3 Ways to Improve Customer Engagement

When it comes to social media, engagement is the name of the game. It’s not enough to have a large number of followers. If your followers aren’t interacting with your posts, you’re doing something wrong. How do you increase customer engagement without coming across as too desperate?

Focus on the Customer

Though you may be talking about your company, you must always remember who’s most important in this relationship. If you don’t speak the language of your customers and followers, you’re wasting your time on social media. Fortunately, tools such as HootSuite’s social listening enable you to identify the very words customers use when discussing your brand, allowing you to present your message in terms they’re most likely to understand.

Putting the customer first means giving them what they want, not what you want them to want. Using social media analytic tools such as 33Across, you can get a high-level view of what types of posts followers interact with most. A customer storytelling tool, like StoryBox, can allow you to dig a little deeper and analyze not only which stories are working, but where they’re having the most impact. For example, you might see posts on Facebook drive the most direct sales, but content posted to Twitter is creating the most brand awareness. Maybe video content does extremely well on one social channel, but receives little to no engagement on another. You can then use this information to drive future posts, ensuring that you post more of what works and less of what doesn’t. As customers see that you’re taking their preferences to heart, they’ll be even more engaged than ever before.

Create a Culture of Engagement

It’s very tempting to treat social media like your own personal pulpit, from which you can extoll the virtues of your brand. However, a simple video can tell your story in an infinitely better and more concise manner. According to Hubspot, Facebook users are twice as likely to like a video than a text update, and videos are shared twelve times more than text and links.

When you’re not using photos and videos, you can speak directly to your followers in an attempt to gain even more of their attention. Ask them questions about themselves and how your product fits into their lives. Hold contests that get them talking about your brand. When StoryBox’s client wanted to bring awareness to their Broadway Musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, they launched a contest that ended up driving traffic in a big way. By creating “The Search for the Ultimate Fan Contest”, people could record a quick 20-second clip about why they were the biggest fan and ultimately the opportunity to win a trip to NYC and see the show. The results were huge; on Facebook there was $50k in ticket sales, 10x return on investment, and 40% of all traffic came from people clicking on videos that fans shared on their Facebook walls. Numbers don’t lie; anything that results in a heightened sense of brand awareness and customer satisfaction will result in increased engagement.

Track Engagement

It’s great that people like your posts and share them with others. But unless you can understand why your customers are engaged — and the end product of that engagement — you’re missing a major piece of the puzzle.

Likes, comments and shares are critical to any social media initiative. It’s essential to maximize your posts so that you get the most exposure. Knowing your audience is key. For example, Saturday morning is the worst time to post on Facebook, but it’s the best time to post on Pinterest. Tracking will help you to understand the nuances of each social network over time.

You should also track how much of your website traffic comes directly from social media. After all, while social media engagement is wonderful, your ultimate goal is to convert leads into paid customers. A good user-generated content platform will allow you to analyze which social channels are leading to the most sales, driving web traffic, and increasing brand engagement. Dedicated landing pages can help you to track and manage social media visitors while filtering them to the parts of the site you want them to see. By doing this, you’ll be able to see how much revenue your social media efforts are generating, which is the true indicator of your success in social media.