Boost Your Social Media Marketing Engagement
Current thinking says that social media marketing is a numbers game, right? It says that if you get followers, you’ll get more conversations, and you’ll then get more likes, shares, retweets, and (hopefully) sales…right?
Well…that’s true. Sort of….
Looking at it in such simplistic terms will get some results but not the kind of results your time could get with a little more forethought. Being effective at using social media isn’t as simple as tossing out content-bait and hoping to entice people into your web where they eventually mature (like fine wine) into a customer.
Getting the end result you want actually starts in the beginning with choosing the audience you want from the social media ecosystem. That means you need to…have a clear idea of who you want as an ideal follower, find them wherever they are, and then give them what they’re looking for.
After doing that, your task is to nurture your relationship with them. And that’s where something called ‘engagement’ comes onto the scene. This is where you begin to build a strong, long-lasting relationship with them by offering them the right information.
You should give them information that helps them, gets them thinking (hopefully along the same lines as you do), or something that simply gives them a smile or chuckle during their busy day.
It’s then, once you establish yourself in their mindset as a welcome entity ,that they begin to want to reach out and engage with you and/or become a real customer.
But this will never happen from just throwing random content at them. You need to think strategically about your content product and how they might receive it. All your content needs to fall within a plan.
Toward that end, I’d like to clarify the following types of content which have been proven to generate interaction and engagement and then to add one new approach that very few marketers are doing:
1 – Visual Content
Quotes, memes, and infographics are effective and relatively easy places to start. They work well because they’re easy for the ready to mentally digest and the communicate on a very elemental level.
You should always try to inject a bit of your own brand identity into each piece of visual content you send out. You can to that either overtly by adding a logo, URL, or a few words, or it can be something more subtle if you’re creative enough to do so.
2 – Video Content
Video content is always a good idea because you get such great impact out of it for relatively little effort… especially when you use curated content. Most topics which you might be promoting are comprised of a substantial amount of generic material which is readily available for free on the net. But you get credit for providing it to your viewers.
Other interesting qualities of video content include the fact that short content is often more effective than longer content (because the viewer will retain it more quickly and easier) and people are more prone to share video content (because it is more entertaining).
3 – Contests
Contests can be effective too but only if they don’t require too much work from the participants. In fact, my advice would be to make participation very easy, like elementary school teachers do for their classes, so that everybody can win something. The idea is, after all, engagement. Not necessarily to obliterate the competition.
Examples of such contests could be something to do with images or captions, or some easy form of creativity that doesn’t require much effort.
4 – Direct Contact
Direct contact is another form of content although it is usually less predictable. But it’s valuable for engagement because that’s exactly what it is. Plus, with a little forethought on your part, direct contact can be repurposed in other ways for further and greater leverage much as a publicist would do with a positive customer service story.
5 – Informative Content
This kind of content requires a little more attention simply because it puts your credibility on the line. Be sure you’re right. The good news is that generally speaking no one has proprietary rights to pure ‘Information’. And even if they might, they seldom own the basic idea and that idea is always easy to rephrase.
How-To articles, Tips, and List posts or articles are very easy to find, spin, and/or enhance. Just be sure the info is targeted to your audience. This idea borders somewhat on ‘curation’ and also lends itself to repurposing on other social media. Just don’t be surprised if you notice that somebody else scoops it up and re-hashes it just like you did.
6 – Questions
Asking your readers questions can be effective too but, just like the contests, don’t format your question so that it takes much effort to answer. Remember, you’re not grading your readers. You’re only engaging them….like that elementary school teacher I mentioned above.
When asking questions, remember that you can ask Closed-End Questions or Open-Ended Questions. With the former, the answer is very finite, i.e. Yes or Now, Black or White, True or False, etc. With Open-Ended questions the answer is a chance for the reader to express themselves more expansively (be prepared for anything!)
Also with Questions content, be sure that your publishing format allows for reader interaction. If it’s on a blog, do you have a comment box, if it’s on YouTube, is your channel set to allow comments, if it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, remember to check your replies, etc.
7 – Establish an Idea Repository
Some people have a hard time at first in coming up with content ideas but it gets easier with practice. I’ve found that the best way for me to come up with ideas is just to imagine myself in a real conversation with my reader(s). I ask myself, ‘If I was talking with somebody, what would I have to say and how would I say it.’
Of course, in ‘web writing’, you have to do pretty much most of the ‘talking’, right? Indeed, it’s nice to have somebody to listen to you.
So…what’s on your mind?
Just like you won’t keep real friends around for long if you’re boring to talk to… make your content non-boring too. You accomplish that by being well-informed and/or knowing when not to get ‘into’ a subject above your competence level.
Some people like to keep a physical ‘idea file’, e.g. on Evernote or something. Me…I keep track of ideas with ‘tagged’ items on my Pocket extension on my Chrome browser. I used to use my Chrome Bookmarks tool but I didn’t like its lack of a strong tagging function.
Still, I’ve never had much problem thinking of something original to say or finding something to spin (like I did with this article.. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!) In my humble opinion, there’s not much new under the sun.
Again…you must be accurate while at the same time being creative. But that’s not hard to do. Just be careful.
When you develop that talent, you don’t have to worry about remember and finding all those good ideas which you even forgot that you saved.
8 – Keep Score
Once you get this far, you’ll need to figure out how you want to keep score. If you have a purpose (i.e. a goal), you need to keep score, right?
You can keep score by tracking shares, likes, comments, backlinks, or even phone calls. The Markethive Inbound Marketing system, which I use on a daily basis and which is entirely free, has an excellent tracking system. You can get one for free to try out…here.
The idea of tracking phone calls however…that’s a foreign idea to most online marketers. Especially to MLM business builders like many of my readers are. But what’s wrong with allowing people to call us?
Aren’t most of us, especially 30 days after starting in our latest MLM, fully certified members of the No Friends Left Club? We ARE looking for human engagement and interaction, aren’t we?
9 – The Power of A Phone Number (something completely different!)
You have heard of Inbound Marketing, right?
I know a very successful fellow in the MLM lead generation and training business who uses capture pages as the leading edge of a unique form of inbound social media marketing.
This heavy-hitter MLM leader isn’t big on content marketing or blogging but he does some unique things with customizable capture pages and landing pages. He puts his phone number on most of them because he knows that a properly designed and attractive capture page works 24/7/365 pulling hordes of customer and/or recruit leads into his multiple enterprises.
I’m starting to combine his type of customizable capture pages with my article writing and I like the results so far.
Think about it.
Allowing a reader who obviously is interested in your content to call you (at the right point in the sales funnel of course) really makes sense. After all, if somebody has already engaged with your content or custom-made capture page and they want to talk to you…what’s the likelihood they might want to spend some money with you?
I’d call that a pretty high-protein type of engagement, wouldn’t you?
Capture pages (if you have a system that allows you to customize them with videos and customized copy) really can be considered as another form of content. After all, in the competitive markets most of us are in, if our goal really is customer engagement, why wouldn’t we want a want a prospective customer to call us at the time they’re most engaged with our content?
The objective is to use properly designed capture pages, in the proper funnel structure, to pre-qualify our sales and/or recruit prospects in such a manner that by the time they reach us…they’re ready to buy or join.
Don’t tell me, “I don’t have time to do that” because if you don’t have time to talk to a prospective customer (or a recruit), maybe you should get into the vending machine business. It’s just too easy to implement inbound social media marketing if you know how to use modern telephone systems.
Case in point…..my friend gets a lot of calls from people who are pretty much pre-sold or at least much deeper into his sales funnel because of the psychological triggers and CTA’s (Call To Action) that he builds into his customizable capture page system.
It’s always been amazing to me that in this age of hi-tech communications, it’s so hard to actually reach and talk to the typical internet marketer. And I find it even more ridiculous when I see the same thing in the MLM industry where just one person can turn out to be so valuable.
Many internet marketers have become so infatuated with automation that they overlook the simple benefit of allowing people to call them. It’s not expensive and it’s easy to do. And if a person gets so busy they can’t take any more calls (i.e. can’t handle any more “engagement”) then it’s also easy to distribute the calls to somebody else on the team.
That’s the system I’m starting to use and it’s actually nice to know that somebody is interested enough in my content and/or capture pages that they want to talk to me.
Is your content actually having the engagement impact you want?
The bottom line is that social media can be used to drive traffic of any kind to almost any destination. Just be open-minded, keep the focus on what works and drive it deep and hard, and scrap what doesn’t work.
Art Williams — a free-lance Content Writer and a great dancer. Call anytime 713 701 1853.