Engage and Inspire Your Online Audience
There are three key metrics that social media managers look at to see if a post was successful; engagement rate, organic reach, and virality. The latter two are dependent upon the first. Your content has to engage consumers and if it does, they will share it increasing a post’s natural reach. Marketing messages used to be simple; there was a call to action to buy a product or service. Now, consumers are savvier and expecting more content about the brand essence. What does your brand care about and how does that relate to your consumer? Your essence has to stir positive emotions that create a strong attachment to your brand. That attachment will prompt purchases over time.
Motivating your audience to buy is now done through engaging content. An engaged consumer is a motivated one. Consumers want to feel like they are being heard and have some influence over your business. This is where social media is crucial. They also need a connection beyond functionality because competitors are offering the same product or service to them. Sometimes a brand can select a broad cause marketing topic to champion or pick a smaller idea that is ownable. A perfect example of a broad topic that many consumers care about right now is self-esteem in young girls.
A few weeks ago, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In organization announced a new campaign in partnership with the Girl Scouts to “ban bossy.” Ban Bossy’s microsite is a perfect example of engaging your audience with relevant content and then inspiring them to take some sort of action. Pantene and Always have created their own advertising as partners of the campaign. Ban Bossy inspires one person and then has them spread the message to inspire their social networks. The intended message is prewritten and only requires them to select the social platform they want to share on. Pretty simple stuff.
In this digital age, the next best thing to a sale is for people to share our brand and our messages across the internet. Virality is the most desired thing beyond high margins. Many of us do not have the marketing budget to create such an involved microsite, but there are still ways to engage and inspire your audience online. Here are a few tips
1. Make Your Brand Emotionally Meaningful
This is done through interesting content that catches your audience’s attention and engages them to click and continue reading or viewing. What do your consumers care about that your brand also cares about and is relevant to your cause? Connect their personal passion to your brand. But make sure it is authentic.
2. Show Appreciation for Their Loyalty
Consumers are giving you feedback whether you ask for it or not. Show them you appreciate their comments and suggestions and are listening! Do this with a simple “thank you” or something bigger like a social media surprise and delight. Consumers want to feel like they are a strong and influential part of your business.
3. Make Them Feel Needed
Consumers are the most important part of your business and the need to constantly know this. Actively maintain engagement with them to drive inspiration. More frequent engagement will prompt them to share your message and like your content.
These are a few simple tips that can help you increase engagement and inspire your audience to share and champion for your brand.