Possibly the most important aspect of any business these days, is their corporate reputation, the speed in which people now communicate allows any negative customer experience to not only be magnified but presented in front of millions of potential customers.
Most guides from industry thought leaders are currently dispensing the same advice that is simply “engaging your audience is paramount to success” but this is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if a business had taken the infamous short-cut a few years ago by purchasing fans or followers.
Your followers will quickly dash for the exit sign and the un-follow button you if you constantly spam their news-feed with self-promotion and if you are honest, you would do exactly same on your own personal timeline, so your mission is to simply create or curate interesting content that will inform or offer something of value to your customers, without trying to sell them anything and whilst being friendly and entertaining. If that sounds like a great deal of work to juggle, you also need to ensure that you respond to every comment from your customers.
However after reading several articles and guides, you could find yourself sat at a computer trying your hardest to interact and engage with your audience only to be greeted with silence in your very own tumble-weed moment.
So we all know that we need to engage our audience, but the million dollar question is how do I create an engaging social media campaign? I recently discovered an article over at Forbes called 100 Killer Ideas For Your Social Media Content that should get your creative juices flowing again should you hit that dreaded wall of silence.
If you are reading this, I would love to hear how many of the 100 you have tried so please let me know your experiences but here are my favourites from the article.
Fill In the Blank Posts
We are so busy trying to be creative that we overlook the fact that our own audience is an army of creative people just waiting to interact with anything that captures their imagination or interest.
People actively thinking about your products, upcoming events and times is something that money can’t buy and a fantastic way to engage with your audience.
By simply asking questions and asking your followers to fill in the blanks you can almost guarantee comments and is an easy method to encourage creative responses from your customers.
Ask for reviews
Reaching out and asking your customers for a review can be a scary prospect, for those who are worried about what kind of response that will be returned and are weary of opening the busniess up to negative reviews, you need a wake-up call.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of conversations taking place across social networks, forums and websites discussing your product and you have a choice whether to bury your head in the sand, put your fingers in your ears and say I’m not listening or use this as an opportunity to show how good your customer service really is.
We are all becoming obsessed with checking out online reviews before purchasing anything now from everyday items at Amazon to your special holiday on Trip Advisor but most importantly remember that even a bad review, can illustrate how authentic and trustworthy your brand is.
Written or the growing trend of video reviews can bring your online presence to life and also add a nice touch or integrity by showing that you actually care and remember even a bad review is an opportunity to learn where your business is failing.
Polls may feel a little old fashioned but they have been around a long time for a very good reason and if used correctly they can help you understand the thoughts and opinions of your audience but equally allow your customers to see what everybody else’s opinion on a particular topic.
You can spark a conversation with your community, reward users and dramatically improve your customer communications.
The list has so many ideas that we should all be experimenting with to determine what works and what doesn’t work for our own business but as we all access our content visually I think that’s it’s essential to utilise photography and video.
By creating content that interests your audience, showing photos and video of behind the scenes of your business and feature employees you are providing a human connection which illustrates that your company has a soul.
People no longer respond to companies bombarding them with nothing endless self promotion, as consumers we simply want to our problems to be resolved, made aware of any discounts, voucher codes or access to content that is of genuine interest that offers value or help.
If you can nail this content and engagement strategy, I can guarantee that you will be the envy of all your competitors. There is no reason to find any of this a daunting prospect because ultimately if we forget about the technology for a few minutes, you are simply listening and interacting with your customers
There are over 100 examples of ideas that can be adapted to help you connect with your customers and drive engagement, but I would love to hear what has rewarded your business the most success. Please comment and let me know.