Already on social media, but not seeing the results you expected?
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most brands think that just being on social network is enough. However, as we pointed out in a previous post on blogging, it doesn’t make any sense for businesses to be involved in any online activity if they’re not committed.
But, how do you go about starting a conversation with your community – or even starting to grow one with complete strangers? This post will help you get started on engaging your community.
Step 1: It’s NOT about you
Let’s get this one out of the way first. It’s NOT about you! Nor is it about how great your products are. Your task here is to find out what your target audience wants. Put yourself in their shoes and deliver content that is relevant to them and sparks conversation.
How-to guides are always popular, but controversial content works better and initiates more debate.
Step 2: Welcome Everyone
Engagement begins whenever someone follows or likes your Facebook page. That’s when you need to start the conversation. The first thing to do, is welcome them to the community. Show some appreciation by mentioning your recent followers in a tweet and thanking them for following you, just like we do at Cuutio.
Step 3: Time to get busy
After you’ve broken the ice by welcoming new members to the community. It’s time to get everyone involved. Here are a few things you can do to engage your community:
- Ask for feedback on future product improvements
- Listen to the conversation and jump in
- Answer customer support questions
- Find out how they’re using your product
The great thing about the suggestions above is that you can gather the information and write blog posts about those topics. Something that Dutch startup Roamler does quite well.
Step 4: Don’t Forget Your Manners
Even though your community is centered around a topic or product you started, remaining humble is of the upmost importance here. You need the people in your community and you want them coming back. Be gracious, polite and friendly.
Also look out for trolls (people who post inflammatory comments to spark resent and arguments with others) and avoid getting into a confrontation with them.
Step 5: Recognize Your Community’s Contribution
The people behind your community are the driving force of what keeps it active and alive.
Take time out to organize competitions or giveaways to recognize their contribution. Doing so will show them that you care about them and their efforts. And as an added benefit, it also increases engagement.
Some businesses online have a “Fan Of The Month”, while others run competitions to reward the best picture taken with their product.
Nevertheless, what inbound marketing advocates is engagement with your community. Social media is fantastic; because it allows you to do precisely that, engage your community and talk with them.