Engagement and Social Media Marketing: The 7 Things You Should Be Doing to Build Your Brand
There are four primary ways to “engage” your audience: (1) blogs, (2) webcasts, (3) email campaigns, and (4) social networking sites. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, are ideas for engagement marketing because it provides an easy way for companies to have a direct dialogue with customers. Case in point: Several weeks ago, I was on the phone with an airline, trying to make a reservation. I was on hold forever—and getting pretty irritated. I posted this on the airline’s Facebook page, and I received a response from them within minutes, which lead to a dialogue between us. That’s engagement.
So what should your company being doing to ensure it is engaging with customers and clients…for creating relationships? Here are some must-dos:
- Follow your followers. If you have a robust number of followers on your social media accounts but you are only following back a few, you are sending a message that you’re not interested in what they have to say. Following back is important—as is interacting with them—to build relationships.
- It's social media, so be social. Don’t throw up a Facebook page, get a number of followers, then forget about them. Address comments—and compliments—from everyone who reaches out to you. Otherwise, why bother with social media?
- Write good content—and then share it with your followers. If you don’t have the sharing buttons on your blog to make it as easy as one click to share what you’ve posted, you are missing opportunities to build your brand. These buttons are easy to install and should be easy to see on your blog.
- Decide on your social media personality. Is your company corporate or casual? Are your customers corporate or casual? Make sure the voice you decide on is appealing to prospective customers and clients—and that it matches your corporate culture. Then be consistent with this tone of voice across all social media platforms.
- Don’t try to fake it. If you’re phony, you’ll more than likely be busted for it at some point. You need to build trust within your community. Be as transparent as you can be.
- Share—but not too much. There is no need to tweet every thought that comes into your head. Have some balance in what you share and how often you share it. Always think about providing something of value to your community—but don’t be annoying about it.
- Be proactive rather than reactive. I have known some business owners who haven’t wanted to engage in social media because they were worried about negative things being posted about them or their business. The truth is, things will be posted whether you are active in social media or not, so it’s best to be on top of it. Don’t ignore the negative—and don’t delete it. Respond as quickly as possible and try to resolve the problem.
The takeaway here is that social media marketing is an incredibly effective part of a company's marketing plan, but it only works if you work it. It's not enough to post great content on your blog...you've got to share it and engage with those with whom you are sharing.