By Kevin Leyes
Building an engaged social media following is a crucial aspect of any business's marketing strategy. For a modern business, having a strong social media presence is one of the most effective ways to ensure continued expansion and growth. The ultimate goal of having an engaged following is to create meaningful connections with existing and potential customers, establishing personal and long-term relationships through brand loyalty and brand recognition.
Social media is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic that certainly shouldn't be underestimated, and the following reasons will outline why it is an opportunity that every business must avail of.
1. Measure Your Engagement
One of the main measures of social media engagement is the number of comments, likes, and shares you generate with your posts. Whilst having a significant following is important, it's equally important that this following actively interacts with you regularly. There are a few metrics businesses can use to assess the levels of engagement they are attracting, such as shares, comments, likes, follower growth, mentions, tags, click-throughs, and hashtags.
This provides businesses with a wealth of information regarding the impact of their present marketing strategies and if they need to change or improve them. Traditional marketing strategies such as print and television don't offer this level of insight – social media marketing is unique in the way that you can see in real-time the extent to which your campaigns are interesting, engaging, and attracting customers.
2. Constantly Be On Your Customer's Minds
Keeping followers is as important as attracting followers, and an effective way you can ensure this is by posting consistently and on a regular basis. If you observe the posting patterns of some internationally known and successful brands, you'll find that many of them are posting multiple times a day. People tend to scroll through their social media platforms every few hours or so, and with two or three posts spaced out at strategic times throughout the day, your brand will be a constant presence on your followers' social media feeds.
This is actually an incredibly effective psychological trick. When an international brand posts at regular intervals they are maximizing their exposure. Increased exposure means that audiences will gradually develop a familiarity with the brand as well as the products/services it provides, and this will, in turn, generate engagement, interest, and purchases.
The advantages associated with this type of exposure extend far beyond the immediate impact of seeing a post on social media and then scrolling past it. Frequent and memorable exposure creates long-term associations. If you have a business that manages events and you have established a powerful social media presence, for example, then whenever anyone or someone they know needs to arrange an event, they will immediately think of you.
3. Don't Just Say, Show Customers Why Your Product/Service Is So Amazing
With regards to the content you post, you don't want to be just passively broadcasting your brand with product photos and product descriptions for the captions. Instead, you want to create buzzing and interactive conversations with your followers. For example, if you're a brand selling handmade winter apparel such as scarves and hats, you don't want to post pictures of models wearing them.
Create videos with styling tips, create competitions where your followers can provide their input for the latest design, or engage them by asking them to choose their favorite product. These are all ways of making your brand truly memorable and distinctive.
Social media platforms are such an amazing marketing tactic because they can communicate any message or concept within a variety of different mediums or formats. Your mode of expression is not restricted as much as it would be with more traditional marketing tactics such as a magazine feature or a television advert.
Whilst there is certainly a place for these promotional strategies, the truth is that nothing quite compares to the creative freedom you can have on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Infographics, tutorials, albums, edits, compilations, and collaborations – you can show your customers the merits and virtues of your product/service from every conceivable angle.
4. Manipulate The Algorithm
Keeping up with social media trends and topical events such as pop culture and international sporting events are great opportunities for your brand to connect with audiences instantly. Other ways of boosting engagement are contests, asking questions, polls, contests, GIFs, and spotlighting customer posts or stories.
There are countless ways you can encourage social media engagement and interact with your followers; it's just about experimenting and discovering which strategies work the best with your brand and your goals.
Social media algorithms are incredibly intelligent, and once you understand how they work, you can ensure that you are constantly appearing in the feeds of a diverse and varied audience. These algorithms exist so that relevant and interesting content appears in users' feeds, and certain actions are more likely to be rewarded by the algorithm.
Essentially, the more engagement you receive on each of your posts, the more likely it is that the algorithm will notice you. So remember to post regularly, ask questions, interact with your followers, use hashtags, and tag other accounts to boost your engagement as much as you can. By manipulating the algorithm to your advantage, you vastly increase the extent and reach of your business.
Social media impact
In this contemporary digital era, social media platforms and their users are at the forefront of the creation, publication, and distribution of digital content. Whether it's a review or testimonials, social media comments, detailed captions and posts, interactive discussions or video reviews and commentaries, social media has provided users with a powerful platform to have their voices heard and have a real and tangible impact on brands and businesses. It's crucial that brands and businesses learn how to capitalize on the marketing opportunities provided by social media.
The benefits provided by a robust social media strategy extend far beyond merely increasing sales. An essential part of branding is creating a recognizable and memorable brand image, and this is because consumers prefer to buy from brands that they know and trust. When it comes to building a strong brand, social media is the perfect platform for achieving this goal. For example, using the logo of your brand as a profile picture will ensure the visual elements of your brand are communicated immediately to whoever visits your social media pages.
Compared to traditional forms of marketing such as television commercials or radio advertisements, social media allows you to reach a wider audience much more quickly. Millions of consumers scroll through their various social media accounts multiple times throughout the day, and by strategically posting, collaborating, and marketing your page, you can attract potential customers even at times when they're not actively shopping around or thinking of purchasing your product or service.