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For many businesses, they feel the pressure of signing up to Facebook and Twitter and then they feel lost. They might have a few fans who are existing customers or maybe just friends and family. They post a status occasionally about a new product in store but that’s about it. And then they wonder why their engagement rate is so low. What are you even supposed to post in order to build an engaged community?
The tools available on social media are vast. This means you can post a variety of things and you can be incredibly flexible about it too. You can add photos, links, videos, galleries etc. But most businesses only really take advantage of the status option and maybe a photo here and there. This isn’t using social media to its full potential and won’t result in the leads that you want. Here are some ideas that you can consider to add a little more community spirit to your social media pages.
Let’s start with a simple one! It’s perfectly okay to ask people if they had a nice weekend or are having a nice morning. These simple ‘small talk’ posts can help humanise your brand and they can often start a nice conversation.
After all, it is called ‘social’ media for a reason.
Posting ‘behind the scenes’ photos of your team can really help to make your sites a little bit more visual. We’ve talked in an earlier blog about how posting pictures of your team can really help humanise your brand, but it can also help legitimise your business. People are less likely to feel like they are being duped by a scam company if they can see them. Why not even try snapping a video for added authenticity?
If you have a shop or other ‘bricks and mortar’ place for customers to go, it will also give them a further sense of familiarity when they come in if they’ve seen the place and the people before and this can lead to visitors feeling much more relaxed.
Another big bonus of team photos are that customers who see these will feel a sense of exclusivity - as if they are part of the team too. There are many studies that show having a sense of community on your social pages will increase engagement dramatically. This can be a great start to building your community.
This is one that directly asks for engagement. Post a fun question on your social media pages and hopefully people will respond. You can then start a conversation and build a relationship.
You will also start to learn more about your social audience from the answers that they give. Are they all deadly serious with their answers or are they mostly humorous?
It’s probably best to make it clear that the question is just for fun though, as people are used to questions from businesses on social media platforms being part of competitions.
How about posting a quick status or a fancy image on days like Mother’s Day, the beginning of Summer or at Christmas? You could go even further and ask a quick question like “What did you get for your mum this Mother’s Day?” Again, if these kinds of posts get a response then you will start to build a community and stronger relationships with your fan base.
Special occasions are also great catalysts for competitions. Get your fans to post a picture of themselves with their mother, for example, and offer a relevant prize from your stock. This can be a great way to bring in new fans too!
If you are passionate about a particular charity or a cause, let your social audience know. By all means, you should still stick to your brand guidelines and be cautious. But if you’re running a marathon for charity, why not let your fan base know?
Not only could you encourage sponsorship, you will also make your brand appear much more human and friendly. Be careful though and don’t try to take advantage of it too much, you will risk seeming too preachy or as if you are posting for all the wrong reasons.