Engaging isn’t just about posting as many updates as possible then sitting back and waiting. You need to come back to your pages and help drive discussion. Find out what your audience is interested in, relate to your brand and consider how you can get them thinking and wanting to add their thoughts to the discussion. Being able to convert semi-interested users into followers and mini-ambassadors can have priceless long term results. We show you how to sow the seeds and how to avoid blockages.
From Beginning to Engaging
Be Up to date – Know your current events and interesting news updates related to your business. It’s good to show that you know the relevant news circulating within your client’s area of interest and that your input is solid. Be sure to post about news shortly after it has happened and when your users are most likely to be online. See Twitter trend search advice.
Open Ended – Try not to have the ‘be all and end all’ opinion or answer in a post. It’s fine to add some of your thoughts but avoid choosing sides or finishing off your own question otherwise you’ll leave no room for others to join in. Even something as simple as “Thoughts?” will work better than “do you agree or disagree with this?”
Humour – A great way to invite interest into what you’re posting is if you can be funny. By opening the door to comedians whilst still being relevant, you can potentially have an endless list of replies. As long as what you’re posting is seen to naturally come from your business it should fit in nicely.
Ask Questions – This isn’t just for inducing a response in general to give your pages purpose, but can give you some valuable information to use later. Things like “Did you pick up something nice from our sale?” or “What do you guys think of this new Xxxxxx on our site?” is very inviting to people who love to put their 2 cents in whilst being friendly at the same time. Remember though, not all your posts have to relate directly to your core business function.
Here is an example of an open question with an up to date news article.
Spotlight – This involves highlighting related achievements of your customers. Did someone take a picture of themselves at your workplace? Has someone completed some sort of challenge you laid out or won a competition? Be sure to post on how excited and glad you are that they did this, encourage the sharing and how happy you are to have them as a customer.
Simplicity – Be to the point. Around 80 characters is ideal. Balance out image use, links and occasional text only posts. Images get a lot more space in a user’s feed, but that isn’t an excuse to put in something irrelevant to the message you want to communicate.
Blockages to Engagement
Negativity – The need to avoid leading or allowing negativity can’t be stressed enough. A huge part of posting and also Community Management is keeping up a mood and attitude that represents your brand and the way you want people to respond. Don’t make complaints (even about competitors), don’t argue or highlight the wrongness of your audience. If it seems hard to avoid, think about what Mum always used to say; “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” :)
Ego – Never go into too much detail when posting anything about yourself on a company page. Remember, you’re representing your brand and that’s your starting point for getting people interested, replying and going where you want them to. Even if your company is named after a figurehead, that figurehead still represents a brand and a set of ideals not an individual.
Forcing – Don’t push people to join a conversation, if they’re not interested you need to leave it, learn from it and revise for next time. Repeating a similar idea or conversation in different spaces or times can work fine, but annoying people will do damage.
Overselling - You will lose people if you’re always trying to push products in their face without any tie to their values or drive to find out important information. Sharing promotions and points of interest is fine but make sure this is balanced out.
Mundane Chatter – It might be ok to update with “Eating cereal” on your personal page but for a business this is a poor look and it doesn’t give people space to converse or use their imagination. Mix it up!
For HR and Small Business
For you, inviting ‘Spotlight’ activity will be a real winner. If you can entice people to share their experiences on your site or even have an ‘attendee of the week’ type of entry where people upload their own content things should grow smoothly. Apart from helping to create a fun and comfortable environment, this kind of sharing will be imperative for new users and visitors as using your service may be a fairly large decision for them and evidence from others can really help!