When does quality trump quantity? When it comes to social media, it’s the perfect marriage between quality and quantity that sets a social media campaign up for success. Quality content engages your target market to increase the quantity of fans, followers, and individuals “talking about” you.
In the above image, although Baby Trend has about 35,000 likes, those likes would be mere numbers without quality content to engage consumers in a conversation. Over 9,000 people are talking about Baby Trend because their content fulfills many of the necessary factors to build and engage an audience.
Anatomy of Engaging Content
Engaging content is perhaps the toughest foundational necessity to execute and sustain within a social media campaign. For content to start a conversation, it must be all of the following:
- Reflect an understanding of the audience and their needs.
- Researched to be politically correct–there is such a thing as bad publicity.
Although your content may be timely, understanding, and politically correct, it may not be engaging. To engage your social media community, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take a risk by posting images or other content that will spark a conversation amongst your consumers.
Content can still be engaging when you are showcasing your products and services, however this must be done in a creative way. Tactfully find creative uses for your product or share how your consumers are using your product to help build a following. Here are a few creative examples of how we have showcased our client’s products with engaging content to provoke conversation:
Engagement can come from photos relevant to your product without explicitly showcasing your products. Here’s an example from our client, Focus Education, and their Jungle Rangers Facebook page:
Your posts may not always receive comments, but social media sites like Facebook allow consumers to share your content, which is equally important. When your fans or followers share your content, they become your brand ambassadors. By spreading content related to your product, your fan base begins to grow with the help of your existing fans!
Sometimes a simple picture can spark a conversation. The below image is of a mother strapping her child into Baby Trend’s new Inertia infant car seat. This image exemplifies how the seat is used but is also a pleasing image of a mother and her baby, fitting to the Baby Trend brand:
Conversations can sometimes take a negative turn. When this happens, it’s important to know how to sustain your engagement in both quality and quantity without losing credibility. The timeliness of your response is crucial to maintaining a positive brand image.
First, it can be helpful to determine your brand’s engagement rate on top social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter):
Although you should be as timely as possible with your responses regardless of how high your Engagement Rate is, knowing what your Engagement Rate is can help build an efficient and actionable social media plan.
Dealing with Curveballs
Knowing how to respond to curveballs with well-intentioned content can be a tough practice to adapt. Turn these instances into positives with engagement tactics to connect with your consumers. Although it may seem counterintuitive, these curveballs can actually be helpful for your brand.
The most important factor when dealing with curveballs is, again, being timely. As social media gets more and more personal, consumers’ attention spans are getting shorter and they are requiring instant gratification to their problems, issues, or concerns. According to SocialTimes.com and AssistedLivingToday, over the course of the last ten years the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to a staggeringly short 5 minutes.
This social care imperative should be part of your social media plan to effectively grow your brand following. Knowledge of your brand,product and how your company aims to serve your customers is imperative to dealing with curveballs. Take this example from TDBank:
Customers demand immediate attention, especially when they are in a negative mood. Show other consumers how you deal with angry/disgruntled customers or fans by replying in a timely fashion with responses that are both informational and educational.
It is also important to respond regardless of the negativity of the post. Be patient and understanding and do not be afraid to contact the customer privately. Take for example, how Hayneedle responded to a customer who had a bad experience.
You’re probably wondering how these types of posts can help your brand connect with an audience. This is where the number of fans vs. the number of people talking about you comes to play. When you are properly engaging your target audience, they will have a desire to engage with your brand and engage in an active dialogue with you. Once you’ve responded to a negative or positive post, let your community do the talking. If a consumer has a question, allow your fan base to respond to each other’s questions. This will not only give you the opportunity to understand how much your fans actually know about your product, but will help you reflect on what consumers are reacting to and why.
Write, Post, Engage!
It’s your turn to take this knowledge and start building your fan base. Remember to follow these simple steps and grow your brand:
- You can’t engage without engaging content–spark conversations.
- Know your brand and what is most important to your consumers.
- Apply your knowledge of your engagement rate to create a timely and actionable social media plan.
- Always respond positively to negative posts or “curveballs”.
- Take risks!
- Ensure your posts comply with all FTC, FDA and other relevant government regulatory standards.
What have you been doing to engage your target audience? Share with us on Facebook or Tweet us!