here are three best practices to implement if you’re looking to build stronger relationships and boost your social media engagement.
1) Follow Along
Social media’s main function is for users to keep connected with their friends, family, and social circles -- and just because you’re running a business account doesn’t mean your goals should be any different. To see maximum engagement, it’s important to operate on social media organically and authentically. By following along with your target audience and engaging with their content, you’ll be able to form genuine relationships.
Here’s what we recommend:
Follow back your most engaged audience members
Follow those folks who consistently show up liking, commenting on, and engaging with your content
Comment and engage on your followers' posts
Leave thoughtful comments on your followers' posts. Show them you’re ‘human’ and their connection with your brand/business is a two-way relationship
Follow the hashtags your target audience is using
Interact with tagged content
If your users are tagging you in a post or utilizing your brand’s hashtag, don’t lose the opportunity to acknowledge the time it took them to shoutout your company/brand. Share your appreciation and leave a comment and share their photo across your channels (with permission of course)
2) Ask and Listen Up
Once you’ve built a two-way relationship with your followers, ask them for feedback -- what kind of content they want to see from you, product ideas and what support they need. This tactic is a win-win: your business is able to hear directly from your consumer while also ensuring that your future content is strategically shaped around your followers' wants and needs.
In addition to directly asking your audience for feedback, implement a social listening tool into your community management operations like SproutSocial. With a social listening tool, you’re able to track your target audience’s social presence, what they’re saying about your business, and what other topics are top of mind for them. Knowing this information will inform your team on the exact type of content you should be producing for your social channels.
3) Track and Optimize
You’ve developed lasting two-way relationships with your social community and have an open line of communication for feedback...now what? Now is the time to track and optimize your channels. At Avenue, we recommend tracking the success of your social platforms monthly. This means capturing your follower net increase or loss, total engagement, platform engagement rate, impressions, reach, site traffic from each social platform, and purchases from each social platform as well as your top and lowest performing content. This data will inform your team what’s working and what needs optimizing.
Always remember, social is about building community and relationships. Implement these three tactics and see your engagement flourish!
Please note that Avenue has no affiliation with any products, services, or websites referenced in this blog post. Avenue is a digital marketing agency in Portland using business as a force for good. Our proprietary suite of paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media services help brands and businesses of all sizes grow sustainably and successfully. For more information, we invite you to visit our services page.