Social media engagement strategies come and go every year. As new social media features are released and new platforms grow, it is important that you continue to evolve how you engage on social media.
To understand engagement, you must determine what your desired outcome to the engagement is.
Examples include building rapport with your own audience, recruiting new team members, selling a service or finding a business partner. Oftentimes this piece of the social media engagement strategy is overlooked.
Once you have defined your desired outcome it is time to identify the prospects or audience members that can lead you to your desired outcome. Engaging with your current audience is self explanatory, however, looking for recruits, customers, influencers or business owners is not as straightforward.
The social media engagement strategies discussed below detail ways to identify the right audiences and keep track of your engagement efforts so that you stay efficient and directed towards your goal of reaching your desired outcome through social media engagement.
Popularized by entrepreneur and distinguished social media star Gary Vaynerchuk, this strategy focuses on quick hitting personalized engagement focused on audience growth and networking.
The premise of this method is as follows:
The hashtags you select should be centered around something your prospect is posting about as opposed to something one degree away from your brand. For example, if you are a realtor select a hashtag such as #firsttimehomebuyer as opposed to #realtor.
Additionally, be mindful of the number of posts using this hashtag as we want to be somewhat niche in our selection. Stick to hashtags with no more than 1 million posts. Examples include #workouttips #arizonaphotographer, or #workingmama.
In order to successfully apply this social media engagement strategy you must stay consistent. The reason the strategy is called “$1.80” is because you are leaving your 2 cents across 90 different posts each day. If you apply this strategy every day for an entire year you would successfully engage with 32,850 people in your target market in a personalized way.
It is important to note that this strategy is applicable to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. If your desired outcome for engagement is to generate traffic to your page and grow your following, this methodology is a great option. Tools such as Dollar Eighty can help you accomplish your goals. The next social media engagement strategy we will cover is the spreadsheet method.
This engagement strategy is viable if your goal is to track relationships and engagements over time. If you are attempting to sell a product or service, find influencers for a campaign, recruit or network this methodology aligns with your desired outcome.
While this method can be tedious and time consuming, it gives you the most control when tracking relationships and staying up to date with engagement.
Follow these steps to engage using the spreadsheet methodology:
In order to identify the right prospects to engage with, start by defining what type of content they would be posting on and engaging with. From there we use three criteria to prospect effectively:
This step is tedious, but important. You will want to create fields in your spreadsheet to track the information that is important to you. Some common fields to track are as follows: Profile URL link, username, email address (if listed on account), number of followers, last date of engagement, next date of engagement.
In order to “engage” it is important to define the engagements that you will make (i.e. like, comment, direct message) and days associated with each engagement. Many patrons of the spreadsheet method track a field for “last date of engagement” and whether or not prospects responded as a part of their social media engagement strategy.
These steps will help to keep you organized as building rapport with specific prospects takes many engagements over time. The alternative, quick hitting engagement can come off as transactional when attempting to sell a service or qualify a lead.
The last step is critical to benchmark how effective your engagement was and who was interested. While this process can be time consuming and complex, keeping your spreadsheet updated and organized can lead to a viable source of qualified leads that transition into buying customers.
Top of funnel sales conversations begin on social media and lead to website visits, phone calls and appointments. According to Marketo, “Engagement is the key to success for social media marketing.”
With that, let’s get into our final social media engagement strategy.
Measure their engagement to determine which ones are most likely to convert.
This method combines the efficiency and strategy of the $1.80 strategy with the tracking and personalization of the spreadsheet method. The Social Cycle method is great for salespeople, personal brands, social media managers, coaches, content creators, freelancers and brands focused on growing their sales pipeline through social media.
Building lists of prospects based on platform and persona is the first step to organizing your social media engagement strategy using Social Cycle. For instance if you were seeking partnership with maternity bloggers you may create a list entitled “Instagram Maternity Bloggers” and build a list of relevant accounts to distribute your message to.
Sourcing leads to add to your lists is easy using Social Cycle’s “Social Search Engine” which is compatible with Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. The “Social Search Engine” allows you to query specific audiences, hashtags or keywords and find relevant social media accounts to your search. Alternatively, if you have a spreadsheet already created you can upload that spreadsheet directly into Social Cycle.
Once you have built your list(s) and have begun adding contacts to that list, the next step is to apply a cycle of engagement to those contacts. Cycles are comparable to a cadence in email marketing. Cycles are built by choosing a series of social media specific engagement activities (i.e. Likes, comments, direct messages) that you want to perform across the audience you have organized on your lists. Here is an example of a cycle:
Social Cycle has platform specific cycle templates specific to use cases such as selling, networking and recruiting that can be easily customized and applied to your lists.
Once you have applied a cycle to a list, a workflow card is curated for you to accomplish a specific social media engagement for each contact associated with the list. These workflow cards specify the engagement activity, step in the cycle and link directly to the social media account that they are associated with.
While Social Cycle doesn’t automate the personalized engagement such as leaving a comment, it gives structure to the engagement process. According to Instapage, “Personalization delivers six times higher transaction rates.” At Social Cycle we believe that you cannot automate meaningful and relevant engagement, but we do believe that social media engagement can be done in an efficient and intentional way.
For more information about the Social Cycle method check out this article.
As social media usage and engagement continues to rise at an exponential rate, sourcing specific leads and building relationships with them via social media is becoming increasingly important. In 2020 social media usage rose by 9% to 3.8 billion active users; it is becoming the modern yellow pages of consumers. While these social media engagement strategies may not fit every business model, it is important to take time to contemplate how social media engagement can benefit your brand.
Best practices such as cold calling and automated email campaigns are losing luster. Email open rates fell to under 18% in 2020. Buyers are looking for more convenience and personalization in 2021. Welcome to the age of Social Selling.