How to Engage Rather Than Sell on Social Media
There’s no doubt that social media is an incredible platform for businesses. However, you need to do more than just talk about your product to drive sales. Success through social media will only come via personalisation and authenticity, making your customers feel connected to the business on a deeper level. To achieve this, you’ll need to forget about sales, at least for the time being. Instead, use social media to connect with your audience and strengthen your relationship with your followers. One of the best ways to do this is by engaging them in conversation. But how do you do this? In this article, we explore exactly how to engage rather than sell on social media.
Ask for Opinions
One of the best ways to engage with your followers is by asking questions. If you want to engage with somebody in the outside world, you may ask “how are you?” or “how’s your day?”. While this may induce minimal engagement on social media, it’s not normally enough to start an online conversation. Instead, try posting about a certain topic and asking your audience “what do you think?”. Naturally, people like to think things through and put their opinion across. For maximum engagement, ask a question that your followers can’t resist answering. One of the best strategies is to probe their personality. Post a question that invites your audience to weigh in on something or share their opinion. If you’re stuck for ideas, try playing the “test your knowledge” game.
Post a Poll
Polls are another great way to engage with your followers. Thankfully, it’s easy to create and respond to polls on Facebook and Twitter, so it won’t take up too much of your precious time. As well as engaging with your audience, you can learn meaningful things about them. If you’d prefer, post a poll that asks for their feedback on your business. This way, you can engage with your followers and also receive valuable feedback and advice.
Ask for a Response
9/10 emails from brands are trying to get you to buy something. How many of them simply ask you to write back? As this sort of email is rare, sending one to your customers can be incredibly engaging. For maximum impact, be sure to write “respond to my email”, not “this email” or “our email”. Adopting a first-person human-to-human approach will drive the best results.
Sometimes, simply asking questions can yield results. Whether you do it in a social post, social stream, or online group or community, ask your audience a relevant and provocative question to induce thought-provoking and engaging social media activity.
Use Emojis and GIFs
Once you’ve engaged your audience, reply to their comments to keep the conversation going. Today, emojis and GIFs are part of the social media language. As most people are used to seeing and using them on social media, using them in your comments can help you to seem personable and relatable.
Emojis can also help you to convey emotions and tone in your replies. Unlike talking on the phone or face-to-face, it can be hard to pick up your emotions and tone in a social media comment. Using a relevant emoji can instantly let your audience know how you’re feeling. As Windows and Mac both have shortcuts for adding emojis, it’s easier than ever to add them into your comments.
Sometimes, an image is the easiest way to explain something on social media. This is particularly true with Twitter, where the character limit is 140. If you’re asking a more complex question, a simple image can often explain your point far better than words can so don’t shy away from adding them into your replies. If you want to add annotations to your images, use an app like Nimbus, Droplr, or CloudApp. This can make your explanation clear and help to get your point across.
Post Video Replies
Certain companies now respond to comments with video messages, and their followers love it! Video replies are more personal than a simple “thank you”, so they’re great for engagement. If you’re taking the time to record a video message, your followers can see how much you care about them and are more likely to engage with you in the future.
People browse social media to be entertained, not to be sold to. If all of your posts are promoting your product or service, you’ll end up losing your audience’s attention. Instead, use wit and humour in your posts to entertain your followers and increase engagement. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not come up with a witty pun related to your area of work? Or accompany an image with an honest and relatable caption.
Create Engaging Visuals
Studies suggest that Facebook posts that include an image get 120% more engagement than those that don’t. With this in mind, images are key to increasing your social media engagement. To grab attention, create original, engaging visuals that your audience will want to like and share. To do this, use a tool like Canva or Piktochart to create a graphic that relates to your industry. You can share recent research findings, tips and tricks, or even just a fun fact.
Host a Giveaway Competition
Giveaway competitions are another excellent way to increase social media engagement. This simple tactic drives engagement because your followers have a chance of receiving something for free. If they’re interested in the product you’re giving away, they’re likely to engage with your post to be in with a chance of getting it. Depending on how you execute the competition, this tactic could also boost the amount of user-generated content for your business. For instance, asking participants to share their photo using a branded hashtag will create more UGC.
If you’re looking to engage rather than sell on social media, take note of the tips above. While engagement may not lead to instant sales, it will certainly help your brand in the long-run. Consistent social media engagement is key to building a strong brand and generating sales; plus, interacting with people that love your business is super rewarding!