How to succeed with Social Media: Engage Your Base

As we all know the key to success on social media is engagement – connecting with your followers and friends.

Small businesses not only want their social media content to resonate with customers and potential customers, but create loyal brand ambassadors who spend money and encourage others to spend money.

“Small businesses need to look at ROI in terms of social media,” says SocialCentiv CEO and co-founder Bernard Perrine. “Time is a precious commodity when you’re running your own shop. Business owners shouldn’t be doing anything that doesn’t contribute to the bottom line – directly or indirectly. And that includes social media.”

There are seven strategies to help increase your social media engagement:

Pick your platform. Not every social media platform is right for every business. Think about all the things you know about your target customers, which will give you an indication about the social media platforms they’re likely to be using. Pick the handful of channels that make sense for your business and then post regular, consistent content.

Target your audience. Social media is about finding followers and friends who are interested in your content. That makes them relevant to your business and more likely to become customers. To create targeted content, share tips, trends, quotes and information that will start a discussion, and also pose questions and article links.

Increase your views with photos and videos. In the same vein, your followers and friends are more likely to click on infographics, photos and videos. Images are highly engaging, so use them wherever you can! Need proof images engage? Half our brain is involved in visual process, and we can make sense of a visual in less than 1/10 of a second! On the flip side, we only read 28 percent of words on any give page. Research tells us, according to Kissmetrics, images on Facebook receive 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-throughs. Buffer shows that using images on Twitter increases Retweets by 150 percent and click-throughs by 18 percent. (from 3 to 5 Marketing)

Ask your followers and friends to be brand ambassadors. As a small business, you can tell the world how wonderful you are. But when your followers and friends say it, the recommendation carries much more weight. Simply encourage them to talk about their experience or merchandise they’ve purchased, and feed them interesting and relevant content they’ll want to Retweet and share.

Ask your employees to be brand ambassadors. The same goes for your employees. Simply ask them to like, Retweet and share information on the company channels. Proud employees are happy to help – and by tapping into their networks, you exponentially increase your exposure.

Share deals and discounts. Make your friends and followers part of an exclusive club by creating offers available only to them. It makes them feel special, and they’ll come back for more.

Survey your followers. Stumped for content? Simply ask friends and followers what they’d like to see, what they think of current trends and what they’d like to see from your business. USA Today found out long ago that their reader surveys were one of the best-read pieces in the paper because it not only engaged readers, but also gave the paper content to print.