Best Practices for Brand Engagement in Social Media

Socialbarrel
Aaron Elliott Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

Posted on July 19th 2013

Best Practices for Brand Engagement in Social Media

Social media gives you direct connection to and from existing customers, prospects, and brand agents about anything and everything, from products to challenges, all at once. However, with all the fuss and work needed for brand engagement, how do you strengthen these relationships?

 

Here are the 10 best practices for brand engagement in social media:

1. Follow and Engage With Followers

If have a strong following of thousands or millions of social media fans and supporters but following only hundreds of them, it tells your followers you have no interest in community feedback. Follow your followers and engage in discussions with them. It will help boost overall following and build good relationships within your social media community.

In addition, a number of followers will thank you for following back. It will open the chance to talk to them and learn more from their needs and demands.

2. Avoid Oversharing

Even though it is critical for you to interact continually, remain in the loop, and keep social relationships, frequent posting of status updates or tweets will turn off and push you away from your audience and followers. Give more emphasis to share only valuable items relevant to your community and reflect the image of the brand. Come up with a calendar on the ideal time and date to share content.

3. Be Social in Social Media

It gives the impression on what already is clear for most people, yet lots of brands that use social media do not really develop social skills to interact with followers. You have to engage with the customers, influencers, and all the people who want to reach out to your brand. However, avoid the spammers and trolls.

Social media is about building relationships in a community. Open your mind and step out of the box you are in. Not all of your connections have to be on the same wavelength. Derive motivation from a diverse group of followers.

Never overlook social media tools for engagement and monitoring.  These platforms will help look for mentions of your brand across social communities, and connect with people who have an interest in your product, service, or industry.

social media best practices for brand engagement

Social networking. (Flickr / Chris Potter)

4. Control the Impulse

You do not need to make a fuss of each conversation that mentions your brand. Every so often it is better for other people, such as influencers and other members of the community, to butt in rather than you. Find out the types of posts you have to answer back and leave the others.

5. Be Careful With Your Tone and Voice

When your tone and voice are uninteresting to prospects and customers, change it. Even though it is imperative that social media engagement has to be as distinctive as your brand image, it is also significant not to digress from it.

6. Uphold Transparency

Honesty and transparency will go a long way and reap rewards in social media. It is a key component to build trust within your community. Provide background access to customers of your business through videos, live streaming, and internal events of the company. Use employee profiles with links and Google Hangouts to connect with customers.

One by one, prospects will trust and have more interest in your brand, and keep in touch for updates.

7. Keep it Short

Even though Twitter restricts messages up to 140 characters, other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Google+, have no character limits. However, Twitter also has a knack to make shorter status updates the better option.

8. Take the Initiative, be Preemptive

Observe and monitor the main feeds and news in your industry, such as social media marketing. It helps gather a number of posts without mentions of your brand but is relevant. It shows new discussions and exchanges you may want to participate and allows you to form relationships. It keeps you up to date with issues that may lead to a crisis.

9. Generate Brand Awareness

Social media platforms provide the opportunity to boost and reinforce your profile to the public. You may start campaigns in the grassroots level, interact with influencers across different industries, share their content, and remain proactive in discussions. If you generate and share useful content, you will be prepared if influencers will send you a deluge of new followers.

10. Negative or Positive, Still Its Valuable Feedback

Even though you will have the urge to answer back on positive feedback and erase the negative, do not do that. As an alternative, reply to positive feedback, send your appreciation to the community for product recommendations, sharing your content, and ask members or followers to share stories as guest bloggers or through an interview.

If you get negative feedback, think of it as useful reproach and a chance to improve your product or service. When somebody companies, no matter how many they are, it is likely they want you to listen and solve real problems related to your product or service.

 

Socialbarrel

Aaron Elliott

Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

I'm 30 and live in Adelaide, Australia. I have a strong interest and passion for Social Media, Blogging and Online Marketing. To execute this passion I have created Socialbarrel.com which aims to connect social media users and marketers, with the latest and most up-to-date news on the social media scene. Don't forget to check out Socialbarrel.com for more Social Media News.

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Comments

Marketwithmario
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 11:36AM

Great read. I especially agree with and like point number 2.  Hashtagging is important, but overdoing it can be abnoxious to our following.

Socialbarrel
Posted on July 22nd 2013 at 2:29PM

Agreed, everything in moderation:) 

HelenP
Posted on July 22nd 2013 at 4:13AM

Nice article Aaron, however I find it ironic that you don't practice step number 1...

1. Follow and Engage With Followers

If have a strong following of thousands or millions of social media fans and supporters but following only hundreds of them, it tells your followers you have no interest in community feedback. Follow your followers and engage in discussions with them.

I went to your Twitter page to follow you and found that you only follow 179 of your 51,800+ followers, and no engagement.

Socialbarrel
Posted on July 22nd 2013 at 2:25PM

Hi Helen,

You have a valid point, though it really does depend on the bussiness. We provide social media news and most follow us to recieve the our news. We only follow a few to gather intel for our stories and stay up to date within the industry.  

Pearup.com
Posted on October 28th 2013 at 3:22PM

Thanks Aaron...and I mostly agree with your points. However, its focuses on mostly having conversations with users. I would add that engagement can and should be bigger than social conversations...granted conversations are important... but engagement can be more. At Pearup.com, we're a social platform that connects brands to users through affinity group sponsorships. To your point#9, "generate brand awareness" is good but when you can tie that to brand sponsorship for an event and/or group... its provides an opportunity for that brand to gain a real emotional connection. Sponsorships can transform those passive conversations into real actions that support the brand..moving it beyond conversations into engagement. Now, that is a deeper definition of branding.

Cheers

Joe370
Posted on December 19th 2013 at 9:46AM

Interesting read Aaron.

Though social media is important for brand engagement, it is not the only means or channel to engage with customers. Marketers need to decide the right combination of online and offline channels to engage with customers. This post http://bit.ly/JdI3dutalks about why brand engagement should be thought out as a strategy that will benefit brands in the long run.