You don’t have to be a marketing genius to recognize that pretty much any engagement that truly matters in the modern business and commerce landscape is that which takes place online. The ever-increasing role that the internet and technology play in the everyday lives of all global citizens is something that isn’t going to be reversed at this point, so for fledgling companies and brands, there is no way to try to boost your profile that isn’t going to involve a lot of social media work across all of the various and available platforms.
Starting from ground zero can feel like a daunting task when comparing your own brand to those that are already established and deeply entrenched in the world of social media community engagement, but everybody has to start somewhere!
Here are some introductory-level tips for boosting your own community engagement across the plethora of popular social media and online platforms that are at your disposal. The more effort that you put into this side of things, the more you are going to receive in return!
- Make Communication As Easy As Possible
The first thing that you need to do in order to boost your community engagement is simply make it easy and stress-free for any consumer to get in touch with you. Make sure that you set up and regularly stay abreast of all of the potential contact avenues, including things like Facebook Messenger, creating a Facebook group, being active on X (formerly Twitter), making use of Instagram and Instagram Stories and installing a live chat service on your own website. There is nothing worse than a robot/AI-generated business response to a user question, so though an attractive option, it is best avoided.
- Provide The Appropriate Value
Social media is a place where long-term relationships are forged, rather than the old-school ‘burst’ of short-term engagement that something like a billboard or radio advertisement might have generated. Your various platforms should not just be places where you indulge in one-way traffic self-promotion, but rather places where you engage in the culture and try to create one of your own at the same time. Be as interactive as you can.
- Give To Consumers
It is human nature to love a freebie, so run plenty of giveaways and promotions across your platforms. There are plenty of ways to achieve this, from running competitions to rewarding your top contributors with discounts and coupons. Not only will the prospect of getting something for free or for very little attract new consumers, but it also gives you a chance to reward those who are already part of your online community and invested in your culture.
- Provide A Peek Behind The Curtain
Something that is very clear to see from all of the most successful social media accounts is that they aren’t ‘all business’, all the time. Social media is a space for a little bit more fun to be had, and this can be achieved by creating content that gives consumers a peek behind the curtain and makes them feel like they have a vested interest beyond the simple nature of the products you are selling. Instagram stories and YouTube in particular are perfect for this kind of activity, along with TikTok if your brand is targeted towards a younger demographic! Essentially, the more casual the platform, the more casual your content can be. To get a head start, you can buy YouTube accounts to obtain an immediate audience and ready-made community, rather than having to wait for an audience to build up.
- Tell Your Story
Don’t be scared to reveal yourself in your brand’s social media content. This is a simple and effective way to create consumer engagement and build a connection with your audience beyond the business side of things. Consumers like to feel like they are ‘part of something’ over simply having a mundane transactional relationship with their favorite brands, and it goes without saying that social media is the perfect opportunity to tell your story in bite-sized chunks. The key to strong brand loyalty is adding that extra value and making consumers feel like they always need to choose you over a competitor, so it is really worth making that extra effort in your social media to guarantee that you are always the first name that comes to mind!