Social media is an incredibly valuable resource for community engagement. While these social platforms are constantly changing, there’s one thing that stays the same, and that’s the desire for connection.
Social media is a place where brands can create meaningful conversations with customers, and engagement can have a huge impact on brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Below are some great ways to improve your social media marketing strategy to boost community engagement and why it’s so important, especially for small businesses.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
Social media engagement is the measure of how people interact with your accounts and content. This can include how many friends or followers you have and the likes, comments, shares, saves, and clicks you get on your posts.
Social media engagement and community engagement on social media are synonymous.
The Importance Of Community Engagement
People go on social media because they seek connection, conversation, and a sense of belonging. If users aren’t interacting with your page and content, you aren’t ticking those boxes. Community engagement is important for understanding if your target audience is resonating with your brand, but also because the algorithms favor engaging content.
The Benefits Of Community Engagement
There’s a lot to gain when social media communities actively engage with your content, from boosting your brand loyalty to outstanding referrals from happy, connected consumers.
Get Prioritized By Search Engines
Community engagement on social media is vital for numerous reasons. What it really comes down to, though, is it’s important because social media algorithms say so. The algorithms on social media platforms constantly change because, over time, we’re changing. What once was considered the best practices won’t remain the same, and Facebook is a great example.
Facebook now prioritizes posts with “meaningful engagement.” The algorithm determines how relevant your content is to users by making predictions from signals like whether you just scrolled past a post or stopped to write a long reply. Facebook will even offer a higher engagement score if it’s someone within your network because interacting with people you’re close to is more meaningful.
Use Social Media As A Customer Support Recourse
Social media is a valuable customer support resource that many businesses look past. They pump promotions into consumers’ newsfeeds, completely overlooking the opportunity to answer questions, receive feedback, and build genuine connections with users.
Social platforms offer a unique way to communicate with consumers. It’s more personal and creative, which is a breath of fresh air for many compared to the more traditional ways of interacting with a brand.
Create A Targeted Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you want to learn as much about them as possible to create a marketing plan that will resonate with them. Community engagement on social media is a great way to do this. The oversharing that people do on social platforms can be annoying, but from a small business perspective, this is marketing gold.
This fascinating insight into your customer base means a few things. You can save time on content creation because nothing will go to waste, and you can expand your marketing reach and solve specific issues.
When you’re marketing a particular product or service, you know exactly how to manipulate your message to ease concerns about directly relevant issues.
Community Engagement Builds Meaningful Relationships
Relationships are the heart and soul of a thriving small business, and what do meaningful relationships mean? Customer retention.
Of course, at first, obtaining new customers is the main goal for growing your small business. But once you have that initial group of loyal followers, you have to do something to keep them there. By creating an engaging and fun community on social media, you’re able to sustain growth and increase retention.
Genuine relationships with consumers are also crucial to setting yourself apart from competitors.
Humanize Your Brand
Community engagement allows customers to see you as more than just a money-hungry business. They see a human being, just like them, trying to do their thing. They relate on a personal level with your brand’s message and content, which directly relates to how willing they are to engage with your brand.
This humor, sympathy, and excitement is not something consumers generally get to experience through companies marketing strategies, which makes community engagement a great way to help customers see the person behind the screen.
Strengthen Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty, retention, and relationships all sort of work hand in hand. You build a relationship, which retains consumers, and then they become loyal to your business.
The emotional bond that consumers have with your business is what makes them choose you over a competitor.
Increase Brand Advocacy Through Community Engagement
When you have active community engagement, your customers are happy and entertained. This means that inevitably over time, your customers are bound to advocate for your brand. Advocacy happens when your audience is so pleased with your products and services they basically market them for free.
This is amazing for your brand because people are going to trust their friends and family well before they trust you.
How To Boost Community Engagement On Social Media
So now that we’ve covered how valuable the benefits and data from community engagement can be, let’s talk about how your small business can boost community engagement.
Be Social And Quickly Responsive
When it’s just a one way conversation, and people feel like they’re being talked at rather than with, they assume your brand is self serving. Plus, there wouldn’t be much to engage with if people’s comments, questions, and concerns were left ignored. It takes two to tango, so make sure you’re actually responding to consumers with great energy.
Being responsive is a must, but you must also respond quickly. Generally, if you’ve left a customer waiting more than four hours, they’ve moved on to a competitor that values their time. A timely response shows your online community that you care and want to help them as soon as possible.
Quick response times promote customer satisfaction.
Share Valuable Content
Educating your consumers on your products and services is part of it, but there are better ways to go than strictly promotional. For example, if you’re a construction company, don’t just post photos of the new decks you built. Ask your online community for creative ways they spend time on their decks at home.
Or instead of just showcasing a new t-shirt design for a clothing company, show your audience a few great ways that they can style the t-shirt.
This is going to be the difference between someone quickly scrolling past your content versus taking the time to engage with the post because it’s caught and kept their attention.
Share Success Stories
A great way to make customers feel appreciated and show off your great products or services is to share success stories. When a customer reaches out to thank you or offer feedback, and it’s good, this is great content for you to share.
When people get a firsthand account from another customer, they’re going to trust the product or service recommendation a lot more.
Incentives are a great way to get customers to share their success stories with you; everyone loves a deal. But you mainly just want to focus on being responsive and offering amazing customer service.
Allow Users To See Your Personal Side
This doesn’t mean trauma dump on your target audience, but show them something that they can relate to. You can do this by sharing video content where you open up and focus on the pain points of your target audience.
At the end of the day, people are excited to buy from people, not necessarily a business.
Maintaining Positive Community Engagement
Here at Strategic Media Inc., we measure your community engagement in a few different ways. With the results, our professionals create an actionable plan that will boost your engagement numbers and, in turn, grow your brand.
Our team fully understands the power of social media for small businesses, and we intend to take what’s already great about your brand and take you to the next level.