If you’re a small business owner, you’ve heard it before:
To grow your online brand, you have to make the most of social media, authentically connecting with your audience to build trust and gain customers.
Fortunately, this is one area where small businesses have the upper hand over bigger companies.
Social media success doesn’t depend on the number of followers but the quality of followers. And that quality relies on:
- Community and customers — two things small businesses genuinely invest in. Small businesses are more likely to be involved in their community and respond authentically (and quickly) to their customers, and that’s what it’s all about when it comes to meaningful engagement.
- Personalized attention that can go further than a scripted autoreply. When a client (or potential client) engages on social media, small businesses typically have the time to craft a genuine response and, ultimately, create a true connection.
- Organic advertising in the form of happy customers and other small businesses posting about your products and services, sharing reviews, and attracting new people. Small business owners tend to know their customers personally, so this reciprocal promotion happens naturally on social media.
But what’s the secret to making the most of your social media engagement efforts? It all comes down to optimized engagement. This means commenting, liking, responding, and reacting to nurture your current audience and reach new accounts. In other words, not just scrolling without real interaction.
Simply put, the more time you spend engaging, the more you’ll get your name out there, the more people will notice you and your account, and the more your business will grow.
Your engagement time should be intentional and purposeful, but it doesn’t have to take up too much of your day. (We recommend a max of 30 minutes.)
So, what are the rules of engagement? It comes down to five simple daily steps.
- RESPOND to those who have commented on your past posts. Open your DMs and acknowledge any messages or story responses.
Engagement Tip: When someone shares your post, you can thank them back by posting their share to your Stories. It sounds complicated, but it’s a simple gesture that also highlights their account.
- SCROLL THROUGH STORIES and check on what your ideal clients are posting about. Interact by sending a response, participating in their polls, or sending a reaction to their story.
Engagement Tip: Be sure to work your way through your Stories at least once a week. The back of the “line” is where you’ll find the folks you haven’t heard from you in a while!
- INTERACT WITH YOUR FEED, liking posts, commenting on polls, answering posed questions, and leaving authentic comments from time to time. If the original account responds to your comment, be sure to respond to keep the conversation going!
Engagement Tip: When creating your own content, include a CTA (call to action) at the bottom of your post to get your followers to engage in this same kind of engagement on your page.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS by checking out local or industry hashtags where your ideal clients might be hanging out. Find some new accounts to follow, interact with them, and don’t forget to continue to cheer them on moving forward!
Engagement Tip: If your ideal client has a private account, think of what public accounts they may follow and interact with them!
- STICK TO A SCHEDULE, setting a time each day that works for you to stay consistent with your engagement. Some prime times include early morning while you drink your coffee, at lunchtime when you have a free 15 minutes to yourself, or in the evening after the kids go to bed.
Engagement Tip: Switch up your designated engagement time every once in a while. You might see more activity from different accounts at different times of day!
Incorporate this strategy into your weekly routine and, after a few weeks of consistency, you’ll see your numbers (and your social media interactions) start to rise.
And if you’re a person who works best with a plan (don’t we all?!?), we have even more resources for you to help take your social media strategy to the next level.