Having a strong social media presence is a must-have for entrepreneurs, as this is where most consumers search for or connect with businesses. However, it isn’t enough just to have an active account. To really reap the benefits of social media marketing, you must actively engage with your followers.
To help companies better leverage their social media presence, 14 Young Entrepreneur Council members share some effective, yet potentially unconventional ways companies can maintain and boost engagement with their audience.
Q. What’s one unconventional tactic an entrepreneur might use to maintain (and even boost) engagement with their audience on social media, and why do you think this would work?
1. Admit Your Mistakes
Companies are often afraid of admitting they made a mistake or that they don’t have the answers just yet. Radical transparency goes a long way. It’s OK to bring the audience along for the ride. You don’t have to wait until everything is perfectly done before communicating with your audience. Customers appreciate honesty and they respect companies that communicate authentically. – Anik Decoste, MTTR
2. Use Appropriate Humor
Make people laugh (if it’s appropriate for your brand). I studied acting and comedy, and I find that bringing comedy into conversations makes a big difference. Even if you don’t think you’re funny, try to make people smile. There is so much on social media that makes people unhappy, so stand out from everyone else by making people happy with your social media posts. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
3. Demonstrate Vulnerability
Be vulnerable. When your audience is used to seeing you or your business have it all together, it’s appealing to see vulnerability and it will increase the likelihood that they will want to engage and connect with you further. Show you are human. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
4. Go Behind the Scenes
One unconventional way you can get more engagement from your audience on social media is by showing behind-the-scenes footage of your company. Consumers want to see how their favorite brands operate. If you can offer a peek at your team while they are hard at work, there’s a good chance people will respond well to this post. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
5. Be Helpful By Being Relatable
Everyone talks about authenticity but rarely do they execute on it. Whether it’s a lesson learned or how you approach challenges, people are more inclined to engage when they are hearing something they can relate to. Rather than focusing on how good something will look, think about what you can share that can help others. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS
6. Share Polls and Surveys
When boosting social media engagement, you can use polls and surveys to grab your audience’s attention. Polls are a fun way to collect user data and gain insight into your audience’s perspective. This helps you get to know them better so you can improve your current strategy and increase conversions. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
7. Post User-Generated Content
With some effort and the use of a social media listening tool, you can find mentions of your product and brand online. Your audience is likely sharing posts using your product. You can leverage such user-generated content by reposting them on your profile. You’ll show that you’re listening and most people love getting recognized. This is a great way to engage your followers. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Turn Blog Content Into a Video
You could potentially boost engagement on your social media channel by repurposing content on your blog and turning it into a video. Social media users tend to favor video content over text. If you can create an interactive, fun video that illustrates all of the points in your content, you will maintain and possibly boost your brand engagement. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
9. Craft Content Based on Their Interests
Create stories and content that will trigger their interest and give them more reasons to go back to your page. You don’t want to create the feeling of obligation, but rather anticipation and enjoyment of knowing that your series of posts are fun-filled, engaging and relatable. – Daisy Jing, Banish
10. Highlight Your Unique Brand
The best way to be unconventional on social media is to highlight your own unique brand. On Facebook and Instagram, Stories are useful for doing this. You can give your followers an inside look at your business, employees and yourself. For retail businesses, you might also showcase nearby landmarks. This is a good way to build connections with your customers as they get to know you better. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
11. Schedule Feel-Good Moments
Create an editorial calendar and include enjoyable moments that make your followers feel good about themselves and your company. The most obvious times to do so are during significant world events and holidays, but you can even create a fun midweek video that is engaging and on-brand. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
12. Host Live Video Sessions
Having live video sessions on your page is a great way to create more engagement. Many platforms offer live video streaming options. When a person or brand starts a live video, there’s usually a notification sent to followers that a live event is happening. As a result, more people are likely to see your content. Plus, live videos are more exciting since they’re happening in real time. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
13. Offer Freebies and Discounts
One unconventional way to boost social media engagement is to tempt your audience by posting about your offers, giveaways, discount codes, referral rewards, etc. People love free stuff and discounts, so you can grab quick attention by posting about them. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
14. Engage With Other People’s Posts
People will engage with your posts only when your posts are visible to them. One way to boost visibility on social media is through engaging with other posts. Start liking and sharing your followers’ posts. You should also respond to the comments you get in your posts. This will increase engagement and make you visible more often. This increases recognition and boosts engagement too. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.