With more than over a billion websites published on the Internet, it is more difficult than ever to get your business noticed on social media by the people who have a need for you and your brand.
Passively creating interesting content is no longer enough to grab and hold your potential customers' attention. While informative and relevant content is still a good starting point, what if you paired your stellar content with interactive images and design? Giving your web marketing the vitality it needs to attract new customers.
In today’s In-Sites, let’s look into 5 strategies to creating community engagement around your brand using interactive marketing solutions.
How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?—Seth Godin
What is community engagement?
Community engagement is having a conversation with your audience on social media. From Facebook to Twitter and even Snapchat, your brand must decide where to meet your audience, how often and how long you need to be online, and what topics and types of content spark a conversation between your brand and your audience.
In fact, let’s explore the following statistics to see where your potential audience is congregating online right now:
- Facebook: 1.71 billion users
- Google+: 300 million users
- Instagram: 400 million users
- LinkedIn: 450 million users
- Periscope: 10 million users
- Pinterest: 100 million users
- Snapchat: 100 million users
- Twitter: 320 million users
- WhatsApp: 900 million users
- Youtube: Over 1 billion users
With so many users online and so many social platforms out there, you may be wondering just how is it possible for me to create a community around my brand. Well, it is possible. You just have to know how to have a conversation.
Social media platforms are hubs for people to talk with one another online. From images to statements as long as 140 characters, you have to use their particular language to communicate with the right people. Let’s be honest. You wouldn’t go to a different country and expect everyone to speak the same language as you do. You have to meet people where they are. Even if it means using a guide to navigate the digital space until you finally understand it for yourself. Through the following infographic, here’s a guide to how people respond to great and poor customer service online especially through the use of social media.
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Interactive marketing is using the data that you learned from your customers in order to create a better experience for them. For example, if you know that your audience is mostly on Facebook, then you will use that data to create an enriching experience on Facebook. Because not only are you creating a great experience for your current users, but you are also opening the door for new users to join in.
If you’re confused on where you should be on social media in order to build a strong community online, the simple answer is you have to know your audience. And this insight is definitely enforced in the following video:
Know your audience in order to know where you need to be online. Once you know where you need to be, then it’s time to start using the following community engagement strategies for long term brand success.
5 Community Engagement Strategies for Your Brand
Create the conversation:
Interactive design is a two-way conversation. Creating the following interactive content will create a personal experience for them—allowing them to feel closer to, and more invested in, your brand:
- Livestream: Are you or a fellow team member comfortable on camera? If so, have a conversation with your audience live. From live Q&A sessions to topic focused conversations, find the time and place your audience usually meets online and host your live conversations there. Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube Live are major outlets where this is currently possible.
- Live Discussion: Camera shy or just don’t have the time or resources to be live on camera? Have a live discussion in chat rooms, comment sections, live tweet meetups, Facebook group posts, etc. in order to just chat and engage with your audience.
You should always make the time to have a conversation with your audience. Whether it’s once a day or once a week, take the time to meet your audience online.
Become a subject matter expert:
Consumers are motivated by visuals. This is why you may have been seeing major increases in infographic creation and personalized web series. Focus on topics that pertain to your brand and answers the pain points of your audience. Then create content like interactive infographics or videos around these topics—setting you up as a thought leader in your industry for your audience.
Allow them to share their story:
Let customers and your larger audience share their opinions about your brand on your social media through polls and surveys. You can also find out more about your audience’s interests by setting up a poll or survey—asking them about specific topics and discussion questions using Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube for example. The more their experience about your brand is shared, the word about your brand will spread more between their friends, colleagues, loved ones, and so on.
Build trust by being consistent:
No matter what you create, you need to have a schedule. Videos, social media posts, blog posts, etc., create an editorial calendar not only for your team but mainly for your audience. If you create a weekly graphic that your audience on Instagram enjoys, continue to nurture this community by keeping up with your schedule. Keep it consistent, and they'll come back again and again until your brand is part of their daily (or at least weekly) routine.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be human. Don’t jump right into salesy language. Don’t be late to the conversation. Have a conversation with your audience as any human would. Give a hearty “welcome” to new followers. And give thanks to your customers by highlighting them on your social media. Have one to two people manage your social media platforms. That way, you put a human face to your brand just in case your audience wants to get in touch with you personally.
People don’t want to be marketed at in the social channel. This is where they want to talk to each other, and brands are there by invitation. They have to be a great guest at the table.—Veronica Fielding
Still struggling on how to use social media for your brand? Watch the following insight and learn how to use social media effectively as it helps any sized business achieve community building success:
Pretty incredible right? Now go. Innovate. As always don’t forget to say hello on your social media channel of choice, we love them all the same.
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