Being active on social media should already be part of your marketing plan, but you also need to think of ways that give you an edge over your competitors when it comes to engaging with your audience more effectively. It’s far better to improve your engagement with your target audience rather than working on simply gaining more likes. We have compiled five ways to have better engagement with your audience.
1. Tell a Story with a Consistent Theme
Social Media and visual content are like roti canai and teh tarik – they’re MFEO (made for each other). Images result in more effective interaction between you and your audience with research by Social Media Examiner showing a much higher click-through rate for content on Facebook and Twitter that had images and videos attached versus those without. Even a simple scroll through some well-known brands on Facebook will show more likes and shares for posts that have interesting images and videos versus text-heavy ones.
While you do want to have unique content, the other thing you should also focus on is having a consistent theme for your brand. This is essential to ensure that your followers know what they can expect from you. Being consistent with your theme means creating a consistent personality for all your content. Let’s use the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an example – they seem to outpace DC Comics in the box office even though both are superhero franchises. The key is that Marvel has great brand consistency; with a tone that engages audiences using humour, satisfying character development, mixed with enough big explosions. Most significantly, their interconnected stories keep audiences locked in for each and every release, not to mention the infamous end-credit scenes.
As an example, here at Brand Geeks Inc we work with Belle Babies Design (a fashion brand aimed at young girls and their fashionista moms) to create brand consistency with their tagline ‘Joy Glee & Memories’. Their brand ‘voice’ now presents a clearer portrayal of their brand, their customers and their designs so their over 55,000 followers (and growing) know what to expect from them.
2. Mix & Match Story and Format
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? Not always. If you keep relying on one way to blast information out to your audience they may get bored and tune you out. You have to stay fresh and relevant so mix it up a little. Instead of always posting a photo or video, start showing some ‘behind-the-scenes’ footage of an upcoming product launch; ask people to caption a funny photo or even create a simple infographic to get your point across.
Consider things like which platform serves your demographic best. Can you get your message across with a simple Tweet or would it be better to use Instagram? Consider that Facebook is pushing for more live content while Instagram is pushing for more video content. You would need to identify what content goes on which platform. You can also share the same information on different platforms such as a photo set on Instagram and a longer article on LinkedIn. You need to really understand the way algorithms work in social media so that your brand can benefit from each platform. Sometimes a well-liked post gets moved to the back of your timeline just because its old and other times an old photo can resurface because there was a sudden surge of interest. So really spend some time learning how algorithms work to maximise how well they work for you, collectively.
3. Quality Over Quantity
The more you post the more likes and reach you’ll get, right? Wrong! If you keep posting on your social media just for the sake of posting, you risk annoying your audience and actually getting them to ‘Unlike’ or ‘Unfollow’ you in the process. It’s better to keep your posts unique and meaningful. Quality also refers to the quality of your followers. Brands can obsess about the number of likes and followers they have but it is better to have 1,000 hyper-engaged followers than 100,000 passive ones.
In terms of analysing your posts, you also need to be asking yourself some questions like “Do I really need to reach every follower with every post?” and “Is one week good enough to measure the impact of a particular post?”. Perhaps it would be better to rethink your timeframes and measure the impact of your posts monthly instead of daily or weekly.
Simply relying on page views alone is short-sighted. You also need to understand how Google Analytics works so that you can get a better idea of how to measure the performance of your content marketing more effectively.
4. Smart collaborations
If you’ve found a brand that is interested in collaborating with you, it may be the start of a positive relationship as long as it fits your long-term strategy and your Brand Identity. You can tap into each others’ followers and audience and grow your own followers organically too. Of course both brands have to complement each other so you need to choose your collaborators wisely. One example of a hugely successful collaboration were the handbags produced by Sometime Asian Designers in collaboration with famous entrepreneur Vivy Yusof. There were multiple versions of the handbags co-designed by her and they sold out quickly due to her sheer popularity. As a direct result, her audience started becoming familiar with the ‘Sometime’ brand and they in turn benefitted from that exposure.
Other examples of smart collaborations – not as well known but definitely highly impactful – include Suncrox Solar Malaysia’s partnership with the Malaysian Technology and Development Corporation’s (MTDC) Corporate Social Responsibility work in providing solar power to 60 Orang Asli households in Kampung Sop, Pos Lenjang, Kuala Lipis that had previously only relied on oil lamps and candles to light up their village. Both stand to benefit from this partnership as the positive outcome and community give back will go a long way in building up their brand equity.
Suncrox and MTDC also recently completed an expedition to review their solar energy beneficiaries and were joined by a foreign guest invited under the Professional Fellows Program – U.S. Department of State. This guest experienced his first rural solar energy installation as his company specialises in residential and small commercial installations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also sampled the potent combination of roast mutton and durian!
5. Host Contests and Giveaways
Hosting giveaways can help boost engagement with your audience in a number of ways. First of all, the obvious – everyone loves free stuff. But most importantly, you can gain new followers by encouraging people to share information about your giveaway in order to participate.
Brand Geeks Inc can testify to the effectiveness of this tip. In support of Smart Selangor, during the Selangor International Expo2017 we designed four car stickers based on Selangor ‘Future Jobs’ – Techneocrat, Data Ninja, Eco-Warrior and Social Media Chief. Participants would win a sticker by answering enough correct questions for a Smart Selangor Quiz based on content around their pavilion. This quiz and car sticker giveaway garnered tremendous interest from members of the public, so much so that some visitors even answered the quiz multiple times to collect all the stickers!
To encourage interaction, the Smart Selangor pavilion also featured a Future Selangor ‘Wish Wall’ and wish notes inviting visitors to share their wishes for Future Selangor. For example, the Selangor Menteri Besar himself wished for a sustainable Selangor in his wish note.
Similarly, if you aren’t able to give something away yet, you can also use games or interactivity to boost your social media posts. Asking cheeky questions like “If your love life was a movie, what would it be?” is a simple way to garner buzz around your brand if your brand is having a Valentine’s Day promotion.
Whether you’re refreshing your brand or simply looking to keep your audiences connected and updated, you’ll want to keep these five tips for better engagement in mind the next time you post something online.