Entirely everyone is on social media today. Let’s prove that statement with a few statistics before jumping into the tips.
- According to Facebook statistics, there are 80 million small businesses pages on Facebook.
- Amberd Design Studio says Snapchat is the number 1 social platform for U.S. teens.
- HootSuite says brands on Instagram receive 4.21% more engagement than other platforms.
- ReelSEO says in 2015, YouTube had 40 billion all-time views for branded content.
Social media has taken over the business world, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the need to stand out amongst the millions of other influencers and businesses vying for consumer attention. While it may feel as though the odds are stacked against smaller companies and brands, there are ways to increase brand prominence and social presence.
It isn’t a magic formula for instant results, but here are three tips to put into practice to increase engagement in the business space of social media.
1. Be Part of the Community
In a world where internet trolls frolic openly through the digital ether, businesses and brands who are kind to others and involved with their community are the ones people remember. Get involved with the customer community. Offer help to those who need it. Kindness goes beyond excellent customer service. Offer support to those who aren’t asking for it. Offer to help people without trying to sell them a product. A business that genuinely cares about its community will cultivate a follower culture of loyal ambassadors.
Rand Fishkin from Moz says “Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they’d respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.”
Remember your community; remember your audience, and they will remember you.
2. Tell a Story
Despite recent additions to features added by various social platforms, telling the story of your brand and business doesn’t mean posting 15-second videos to Instagram and Facebook every three minutes. While this practice may gain you traction amongst followers, it’s not the type of storytelling that will drive long-term engagement. Since the dawn of humanity, people have been attracted to stories. Before the written word, humans flocked to the orators to hear tales of life, adventure, and progress. Overtime stories made their way to the written word and the silver screen, and now social media has merely become another platform for people to engage in a story.
Every business has a story to tell, whether it is about the company, the product, or customers. Draw people into content by filling this content with enticing hooks and connections to followers. Videos, text, and images are all effective mediums to connect with people on a level they remember. Don’t push content at people without context. Wrap it up in a story and followers will return again and again to engage with that story.
Like Ekaterina Walter of Sprinklr says, “Technology may change the way we communicate, but the relationship building truths will always stay the same. Stay true to them, in life and in marketing.”
3. Be Unique
Apply tip number two, storytelling to create an engaging and compelling story based content that stands out from the white noise of the millions of other businesses on social media. It is tempting to blame the ever-changing algorithms for declining engagement, but taking ownership of the quality of content that is posted is the solution that will launch businesses forward and past monotony. Great content will generate engagement regardless of algorithms or notoriety.
If material, despite being high quality, isn’t procuring a desired level of interactions consider successful competitors and their content. Study business industries and audiences to ensure content posted is in fact what followers want to receive. Content can meet the highest standards, but if it isn’t what the audience wants, it won’t encourage engagement. The trick is to both give the audience what they want while interweaving the personality of a business into the content. Videos provide an excellent platform on which to do show personality while relaying information.
Joe Pulizzi, a content marketing specialist says. “Stop writing about everything. So many brands create content and try to cover everything, instead of focusing on the core niche that they can position themselves as an expert around. No one cares about your special recipe… Find your niche, and then go even more niche.”
Give It Time
Following these tips requires time, effort, and intentionality. Results will not be immediate and may actually take months or even up to a year before becoming evident. The initiative, however, is worth the payoff. Social media platforms will always switch up their algorithms. Consistently good content that considers the customer, tells a story and shines with personality will rise to the top and generate long-lasting results and long-term followers. Don’t settle for being another faceless business drowned out by the rest of the social media world. Be a distinguished brand despite the noise.