Many businesses worry about how to best engage their audience on social media. There are more ways to engage your audience than you would imagine and this guide will provide you with 25 tips to connect with your audience and engage with your followers.
One of the things that I get asked the most frequently is what should businesses share on social media, which sparked these 25 social media ideas you can use to connect with your audience.
#1 Be funny and relatable
You will hear a lot of people say that their business social media account has to be all about the business and focused. This isn’t the case. Yes, you have to be mindful of your image and identity but on social media, you need to be social and sociable, the clue is in the name. You want people to relate to you and the best you can do this is by showing some humour and personality.
People love a joke or something funny and a funny meme or story or joke can be a great ice-breaker. When it comes to engaging, being funny and relatable will make a massive difference to how you come across.
#2 Provide business tips
People love to get tips so why not offer tips from your area of expertise? No matter what line of work you are in, there will be things that you do or know that others want to hear. Make sure that you share these tips with other people.
#3 Inspire or motivate
If you use social media sites, you will know that inspirational quotes and motivational text or images are hugely popular and they are always being shared. This is something you can take advantage of so make sure you inspire your followers or engage them to find out what inspires them. There are plenty of great web-based tools or mobile apps that can help you to create inspiring content, so look for tools like Typorama, Canva or Word Swag.
#4 Ask an open ended question
If you want to engage someone, ask them a question and make sure it is a question that can’t be answered with a YES or NO response. If you need examples of open ended questions, search on google but think about your business and what conversations you can have by asking an open ended question.
Foe example: “Peanut butter and …”
#5 Provide offers and deals
Studies indicate that the number one reason people like a brand on Facebook is because they can receive a deal. Everyone loves an offer or a deal, so make sure that people can receive something for following you.
#6 Give some insight into your business
There is something exciting about a behind the scenes look at a business, so make sure you provide insight and behind the scenes exclusives to your audience.
#7 Opinions – offer up and ask for them
It is usually said as an insult but everyone has an opinion. You can give your opinion, you can ask for other people’s opinion and you can engage in a discussion of opinions. It is best to keep on topic of your industry, niche or area but you’ll find that people love to talk and voice their opinion.
#8 News about your industry
As you are part of an industry, many people will expect you to know the latest news and information on this industry and relevant topics. You can position yourself as an expert and someone worth following by providing updates about industry news. If you want to be seen as the go to person and someone who can spark debate, providing industry news is a great way to engage your audience.
#9 Fill in the blanks
If you want people to talk to you, asking them to fill in the blanks is a great way to go about it. This can be seen as being similar to open ended questions but you can get really focused. One example would be to post “They don’t make _______ like they used to” and ask your audience to fill in the blank. This may lead to funny responses but you may also receive information about products that people feel are no longer as good as they used to be. This could provide you with the chance to fill the market or at least engage people in changes between the old days and the present day.
#10 Have a conversation
It seems so simple but it also seems so alien to the business concept of many firms. If you want to engage people and find out what they are thinking or how they are doing, start a conversation. A simple “how are you doing?” is often all you need to start people talking and when they start talking, make sure listen and interact with them.
#11 Provide testimonials
Testimonials are very important on business websites but they are often completely avoided on social networking sites. Many people feel that this is a form of boasting or that they don’t like self-promotion but if you want to be noticed and recognised as being trustworthy, you have to show what other people think of you. Rather than saying “go buy my product” you will be far more effective saying “here is what other customers thought about my product”.
#12 Have a Q&A
If you are an industry expert or people look up to you or hold you in respect, it is likely that they’ll have questions they want answered. Q&A sessions have been popular on twitter and Facebook and they are great to do on video friendly platforms, including new platforms like Periscope.
#13 Run a poll
Whether you want to find out information about a product or service you offer or you are just looking to engage your audience, a poll is a great way to set a question and get people involved and thinking about what you have to say.
You’ll hopefully have people checking back later to see what the results were, which can create a sense of engagement that lasts for more than the poll itself.
#14 Run a caption competition
Whether you put a prize up or not, people love caption competitions. The sillier the image the better but no matter what sort of angle you are looking for, you will find that this is a great way to get people engaging with your brand.
#15 Predict what will happen
We all love to speculate as to what is going to happen in the future. You can make predictions about your industry, your local, sporting events, TV shows, in fact, virtually anything you want! People love to see predictions and they love to come back and congratulate someone on a correct prediction or to criticise someone for a wrong prediction. Either way, people will be coming back to your comments and engaging with you.
#16 Get ideas from your audience – crowd sourcing
Although this is similar to asking people for their opinion, when you crowd source ideas, you are being specific. Perhaps you want to launch a new product or a different service, ask what people would like to receive and see if there is any scope for producing a product along these lines.
#17 Talk about current events
Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for talking about current events. You can follow hashtags to see what is popular at the moment or you can talk about big TV shows or sporting events. Talking live while something is happening is a really effective way to show some personality and to get involved with conversations with people around you.
#18 Put the spotlight on your customers
If people are following you, engaging with you, buying from you and recommending you, give a little but back. Showcasing your audience or talking about the good work that some of your followers do is a brilliant way to get people engaging with you. After all, other people will want to be the person that you showcase next.
#19 Offer up tech tips or tools
If there are certain tips, strategies or equipment you use to make a job easier, tell other people about it. No matter what line of work you are in, there will be equipment that makes your life easier. Tell your audience and you can even tag in the manufacturer of the tools you use, which could start a partnership or collaboration with them.
#20 Offer advice
Whether this is your own advice (from your own experiences) or advice you have been given, there is a lot to be said for providing people with important information. If you can be seen as a company that can be trusted and helps other people or firms to minimise their mistakes, you’ll be viewed in a positive light.
#21 Say your thoughts
We all have thoughts during the course of the day and from time to time, why not say a thought out loud. You may be surprised as to how many people are also thinking along similar lines but not too many people are looking to say it first. This can break the ice and leave people thinking about your firm in a positive manner.
#22 Recommend others
It used to be that #FF was a big thing on Twitter but it is not so much nowadays. However, this doesn’t meant that you can’t recommend posters to follow or point people in the right direction with respect to who they should follow on social media. Whether this is people in your industry, local area or just of interest, there is a lot to be said for recommending good people to others.
#23 Debunk myths and share the truth
There are many myths and half-stories that just aren’t true and it may be that there are some about your local area or your industry. If you can show that the myth is untrue, you will have some people who are thankful for your information and no doubt some people will aim to respond with their own myths. This is a brilliant way to engage other people.
#24 Share images, audio and video clips
In the modern era, video and audio clips are just as important as images and all of these can have a bigger impact than just text. If you want to have your content shared or make sure that people like what they see on your site or platform, provide audio and visual content.
#25 Just ask
It sounds simple but ask people what they need help with, what they like to do and what they want, need or expect from you. If you want to find something out, ask them, it is often that simple.