One of the big social media mysteries for business owners often centers on the lack of comments, replies and shares they receive, even after publishing high quality articles. In these situations, it can be extremely frustrating to have built a growing social media presence with a consistently increasing number of fans, followers, friends, etc. that never actually engage with the business.
This challenge of businesses trying to engage with a relatively unresponsive community is a common one and often occurs despite high quality customer service, the creation of valuable content, and the company's accessibility. At the foundation of this issue is the fact that consumers are bombarded with offers to engage by numerous companies the minute that they go online. Despite the fact that they may have greatly appreciated your most recent article or video, without a prompt to engage many will move on to the next page.
So how can your business persuade them to invest the time to engage on your social media platforms? Here are three ways to get your business' community talking:
- Ask for stories – You can ask for stories that are related to your business or not related at all. Questions like "Worst date", "Best day ever", and "Favorite home remedy" tend to elicit responses and conversation. One thing to avoid would to pose a question that opens the door for customers to air complaints about your business, products, etc. McDonald's made that mistake in 2012 by asking for "McDonald's Stories", which turned into a forum for people to complain about their bad food experiences at McDonald's.
- Conduct a survey – The best surveys ask open ended questions as opposed to those calling for "yes" or "no" responses. Have a deadline and then post a summary of the survey so respondents can see the results. Be sure to add any interesting, funny and/or unusual anecdotes included in the responses in the survey.
- When feasible, share your community's content on your other social media sites. This kind of acknowledgement speaks volumes and will encourage other community members to post to your social media sites.
Success in social media requires more than just collecting followers because today's consumers also want to have a connection with the companies they choose to do business with. That being said, getting customers to interact on your social media pages can be a challenge. By encouraging discourse with questions, surveys, and sharing their content, however, your business will have opened the door to increased engagement with your community.