How To Create A Social Engagement Plan
One of the useful things about social media is that is allows for a two-way communication channel between businesses and their audience. Currently, many companies and brands are substituting their traditional marketing techniques with social media. The companies with the most successful social media engagement plans have a few things in common:
- The communication channel is designed with intent and purpose
- Conversations are monitored
- Content is developed based on demographic data
What is a Social Engagement Strategy?
It is pretty obvious that social media has radically changed the way people perceive everything in life. For a business to thrive, a social media engagement strategy is essential. A social engagement strategy is not very different from having a content strategy. It can actually be seen as an extension of the latter focusing primarily on how information is shared to promote communication and interaction rather than what information is shared. Basically it’s all about how you say something instead of what you say. When it comes to social media marketing, a content strategy without a social engagement plan is the equivalent of holding a press conference but not allowing Q&A.
The Essential Components of a Successful Social Engagement Plan
On the social sites, in particular Facebook, Twitter and Google+, most people will return to your company page if they feel the place is inviting, friendly and has an appealing vibe. If you want your page to do well, you want to build a community and set a positive tone for your company profile. Remember that sites like Facebook and Twitter were created so people could connect with friends and other people so stay open, fun, enthusiastic and most importantly unique.
For social media success, you want to encourage fan participation as much as possible. This is very closely related to the example used above. You can’t hold a press conference and withhold Q&A. On the social sites, the single most important purpose of your business updates should be to encourage fan participation. Don’t embark on a journey of self-promotion. Ask questions, take an interest in the opinion of your audience and share the content of your fans and followers.
As a business, you have several options for what voice to use on the social sites. For instance, say you have a company page on Facebook by the name of “The Pizza Place”. All updates will be prefaced by “The Pizza Place ”. Depending on the voice you choose to use, your business updates will either sound good or awkward.
First person singular – “I’d like to introduce to our fans out here, the new Chicken Pesto Pizza!”
First person plural – “We’d like to introduce to our fans out here, the new Chicken Pesto Pizza!”
Third person – “The Pizza Place introduces the new Chicken Pesto Pizza!”
In general, it is best to use either first person plural or third person. People on the social sites tend to prefer interacting with a business rather than a single employee of the company.
4. Posting frequency
On the social sites including Facebook and Twitter, you don’t want to annoy your fans and followers with dozens of updates a day. There is a direct correlation between posting frequency and the number of fans company pages have on the social sites. Aim to post an update once a day or every two days. Each update should serve the purpose of promoting engagement. (Also Read – Ideal Time to Post on Facebook)
Check out Starbucks Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Starbucks
May 21. May 14. May 12. April 29. April 26. These are the times they posted. 34,567,156 likes at the time of writing. You get the point.
5. What to share
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make on the social sites is that they tend to be very promotional and business-oriented. While it is good to maintain a certain level of professionalism, you may want to remember that the social sites are there for you to connect with your audience. It is important to stay relevant. Of course you do not want your audience to know about your honeymoon to The Bahamas, but at the same time, you want to vary the type of content you share on your page. You can share any of the following:
- Business updates
- Industry news
- Interesting blog posts by fans or other experts in your niche
- YouTube videos
Have a look at this picture Red Bull posted on their page:
20,000+ likes. 150+ comments. 1000+ shares.
It has nothing to do with self-promotion or anything “corporate”. It’s entertaining. That’s what social media is there for. Use it for that, and people will be engaged.