3 Steps to Improve Your Outdoors Business Social Media Engagement
- August 31, 2016
- By Adam Preston
If you want more Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube followers, the best way to get them is through a relatively simple process. Note how I said simple, not easy. That’s because they are two different things. Simple means just about anyone can succeed. Easy means everyone almost surely will succeed. That’s not the case here. If you employee a good hard-work ethic, you will at least incrementally succeed, which, in this case, will almost always lead to satisfaction.
Here’s a three-step plan to get more fans and followers on your pages:
1. Listen to Your Followers
Social media will always be a game of first appearances, especially for businesses. Every time someone lands on your page, your reputation is on the line. Have a weak moment — post something stupid — and you’ll unravel your brand’s strength. Listening to your followers isn’t about doing what they say you should do; it’s more about doing what you think they’ll expect from you in the future.
To hear what your fans are saying, you need to engage yourself deeper than the front lines of your page’s content. Dig deeper into your fan base. If they share your posts, find out who they’re sharing them with and then go a few click deeper and see what they’re friends are saying about your message. It’s really quite easy. For individuals on Facebook, it’s called “cyber stalking.” For your business page, it’s called market research. You might think that post you made that drove people to your sale on broadheads was cleverly veiled. By following what your followers are saying, you might learn that someone else has a better promotion, better price or better customer service than you do.
Listen to your followers for the subtle signs they sending, and use these clues to better hone your overall business strategy.
2. Reciprocate the Likes
We’ve touched on this before in this blog, but social media is not a one-way street. You have to truly be engaged with your followers to get the most out of this relationship. If you want more fans, a deeper reach and more consistency in your week-to-week traffic results, you need to “like them back.”
Again, this requires one-on-one work. One Instagram study shows brand pages acquire 14 percent more new followers than pages that don’t like any of their fans’ posts.
Sure, you can go through the motions and merely “like” random posts from a good cross-section of your fans, but to get the most out of it, you need to like things for a purpose. It requires doing some research. Are you a mostly-archery company? Then have your page reflect that via “like campaigns.” Maybe your social media managers designate certain days of the week to scour your fan base and “like” posts of certain categories (Treestand Tuesday; Throwback Thursday; Food plot Friday, etc).
By aggregating the likes, you will reach demographics within your demographic. It will also help send the message to your fans that you are extra serious about a few specific topics. If these topics resonate with them — boom — you will build another dedicated fan base within your overall approach.
3. Don’t Keep Quiet
It doesn’t matter if it’s a social media page, a web blog or a YouTube channel; comments are king when it comes to engaging your fan base. The comments section not only keep it real, they allow everyday people a venue to express their opinions and passions. You get the comments flowing by posting engaging content; you’ll keep them flowing by encouraging candor and (most importantly) by not playing iron-fisted moderator.
Nothing will shut down a comments section faster than an overzealous moderator. Maybe a fan comes in and blasts your product/service. “Hey, XYZ, you suck, your product sucks, your whole company sucks.”
The knee-jerk social media manager would go in, delete that comment and ban the user immediately. The savvy manager would thank them for their comments and ask why they feel that way.
Nine times of 10, the surly “fan” will reveal a legitimate reason as to why they came across so negative in the first place. Maybe it was a sour encounter with your customer service rep. Whatever the reason, resist the urge to hang them out to dry in front of the rest of your followers. Take it offline and try to resolve it there. If that doesn’t work — and the individual is still surly — mute them on your page. The goal is to create a space where your fans feel 100 percent comfortable with teeing off from time to time.