You may think that gaining a follow or a like is the hardest part in dominating online platforms. However, marketing via social media is an ongoing process. If you're doing it right, you will be raising your brand awareness as well as increasing your customer's loyalty. But, getting your audience to be engaging is a lot more difficult in recent times, due to the bombardment of posts and messages from all of the other social media accounts and adverts, that will be on their personalized feeds related to your industry. What's to stop your potential, or previous customers from unfollowing you, if they deem that you are not worth their loyalty? How do you stand out from the plethora of businesses and companies, trying to attract the attention of every single person that they can? If you have acquired a decent following, but feel like you are not able to communicate with your audience, then try some of these tips to improve your chances of a successful marketing campaign.
Coupons and incentives
Everyone loves money off, especially if they think it's a limited time deal. By offering monetary reduction incentives, it can lead to customers sharing your post and talking about your brand to their friends. This doesn't have to be bank breaking giveaways; the simplest free offers can sometimes work the best. If the offer is believable, more people will be eager to participate. As an example, if you offered the chance to win a free iPhone, over giving out a free branded hat with every order, the branded hat post would produce more of a buzz.
If you have an Instagram account, it's quite likely that you will have accounts on all of the other major social media outlets, as well as having a website. Therefore, try and do as much cross promotion as possible, as some of your customers and followers may only be following you on one platform. Don't go overboard, though, as it can be annoying to see a post every day asking to like and subscribe a new YouTube channel. Also, if you deal with physical printed media, be sure to add your social media usernames onto that too. Additional followers gained from cross promotion is great for engagement, as they are already interested in what you offer, most likely.
If you're a social media marketing veteran or even someone who has started it recently, you should be well aware of the term, call to action, or CTA. Just like how a website's landing page can be designed in order to get the visitor to convert into a customer, your social media posts should be constructed in the same way. Adding a relevant and non-intrusive CTA should give instant engagement increases. Obviously, incentives don't mean you have to be out of pocket. Simply asking for your followers to tag their friends if they are interested in the posted image, or the age-old trick of "click like if you...", that we have all seen throughout social media's history.
Engage your customers
Asking questions is a great way to get your followers and potential customers interested in your profile and brand. Don't try and sound too professional when going down this route, as the most natural sounding questions will often produce the most engagement. Trivia style posts can also work really well, such as asking things that will make your followers think about your niche in depth. If you owned a running shoe company, asking everyone where their favorite place to run is, would likely convert very well, as an example.
Post fan content
If your niche or business allows it, posting customer submitted images is a great way to integrate with your followers, as well as to look like an authority figure that cares. Once your followers and customers start to see that there is a chance that their photos may get posted, they will often be eager to engage with you and to contribute. For Instagram, a good way of getting customers to submit photos is to ask them to upload them onto their profile, with a specific hashtag that you have made up. Not only will this make sure that your email addresses don't get bombarded, but will also help to spread brand awareness, as you have your own unique hashtag that other people will end up discovering later on.
Offer something of value
When we say value, we don't mean of monetary gain. Useful tips and tricks that are related to your niche and industry will encourage people to interact with it and to share the content. Although initially easier on any social media platform that wasn't Instagram, the not so recent direct message feature has now sorted that problem.Try and make this content as unique as possible, so that your customers feel like they are getting inside information because they are being loyal to you, rather than you just reposting whatever flavor of the month viral picture is in circulation.
If your niche allows it, posting the latest news on your industry can also help solidify your authority presence and knowledge.
Time is of the essence
The quality of your content isn't the only deciding factor, the time that it is posted should also be considered. When you're about to post some new content, you first need to ask yourself who your main target audience is. If it's teenage girls from the US, posting at 5:30 AM is not going to generate the desired results. The day should also be taken into consideration too, although if you plan to post every day, then that isn't as much of an issue. If one of your posts has a CTA that you'd like to do well, then you should probably aim to post that on a more active day. It's best to test out all of the variables yourself, as every demographic and niche will likely be different. However, a few tests have shown that engagement is higher during the beginning of the week and on the weekend.