I looked through my Twitter feed and all I saw were links and RT’s. The magic of Twitter, the conversation seemed to be slipping away. That was last year, things have changed.
Social media is a massive part of our digital marketing strategies so why do so many people increasingly use it as a place to dump content?
I’m all for content but it can’t work on its own. We need an engagement strategy to compliment it.
The true value of social media lies in developing relationships. Some of these will be with your customers, some will be people who share your customers and can pass business your way (and vice-versa), some will be the people who influence your audience.
Build strong relationships with these people and you build strong word of mouth marketing. Your engagement strategy should be as vital a part of your digital strategy as content.
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Superhero Tips: How to create an engagement strategy
Step 1: Who do you want to engage with?
If you’ve developed a customer persona it makes it easier to find people in your target market online. You may find them in Facebook groups, on Twitter, on Instagram, on LinkedIn or somewhere else completely.
Make a note of the type of language they use, the hot topics for discussion.
Look for the people who influencers of these people. Who do they follow, RT, have conversations with. Who is making an impact amongst your audience?
Find other businesses that your audience communicate with these will become your key allies.
Once you’ve identified your audience focus on the people who are having conversations not just posting content on social media. If they aren’t engaging they could be automating and all your hard work will be wasted.
Step 2: Follow and engage.I've learned is that conversations that start by talking about the weather can turn into some of the strongest business relationships.Click To Tweet
I’m not a fan of small talk so when I started using social media I found it hard to get chatting to people. Not everyone on social is asking a discussion question, some are just saying good morning or stating a fact.
I’ve learned is that conversations that start by talking about the weather can turn into some of the strongest business relationships.
So now that you’ve found your audience spend time each day chatting to them. Because you have selected people who are actively conversing on social you will find it easier to get involved.
What is an engagement?
Technically a like is engagement as is a link click but these won’t build relationships. You need to visibly engage and that means commenting and replying.
Even with a comment or reply, you’re going to need to put some time in to make a relevant comment that will get noticed. You’ll never build a relationship unless people can see you are engaging.
Step 3: Questions
So far we’ve talked about your audience starting the conversations but you can also provoke them. At the heart of any engagement strategy are questions and open-ended statements that will provoke conversation.
You can use polls or simply ask questions in text form.
Setting engagement goals
To stay on track with your engagement strategy set yourself a goal for each network you use. I got over my fear of small talk by forcing myself to have a conversation, no matter how small twice a day on Twitter. Now I have no problem seeking conversations and even do it out of choice
Keep a record of your engagement rate or the number of engagements on each network before you implement your strategy and then update this each week. You should see your stats consistently rise.
What happened to Twitter?
In the beginning, i talked about my sad link and retweet filled Twitter stream. What was the solution?
I tried everything to see more conversations. I tried Twitter lists, I visited profiles, I sought out people talking about the hot topics for small business. None of it worked.
Then I accidentally found the solution.
The Twitter algorithm. When Twitter launched the algorithm I switched it off. Algorithms are pants, right?
But one-day last year I thought I’d give it a go. I switched it on and everything changed. Instead of my sea of links conversations started to pop up at the top of my feed. My engagement strategy became easier.
Sometimes algorithms are a good thing.
Superpower of the week – Tweetreach
Tweetreach measures the effectiveness of your Twitter handle or hashtag on Twitter.
Tell it what you want you want to analyse and it will show you a report for the last 100 tweets related to your search.
These include the full reach of that search term. The percentage of tweets, retweets and replies. The top contributors to the conversation and their impact.
The free version of the tool limits you to 100 tweets but you can pay a one-off fee for a full report or sign up for the monthly subscription if you need constant data.
Superhero Interview – Bella Vasta
This week on the Digital Marketing Superheroes Club I have Bella Vasta from Jump Consulting, who’s got a really interesting case study to share with us.
Tell me a little bit about you before we talk about your case study.
Yeah. So, my name is Bella Vasta, and I started off as a pet business consultant helping six and seven figures businesses scale through marketing, and social media. And I’ve actually transitioned, and kind of moved into speaking around the world on things like leadership, sales, and Facebook groups.
And that’s interesting because I think when we first met it was all pets, and now you’re speaking at social media marketing about it. It’s been great too. Your brilliant. I feel like I’m part of your journey.
You 100% are. I can’t even believe it’s my journey, quite honestly. I’ve been like very, very lucky and fortunate to just make friends with people like yourself that have just been really supportive of everything. And it really brings the world together. I mean, it’s funny hearing that we’ve only met in like maybe twice in social media marketing world. However, I feel like I know you because of social media. So, it’s like it’s uncanny.
Yeah. It’s so strange. It’s like I have friends all over the world now, and that might be because of going to San Diego. Really strangely I’ve met friends in the UK and Ireland as a result of going to San Diego.
I believe it.
Now, the case study we’re going to talk about today is a topic that a lot of people will know is very close to my heart, which is Facebook Live. And you’ve been doing something creative with that. Firstly, before we tell people what the campaign was, what was you’re thinking behind the campaign?
I’m never one to shy away from the Facebook Live, or a podcast, or anything, for anyone that knows me. But I was kind of feeling like it was getting a little stale. I was answering people’s questions on a Facebook Live maybe one at a time. And I wanted to add another element to it, because, although the content matter was definitely interesting, I wanted another way to humanise it, and to kind of connect with the audience. Kind of give them a reason to watch. And that’s what got me started doing this.'I was answering people's questions on a Facebook Live and I wanted to add another element to it, because, although the content matter was interesting, I wanted another way to humanise it, and connect with the audience.'Click To Tweet
Okay. And tell me what it is that you did.
I didn’t know if I should go that far yet.
So, what I decided is that I think every business owner listening right now, Amanda, can definitely relate to the fact that they feel very, very proud of their logo, of their colours, of their fonts, of all of their brand design that went into creating their business. It’s, arguably, like another child for the entrepreneurs listening.
So, I thought, “Why not, as pet sitters, and dog walkers?” It is very common in the industry for them all to have t-shirts, because given the nature of our business we get covered in dog hair, and slobber, and kitty kisses, and everything. So, a lot of us have t-shirts that often have our logo front and centre on the front of the t-shirt as well as the back.
So, I was running low on t-shirts too, which was just a funny side thing. But I said, “Hey, guys, for a limited time if you send me your t-shirt I will wear it on a Facebook Live, and I will feature a question, and then like give you a shout out.” And the response was kind of overwhelming.
I got a lot of t-shirts, and I called it T-Shirt Tuesdays. And what I did is when I went live it was only for about three to five minutes … Or rather it actually wasn’t a live it was a premiere. But I would record it, and then I would have my editor pop in some really fun music, and some fun graphics to pop up. Like I would hold my hand out to the side, and a graphic would appear in my hand that sort of thing. And I just answered questions. And I did it, and we edited them. And then every Tuesday at noon for about eight weeks they came out.
Because I put it as a premiere Facebook kind of told everyone I was going live, I put it on my calendar, and I was able to sit there, and interact with people. And they’d be like, “Hey. What’s up Bella?” And I could actually type back to them.
Then, of course, we did what we always do, and that’s share it out everywhere into my other groups, and made a playlist out of it. And it was really neat. It was something different other than just this stale, “I’ll go, and give you an answer to your question.” And it’s just Bella in a blue shirt, I don’t know, on a Friday afternoon. You know what I mean?
I think it’s a really good idea, because every time that I put something on my Facebook page asking people to share their Facebook pages, or their websites that’s the sort of post that goes mad. I always feel like it’s giving back a little bit, and it really does build like goodwill with people, though …
100%. I think all of us, just as human beings, we want to be like validated, and we want to be noticed. And what better way than, and I don’t mean to sound egotistical here, but like having an authority shout you out publicly on a channel that’s not yours? And this kind of idea, for anyone listening, you can basically do this in any industry.'I think all of us, just as human beings, we want to be like validated, and we want to be noticed. And what better way than having an authority shout you out publicly on a channel that's not yours?' Click To Tweet
Amanda I know you work with a lot of companies as well, you could very easily do that too. “Hey. Send me some swag, and I’ll mention you, and answer a question.” Now, the question doesn’t necessarily have to be directly from the company, although I did offer them the opportunity like, “Send me a question with your t-shirt, and if you don’t have a question you want to submit I’ll say it’s another question from someone else.” But it’s just a different way of connecting with people that no one else is doing.
No. Except, of course, me, and all of my listeners know I steal it now.
I cannot wait. When you do, do it tag me. Tag Bella Vasta, because I want to see that this podcast impacted you somehow. That’s like the meaning of my professional life. I want to impact people. So, I welcome you to steal it.
But you did this as a premiere rather than a live. Just explain to people what the difference is.
Wonderful. So, a premiere is like you schedule a video to post, and so when it comes up it actually looks like it’s live. It says, “Bella Vasta has scheduled a premiere video.” But it acts like … Like I would get a notification that Bella Vasta posted a premiere video, and it looks like it’s live. So, you’ll get people interacting a lot more.
But I did it because I have a very busy life. I have a four-year-old, who is just unpredictable, and I’ve got a team of people, and I’ve got meetings, and coaching, and all this stuff going on during the day. So, to say that every Tuesday at 12:00 I could have hair and makeup done, and lighting, because being a woman we have all that extra stuff to deal with, it just wasn’t feasible for me. But I wanted to commit to this project.
So, that was part of the reason why I pre-recorded. But I didn’t want to just post a video, and just slap it up there at any point. I wanted it to appear that it was semi-live, so that we could bring more people in. And so, that’s kind of why I did it that way.
I wouldn’t recommend doing all of your videos premiere, meaning pre-recording them, and then posting them that way, because what’ll happen is you’ll get audience fatigue, and they won’t really start believing you I don’t think. Amanda what do you think?
I agree. I love it. I totally get … As soon as I asked you why you were doing it I knew, because it is like … No, I do a live on a Monday, I do a live on a Thursday, and I do a live on a Friday, and sometimes it’s like, “Oh God. I have to blow dry my hair today.”
Some days you’ve got a lot of other work on, and you can’t do that. But, yeah, I do think a good mixture can really help. I think having both your pre-recorded …
What I love about pre-recorded is the editing as well. It’s you can do somethings, like what you were talking about, that you can’t do in live. So, yeah, I agree. I’m going to try that. Actually, I keep threatening to try it for my Facebook Lives I do on a Friday for when I’m not going to be there.
You should totally do it. And I think it’s kind of interesting too, because even from a viewer standpoint you get to see … Often times on Facebook, and when we’re connecting with like other people in our industry, maybe in industry groups, we see the person. So, I see Amanda Webb, but I don’t necessarily see Amanda’s logo, or her company name, or the colors, or fonts, or branding that she did, and I think that your logo and your brand tells a story. It gives the feeling. And it’s really neat to see how other people in your industry use their branding, and their logos, and it just … I don’t know. It kind of gets you outside of your own box for a minute, and that’s something that I think everyone could use every once in a while.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, also, I think the nice thing about premiere is that if you’re a little bit nervous about going live that premiere could be a good solution for that, because it’s almost live.
That’s a super point. Absolutely.
That’s been brilliant. Bella, you truly are a digital marketing superhero. Welcome to the club.
Why thank you. Do I get a superhero cape from you?