By Shannon Maguire In social media, we are constantly trying to understand and engage with our fans. We create images and develop witty copy in the hopes that the community will like, comment, share, RT, double tap, etc., but our job as social media managers doesn't stop there. We need to give fans a reason to want to interact with our brand and establish a connection, which will ultimately help us to better understand and provide for the consumer. So buckle-up and get ready to take a 'gif journey' through the 5 keys to social engagement!
1) Know your audience.
Analytics are available for a reason, use them. Look into what social channels are most popular among your fan base and see how they are using the platform. This can help you develop a stronger content strategy, as well as, give you insight into which platform you should be putting the most effort into.
2) Join the conversation.
Social media wasn't meant for the 'set it and forget it' lifestyle. Once a post or tweet goes live, make sure you're responding to your fans, and make it meaningful. A 'like' or a 'favorite' may be an easy way to engage your audience, but a comment or mention shows your audience you are actually listening, which tells them what they have to say is valuable to your brand.
3) Don't be scared to be creative!
As a Community Manager, I have the pleasure of engaging with brand fans on a daily basis. Overtime, I have come to learn that the more creative you get with a response, the better the response from the fan. If a user makes a funny comment on your post, try to joke back with them. If you want to thank a fan, don't just type it, show it by linking out to a relevant photo or gif.
4) Go ahead and creep.
Use listening tools and targeted searches on Twitter and Instagram to find fans and potential fans who are currently talking about your brand. You may feel like you're creeping on potential fans, but when a consumer is tweeted at or replied to by their favorite brand, without even tagging that brand, it can be very exciting. For instance, after I casually mentioned Red Bull on twitter, the account not only tweeted at me, but followed me. My day was made and my loyalty to the brand was strengthened.
5) Surprise and Delight.
Fans and customers make a brand what it is. Reward them! From coupons to t-shirts, everyone loves free things. Not only will you delight a fan, but that person will spread the word that your brand wants to give back. The popular food delivery site, Seamless, does this for fans on Twitter by surprising followers with random 'Snack Attacks,' where they send delicious treats to loyal fans. Big or small, surprise can result in moments of magic for not only your brand, but your consumers.
How do you engage your fans on social media? Share in the comments!