Social media return on investment continues to be a hot topic for most every company. First, is social media worth the investment? (Yes.) Secondly, how will we know if it’s “working?” A common thought is that the more fans you have, the better off you are. In other words, people think that more fans and followers they have, the more likely they are to make a sale from social media. While this makes perfect sense in theory, it doesn’t necessarily pan out that way.
I’d rather have 100 active fans than 1000 inactive ones. Why? Because these are the people who are really interested in what I’m talking about. They are the ones who rely on me instead of my competitors to solve a problem. I’m not discounting the value of a high number of fans, unless of course they are bought. (Note: Bought fans and followers DO NOT bring a return on investment EVER.)
A high number of people following you can be the kind of exposure that’s great for brand awareness. But here’s what I want you to consider: If you have a lot of fans but little interaction you’re probably sending the wrong message. That can’t be good for your company. Perception is everything and that perception doesn’t have to be spoken especially if your fans are engaging with someone else. Remember, the more people who take action via likes, comments and shares, the more other people in their network will see your brand. Plus it comes with the added bonus of a testimonial if that person is raving about your products or services.
How can you increase social media engagement? Here’s an example. Running a social media contest is a really popular way to drive up both fans and engagement and most of the time it works. The problem is that if your network isn’t offering anything of value to these new fans when the contest is over, you will lose those fans. They will either unlike/unfollow you or they won’t be interested in the product/service you’re offering. In that case, what’s the point of investing in a contest? Contests and other engagement tactics only work when they are part of a larger plan.
More tips for increasing social media engagement:
- Respond to every comment and message, especially if it’s negative. Turn it into a positive customer service experience.
- Don’t be afraid to be creative and use a little humor. Instead of “talking” like a robot, talk like a human being.
- Use photos and videos. Visuals almost always have higher engagement rates than the average posts.
- Outline your social media voice that combines your goals and who your fans are. Decide what you will talk about.
- Utilize analytic tools by monitoring popular days and times for fan engagement as well as the types of messages that your fans respond to.
- Post regularly but not obsessively.
- Reach out to other users or pages.