Why Effective Social Media Requires Audience Engagement
Engagement is one of the most crucial aspects of an effective social media campaign. You could even say the real measure of your campaign is not views or even the quality of your content, but instead is really measured by the feedback and participation of your customers and fans. Giving a speech to an empty room isn’t going to do much to spread your message, and sending out social media posts that no one looks at, comments on, or shares won’t do much good either.
An engaging and enticing social media campaign can bring about several major benefits that other types of advertising simply can’t produce. First, engagement creates customer loyalty from the increased trust, connection, and branding image that your campaign can produce. Second, social media gives you a unique and human voice that can set you apart from your competition. Lastly, an engaging campaign allows you to better understand your customers and use that understanding to create better products and services and manage them more effectively.
A successful social media advertising campaign can be measured in the following terms: number of views, number of shares, number of comments, number of sales and or contact inquiries generated from the campaign, and ultimately how much stronger your brand and bond with your existing customers became because of this campaign.
Effective social media will always require engagement, both on your part and on the part of your fans and customers.
1. Engaging social media creates a community
An engaging social media marketing campaign can create and build a special sense of community that can create deeply loyal and active customers. Sometimes even turning a large amount of people into unpaid and unsolicited brand ambassadors that spread your message for you at no financial cost to you at all.
Community creates a sense of belonging that makes your customers feel like they are a part of something, and suddenly, rather than just feeling like a sales figure, customers can feel like a part of something important. This makes customers want to come back to your content frequently, share your messages, and take pride in your success. Community encourages people to come back and join in what is going on, because they feel a sense of belonging, they will always want to participate in your campaigns.
Community also creates a very valuable dialogue that can help spread your brand, message, and products. The more people that are involved in a community, the more likely that you will see people debating, contributing new ideas and content, and generally interacting with others all the while talking about your messages and products. More people talking about your campaign not only spreads your message and get it seen by more people, but it also will create a special place for your customers to communicate and thrive.
2. Engaging social media builds trust
Engaging social media marketing campaigns also creates a special bond between business and customer. So rather than feeling like they are just giving money to a business, they begin to realize that there are people in your business who care about them personally. An engaging campaign where you openly communicate with customers gives your business a face, it makes your more human, and it opens the special bonding that human beings often enjoy between friends.
Additionally, engaging social media campaigns open a dialogue between business and customer, allows you to provide valuable customer service, fix customer issues and provide support, and generally to provide more understanding to your customers. Trust is often created not as the result of doing everything perfect the first time, but in how you handle yourself when mistakes happen or things go wrong.
Many times, voices of contention will arise. However, rather than just ignoring them, by using the publicity of social media to deal with problems and find solutions, you can use your social media campaign as a platform to show people just how much you really care about them.
3. Engaging social media allows you to learn your customers wants and needs
Engaging social media campaigns put you inside the minds of your customers and allows you to gain feedback about what products and services they really need. This allows you to create better products, refine your current products, or create entirely new services the world has never seen before. The better you understand what your customers and fans want, like, and need, the better you can create custom content and campaigns that will speak to them and encourage them to share your message.
Many companies spend millions on surveys or polls. But by simply asking questions on social media you can gain a personal and in depth analysis of what is important to your customers. By using social media as an engine to learn more about your customer you can gain truly valuable information that can benefit your business for years into the future.
4. Engaging social media allows you to build your brand
Based on the increased customer understanding you gain from an engaging social media campaign, you can better target your audience with relevant and meaningful content, ads, and products that really matter to them. By learning what your customer wants you can learn to fine tune your message to make extremely targeted ads that reinforce your brand and what your business stands for.
As your brand identity strengthens over time, you open an entirely new way to approach potential customers directly with new products and services. Once you have a brand, customers will identify with you, know what to expect, and have a sense of high expectations for what you can offer. Building a brand is a great chance to shine, and social media campaigns allow you to create awesome branding opportunities.
Creating a brand is a complex process and it involves many different aspects: logos, catch phrases, appearance of your ads, company attitude, customer service, and even the way your product looks or your service is offered. A brand is a special identity of a business- like a fingerprint- your brand is like a USP that says exactly who your business is, and successful branding is crucial to a successful business in the long-term.
Ultimately, social media marketing campaigns are a waste of effort without engaged viewers. 1 million views with 10 shares is nowhere near as effective as 100 views with 100 shares and 100 comments. Not only do engaged customers promote interest by spreading your message to others, but it shows you how many people really agree with your products and messages as well. Engagement is the ultimate measure of how effective your campaign is, and you should seek to interact and create discussion at every single opportunity in order to truly make the most of your social media efforts.
As a final look at the power of creating a community and getting more engagement, check out an awesome case study here from Leah Hynes. In it she talks about how she was able to create a very successful business with little money upfront, and without a huge number of fans and followers. Simply by using the power of engagement and by creating a community, she was able to turn a very small following into a huge amount of loyal followers.
What do you think, would you like to share your opinion on engagement and social media? What types of strategies are you using to build your fan base? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!