The Importance of Social Engagement
If you’ve been looking around and doing some research on how best to present your business online, you might’ve heard the term ‘social media engagement’. Are you left wondering what it is, why all these marketing people think it’s so important, and what you can do about it?
Advertising used to work by businesses and advertisers placing ads in print, tv or radio, to deliver a message to their intended audience. This meant communication between a business and their customers was essentially only one way.
Measuring how successful an ad may or may not have been was almost entirely limited to the direct impact on sales. Data on how customers engaged with adverts might’ve been entirely dependent on small focus groups or consumer surveys; making it difficult to action quick changes to a campaign or to work out how an advertising budget was most effectively utilised.
Today, running advertising campaigns directly on social media allows customers to interact directly with the adverts they see, usually through commenting, sharing or simply liking a post seen on their social feeds. Social media has imposed a fundamental shift in the communication between customers and businesses, by facilitating a two-way dialogue that was previously difficult to achieve or entirely non-existent.
Social media engagement refers to all the small interactions an audience makes with advertisements. Because social media platforms like Facebook allow advertisers to see and measure all these interactions, it’s possible to use the data to make important decisions about how you advertise, or what elements to focus on to get more customers to take that essential first step through the door.
It’s generally understood that the average person spends around two hours a day on social media, making it one of the largest avenues for advertising today. Paying attention and changing responsively based on how people interact with your business, is essential to building a large presence. The long-term effects can be exponentially beneficial. As a new visitor, your page will often view an active fan base with a lot of engagement as significantly more legitimate than a half dead page with few revisiting customers.
Organically expanding your social media presence through engagement also serves to promote the overall awareness of your brand. Because the algorithms that dictate what content is placed on an individual’s feed can often be based on what a few of their friends have engaged with, this can place your advertisements in front of relevant audiences and potential customers at no additional cost.
Properly managing and aiming for social media engagement can put your content in front of far more – and far more interested people than a vastly expensive campaign in magazines or on television ever could.
So how do we do it?
The benefits of social media engagement are plain to see, so how can you best take advantage of this new method of doing things?
One of the simplest, yet most effective, methods of driving engagement on social media is to offer incentives to customers. This can include a discount or other benefit offered to those who share posts; running competitions via comment sections or even offering discounts to those who tag your business in their own social posts. Running these types of campaigns can help you develop a community and audience around your business, directly incentivising purchases while also developing public awareness of your brand or product.
Another effective, but potentially more difficult, method is to focus on producing high quality content to be published across your social media channels. Offering quality video or written content, like detailed product reviews or explanations can be a good tactic, if it serves to start a conversation amongst your followers.
As well as content and coupons, one of the other ideas might’ve been obvious all along. Engagement. Engaging with customers that leave comments on your posts is a good way to start a dialogue and keep people coming back, whether the initial comment was positive or negative. Thanking a customer for a good review or apologising for a bad one is a good method of keeping people interested and talking about your brand regardless.
Social media engagement is more than just a numbers game. Paying attention in the right places can ensure you’re getting more people through the door than ever. Starting conversations and promoting interaction with your business lets you build more quality relationships with your audience and keep them coming back, as well as build a much larger audience overall.
If you want to find out more or have a chat about how we can help with your social media campaigns, contact Rosie Reynolds Marketing today!