The Best Ways to Engage Your Audience on Social Media

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black bear design blog

Hubspot recently released their 2017 State of Inbound Report which found that 91% of marketers want to know how to uniquely engage their audience. That 91% knows engagement gives businesses a competitive advantage over the competition, and that’s been found to be true. Take companies like Target, Denny’s, or Arby’s. If you work in social media management, you know these are the top companies that are killing the engagement game. Their posts go viral, their audience talks back, and people follow them for fun. But what if you’re not in a household industry like Target? There are a few tips and tricks you can use to engage with the audience of your industry, no matter if it’s repurposed hydraulic parts or the hottest clothing brand in the world.

Social Listening

 Social listening is exactly what it sounds like. It’s listening to, rather than talking at, your audience. Spend a few hours each week scrolling through your social feeds to see what your audience is interested in and what they’re posting about. Read comment threads. Learn what they engage with and reproduce that same type of material.

Using Twitter hashtag feeds to see what your audience is saying about your brand is a great way to get started. Less than 30% of people will use your actual Twitter handle, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still talking about things that you need to know. There are countless updates that you’ll never hear about because you won’t be brought directly to them, you need to seek them out yourself. Armed with that information, you can create quality posts that are relevant to your direct audience. Listen to what they want and deliver.

With that in mind, listen to the industry.

People listen to those who have established their voice as leaders. Don’t rely solely on promotion since most audiences will grow bored of seeing product after product with nothing to learn. Instead, post relevant material that places you as a thought-leader in your industry. Gain respect and recognition as a page to follow, and people will interact.

Facebook/Instagram Live

Facebook live was introduced to the platform in early 2015. Since then, millions of people watch the live streams each day. From news broadcasts to music, to politics, to fun live broadcasts from media companies, Facebook Live provides a funnel for the world to come together and talk about the same event. On a much smaller scale, Facebook Live provides an incredible platform for brands to hold conversations with their audience and introduce them into their world. The behind-the-scenes view of your company, the team, and the physical place where your business takes place are all things your audience wants to see, so be sure to show them often!

The Tried and True

Of course, in social media 101, you learned a few tricks that are still above and beyond some of the best things to do to gain an active audience. Providing photos in each of your posts automatically favors you on the Facebook algorithm. Videos, like Facebook Live, puts you about 3 steps ahead in that it not only alerts your audience that you’re live, but it will almost always show in your followers’ news feeds.

Another good rule of thumb is to ask questions that intrigue your audience and make them want to answer. Depending on your industry you can get a little specific and fun with these questions. It can be anything from, “What is your dream DIY project if budget wasn’t an issue?” To, “What is the most stunning steel structure you’ve seen around the world?” Ask people to think back on their own life experiences and they’ll almost always be happy to share. Start the conversation by commenting yourself!

Monitor your results. This goes without saying in the world of social media marketing, but if you’re not monitoring the posts your audience reacts to, then you’re simply not listening. If you receive 50 likes on a post that shows your personality and only 5 likes on a curated article about a fringe-topic of your industry, you know what you should dial your efforts into. Pay attention to the numbers, they will tell you everything.

Social media marketing, and even more- social listening, can be time-consuming. It’s a constant dance of keeping your ear to the ground and following the latest trends, coming up with creative ideas to keep your audience listening, and watching what others are doing that you can be inspired from. Not every business owner has the time in their day to sit down and hunt for those perfect numbers. Luckily, Black Bear Design’s social media team has perfected the art and would love to help your business get social! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you can stand out in the forest.

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6 responses to “The Best Ways to Engage Your Audience on Social Media”

  1. Joel Black says:

    So true, unless you are famous or have a very large brand, building your social media audience is actually work. It is hard and takes a while, so be prepared to put in a lot of time, effort, and maybe some cash too promoting post!

  2. Candice says:

    I loved this post! I wish more business understood the effort required for a successful social media platform. I’m excited to start implementing some of these ideas into my own plans. Thanks for the advise!

  3. RED says:

    Great insight, specifically surrounding “social listening.” This is something we as marketers all need to be reminded of…”Listen to what they want and deliver.”

  4. Randee says:

    Great article. This is so true. Facebook Live has been a great addition to the world of social media. It has opened doors to other great media platforms. It is also still important to put the research and time into writing good, valuable content that is informative for readers.

  5. Jake says:

    Facebook live is definitely one of the most engaging tools right now! I wonder what unique applications we will see brands using Live for to keep their fans engaged on FB.

  6. Lauren says:

    I always find the best interaction when posting a fun game-like question. Like “choose two songs and I’ll tell you which one I like best.” That outreach really works. Great article.

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