6 Cardinal Rules to Online Engagement

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EngagementThese days with so many different ways to connect with your audience it has become such an easy task to engage with your audience… Right?

Okay, not really, especially if you are not totally clear on what works.

Here are 6 Powerful Tips to Increase Your Online Engagement with your Audience…

1.    Get Visual

Imagine this—two online stores selling the same products for the same price. The two websites look almost identical and also share similar online marketing strategies. The only major thing that differentiates these two online stores is that one displays pictures of their products, while the other site only displays pictures of its logo.

Which store do you think brings in more sales? –The site without the logo pictures, of course!

Seems silly right? But in all seriousness brands are still over promoting themselves rather then their products and services. Ditching the logo thumbnail has been shown to boost click through rate by 27%! 

2.    Don’t Forget About the Weekend

Social media is a 7 days a week kinda job—Facebook posts get 32% more engagement than weekday posts! Pre-scheduling your weekend posts is a great start, however you also want to be sure to be able to reply to those engagers.

Some people don’t get around to checking their social media, (or even their emails!) until the weekend.

tweeter-day

Image Source

3.    Answer Your Customer’s Questions and Use it for Content

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with engaging content that you know your audience will want to read. Try taking some frequently asked questions and turning them into a blog series. Chances are there are more people with the same question who aren’t reaching out to ask.

4.    Be Valuable

Don’t share just to share! And be sure to read everything you’re sharing. (I’m talking to you auto re-tweeters) When you share information that isn’t relevant to your audience you will in turn become less relevant in their minds.

Content is only good when it has context. (See our post on the value of context!)

5.    Hashtag, #But #Please #Don’t #OVER #Hashtag

This is a common social media pet peeve that can lead to 17% decrease in followers.

Hashtags are meant to organize social conversations. Not to hammer into the readers mind what it is you are talking about.

GOOD EXAMPLE:

@WhatRunsWhere: Transitioning your business from desktop to #mobilemarketing? Here’s how to make it happen in 4 effective ways…bit.ly/19HkD9M”

BAD EXAMPLE:

@WhatRunsWhere: Transitioning your #business from #desktop to #mobilemarketing? Here’s how to make it happen in 4 effective ways…bit.ly/19HkD9M #Transitions #SoLongDesktop #mobile #marketing #whatrunswhere #CheckOutOurBlog #WeLoveMobile

Maybe this example is a little extreme, but you get the point. Keep it to a maximum two hashtags unless absolutely necessary. 

6.    Be Human

No one really enjoys talking to robots. If they did, THIS would be the answer to engaging our audiences.

When engaging with an audience online, you simply must be real. Share relevant news, or engage in conversations. Also, make sure everything you share on social media is actually valuable to your readers (I’m talking to you again auto-retweeters)

Don’t get me wrong—prescheduling some your Social Media posts using tools like Sprout Social, orHootsuite can be a real time saver. However make sure you are keeping the human element of social engagement.

robot social media

Don’t be intimidated when trying to engage with your audience. Test different methods and see what works with your audience! Once you stop talking at your audience, and begin engaging with them you’ll become much more valuable in their minds.

This post originally appeared in Digital Marketing Remix (December 2013).

 

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