Social media marketing used to be as simple as getting your posts in front of the right audience. But with constantly changing algorithms, lower reach, and customer sophistication, simply showing up in the right place isn’t enough anymore.
Without engagement, your content gets lost in the sea of information overwhelm and your customers don’t see it.
Engagement is the key to success in this era of online business and social media marketing. Engagement offers social proof to wary buyers, it inspires people to connect with your brand, and that gets your posts in front of everyone on their friends’ lists as well.
More importantly, engagement is proof that your audience likes what you’re putting down. It’s proof that they want to be part of the conversation you started.
✔️ Step one to growing your following is showing up in the RIGHT place for the clients and attention you want on your content and offers. WHERE you show up is just as important as WHAT you say.
✔️ Step 2 is to ENGAGE with your followers to turn them into raving fans who keep coming back for more!
Because, as we saw in part one, ATTENTION is the new currency for successful online businesses (and authors, artists, etc.). Engagement increases the amount of attention your ideal clients give to your brand.
In my experience, this is where most people get tripped up. For many years, it was enough to get traffic to your site – any traffic, didn’t matter what kind, the more the better. But these days, buyers are more skeptical and cautious with where they spend money – and attention.
So the key to sales now is building a relationship with potential clients.
Before someone buys, they need to feel like they know, like and trust you. ALL of these things can happen in a single post on any social media platform. When someone buys from you after seeing a single post, they’re referred to as fast-action takers. They know what they want and when they find it, they’re ready to buy it.
For many businesses (and authors & artists), this will typically represent less than 10% of your overall client base. For the other 90%, you need to create opportunities to engage with them and build that trust. [Tweet this!]
To make it easier, let’s look at many different ways you can start conversations with your ideal readers/followers/clients.
If you take nothing else away from this article, let it be this ~ the key to engagement is to start a conversation.
Ask an open-ended question!
You could ask them to share something about themselves. Ask them what they think, how they feel, or what they want. Ask a question they simply can’t resist answering and you’ll get engagement. (Pique their curiosity or tickle their pride and they will engage!)
This serves two purposes – one, people who engage are more likely to buy; and two, the more engagement your posts get, the more that platform will show your post to other people. It’s part of their algorithm to bring the best (most engaging) content to the top.
Let’s start with the best practices for business owners and authors who have more time than money to spend:
✏️ Spend time each week looking at who followed you, liked your posts, shared your posts, or signed up for your email list
✏️ Get in touch with that person and say thank you. Comment or compliment something you see on their page.
✏️ Show them how you’re similar, how you like the same things, how you’re connected. Let them feel like they’re part of your inner circle now.
✏️ Go to as many other platforms as possible and search for your latest post. When you find your post being shared by someone else, like the post and thank them!
✏️ If it’s on-brand for you and you think your audience would benefit from seeing that person’s posts, share it and tag the person who wrote it so that person can see you’re the kind of person who gives back.
✏️ Let people know the best way to keep in touch with you. Let them know if you respond well to emails, phone calls, PM’s, or otherwise and encourage them to contact you if they ever have a question [about your specialty].
✏️ Go to the pages of people you follow and love. Click on other followers profiles and engage with them. Start a meaningful conversation or join the one already happening on their page.
When you’re making more money and have less time, you can hire a VA or a social media manager to help you with most of these activities.
When you have room in your budget for ads, here is a list of ways you can increase engagement via paid strategies:
💎 Start with retargeting ads. Deliver ads to people who have: read your blog posts, watched your videos, or visited your website. Use this opportunity to start an engaging conversation with them. Everyone ignores regular promotional ads in their social media feeds, but most people will engage with a promoted post that asks for their feedback or opinion. (Remember ~ pique their curiosity or tickle their pride and they will engage!)
💎 Use retargeting ads to let your fans of your existing work know what the next step is.
For example, this post is part of a 4-piece series. On other platforms, I could run a retargeting ad to deliver part 2 to everyone who visited part 1. That way it feels like I’ve organically shown up with the answer to a question they just started to ask: “What now? What do I do next?”
💎 For people who click on your retargeting ad to see part 2 (or people who engaged with your retargeting ad to start a conversation), you could run a different ad to invite them to join your email list. Now that they have taken action to see part 2 or engage with your content, offer them a bigger gift. You could offer them a free download of your eBook, or video training, or some other gift that feels valuable and offers them a deeper part of the puzzle on the same topic.
The benefit of these free and paid strategies is that you give people time to process what they’ve learned from you, they start to see you as someone who consistently has the answers they’re looking for, you show up as credible and trustworthy, and they get a chance to get to know you, like you, and trust you.
Want to know the most effective piece you could possibly deliver that will get them lining up to hire you or buy your product?
Get in touch and I’ll share the #1 most effective piece of value a prospect needs before saying YES to your offer!
Thanks for reading! 👀
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series where we’ll dive into WHAT kind of content will position you as the expert and help you stand out as the #1 go-to person in your field!
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