Social media engagement comes from interactions with your social media account. They include reactions, follows, shares, comments, or click-thru's. These metrics are key ways to gauge the impact of content marketing and drive long-term brand favorability.
A clever comparison by Hootsuite labels companies as either a “soap box” or “dinner party.” Soap box brands have a one-way dialogue from the brand to consumers while dinner party brands are all about engagement, especially the small conversations between guests. Dinner party brands have the best level of consumer engagement. Be a dinner party brand.
“Your followers don’t want to talk to a faceless organization. They want to talk to real people on social media. Engaging one-on-one lets them know there’s a real person behind the account, and that can really make a difference in the trust they have for your brand.”Nick Martin, Hootsuite social engagement specialist
Dinner Party Brand Examples:
Nike created a Twitter account dedicated to customer service in English, Spanish, and French to serve multiple countries.
Netflix has different twitter accounts for regions and spotlights new content released in that region. Considering not all content is shared in multiple regions, this is a great way Netflix localizes content to increase engagement. Each account still keeps a similar tone of humor to match the overall voice of the Netflix brand.
Domino's celebrates cultural differences through its menu offerings and social media, strengthening its international presence.
Ways to Generate Social Media Engagement
Define Your Goals
What do you want your followers to gain through their online interaction with your brand? The “dinner party” brands referenced above have different goals. Some goals to consider include:
- Create or change brand perception (Netflix)
- Find and/or nurture leads
- Offer promotions (Domino's)
- Providing product information to move customers through the purchase funnel
- Obtain product or campaign feedback
- Provide customer support (Nike)
Know Your Audience to Share Valuable Content with Them
To start, spend time researching your customer's needs and desires. Every customer has a problem. How do they use social media to solve their problems? Your audience will dictate the frequency of posts, messaging, and content to share. You just need to listen to them!
Also pay attention to topical and trending events that resonate with your customers. These will be top of mind for your customers already so they will instantly connect with your content. However, use caution to make sure the topics or trends are in the correct brand voice.
Reactive engagement includes responding to customers who direct message, comment, or mention your business.
- Decide the circumstances you will respond and be consistent.
- Determine the best way to pass along messages to different internal departments.
- Define a workflow for incoming messages.
Proactive engagement involves searching for indirect comments about your brand or relevant conversations. This can be very helpful for creating buzz for a product launch or campaign. Twitter is an essential social listening tool used by brands to proactively influence brand perception.
- Determine guidelines for engaging with opportunities.
- Look at Netflix or other best practices to learn about proactive engagement.
Track Your Progress
Each platform has different metrics that can be used to track audience engagement. As you get started, establish benchmarks for each platform to measure your content's impact. This will ensure brand messaging is tied to something more tangible and constantly improving in quality.