5 Ways To Engage Your Customers On Social Media

Jennifer Schulze

A killer social media presence enables your company to connect with consumers in real time. And your customers are already there waiting for you: according to the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of American adults use social media.

To harness the full power of social accounts, you must find ways to engage and interact with customers. Here are 5 ways to do just that.

1. Respond quickly

Encourage customers to engage with your brand on social media by providing fast, personal replies. Quick responses can start conversations and defuse negative situations. Burt’s Bees, which has more than 2.8 million Facebook followers, regularly responds to comments and questions within minutes or hours. Many responses are signed by individual employees to increase transparency and build trust.

2. Create compelling graphics

Beautiful, easy-to-understand graphics are some of the most important tools in your social media arsenal. They stand out in a crowded news feed and provide a high-impact sharing option. Create graphics that tell a story with text and imagery. Increase relevance by linking the graphic to a related article on your website or blog. One graphic can be shared across Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, and don’t be afraid to add a personal comment: Facebook suggests that businesses can boost engagement by combining a high-quality image with a short, instructive caption.
social collaboration

3. Add value

Long-form social media tools such as blogs, Tumblr, and LinkedIn enable you to add valuable content for your target audience. A manufacturing company might provide tips for extending the lifetime of a product, for example, while an accounting firm might offer unexpected tax write-offs. Post the link to other social media accounts to drive traffic back to the original post, and encourage click-throughs with an attention-grabbing title, a compelling preview image and a short comment.

4. Use video

Done well, video is a powerful way to get users talking about your brand. Earlier this year, Quilted Northern published an April Fool’s video about artisanal toilet paper and replied quickly and humorously to comments. The video received more than 9.5 million views, 167,000 shares, 63,000 reactions, and 8,000 comments — an unprecedented feat for a toilet paper company. While toilet-paper humor might not be your style, you can use video to explain how to use a product, or to provide a behind-the-scenes look at your operations or introduce an exciting new service.

5. Ask for input

Want to increase customer engagement? Ask for it! For best results, keep posts short and easy to follow. Use instructional phrases such as “Tweet us,” “Tag us,” “Pin this,” “Watch the live stream,” or “Which do you prefer?” to tell customers how to respond. This method is easy, fast, and fun — and you can use it on any social media platform.

When it comes to engaging your customers on social media, small, regular efforts are more effective than a one-time blitz. The process doesn’t have to be expensive; if you don’t have room in the budget for a full-service marketing agency, consider hiring a freelance social media consultant for a few hours a week. Alternatively, involve your team by asking each person to spend 15 minutes per day responding to comments or coming up with ideas future posts. Over time, these small efforts will result in a loyal, engaged social media following.

Want more social media strategies that get results? See The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Social Media Rock Star.

About Jennifer Schulze

Jennifer Schulze is Vice President of marketing for SAP. In her role, she manages customer marketing as part of the office of the COO. She has over 15 years of technology marketing and management experience and is a small business owner in the San Francisco Bay area.