A key element to building your business through social media is being able to engage with your audience. Posting for the sake of posting won’t help. The goal is to capture attention and motivate people to not only become part of your business community but to also become lifelong customers. This requires both seizing attention and then retaining it. Let’s take a look at strategies to both ignite and engage your social media audience.
(1) Identify the Trigger Points: The first step to engaging your audience is identifying the types of content that they respond to. You’ll need to perform a bit of research and testing to accomplish this. You can use keyword searches to start. Using hashtags and your own analytics you can determine the popular topics and the content that draw people to your website. Once you know what they’re looking for, try various content formats, topics, and headlines to identify the material that generates attention and creates conversation and clicks.
(2) Create a Strong Platform: Your audience wants to know what to expect from you. Your platform should ideally support your brand and your voice. That being said, you can be creative with your platform. For example, you can use your social media profile to provide a daily tip for your readers. You can share commentary and make your platform one that is primarily editorial. Identify what your audience wants and how you can offer them value, and then format a platform around that opportunity.
(3) Invite Conversation: You can’t engage others without asking questions and inviting feedback. Whether you publish polls, ask for opinions, seek advice or incite controversy and start a dialogue – the goal for social media is to motivate your readers and followers to get involved. This requires a call to action. Tell your readers what to do next. If you want them to answer a question, ask them to answer a question. If you want their opinion, then clearly ask: “What’s your opinion?”
(4) Test and Track: Finally, you have to understand that it takes time and effort to get it right. You have to be willing to make the effort in testing and tracking your efforts as you learn and engage. Track the posts that people really get excited about. Track the material and links that generate the most clicks. And by all means track the material that results in conversions. The more you know about your audience, the more you can provide them with the right material – the material that not only provides value but also encourages them to become an active member of your business community.