Content was king. I dethroned him. I snuck up behind him when he wasn’t looking and installed Engagement in his place.
As marketers, we’d fallen under the spell of the Content King. He’d told us to worship him and no one else. He’d tried to hide engagement from us with his immense size.
We kept making more blog posts, longer blog posts, more videos, more images, more social media posts, we fed the King. We flirted with Engagement occasionally but the Content King became so big he kept getting in the way.
Today we put that right. Today we crown Engagement the new online Monarch. Will you join me for the coronation?
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Why should we crown Engagement?
Before you take on the King, is it worth it? What’s the point of an engagement strategy?
When social media was fresh and new engagement ruled. We understood that this was a place to build relationships.
But as we put our marketing hats on content pushed engagement aside. It was a mistake. Yes we need content but in many ways relationship building is more important.
Engagement helps us:
- Find our customers and understand their needs
- Find people who will refer our business to others
- Build trust with our audience so they feel secure enough to buy from us
Without engagement we must work harder and spend more money to attain these results.Build strong relationships and you build trust. When your audience trust you they’ll buy from you, recommend you and talk about you favourably. Click To Tweet
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Find your audience
Engagement thrives when you find the right people. How do you find them?
Start by defining your ideal customer or customers. Here’s a quick guide to creating a customer persona.
Now you know who you are looking for start looking.
Look for people who are having conversations about the topics your audience is interested in.
FollowerWonk is a tool that searches Twitter bios for keywords. You can filter the results by followers or influence.
Once you find people look at who they are having conversations with and who they follow.
Use Twitter Search
Search keywords and phrases that you know your customers will talk about on Twitter. Who is talking about these topics? Who are they talking to? Who do they follow?
These people could be your ideal audience. Find the ones that fit best so you can follow and chat to them.
Search for locations where your customers might hang out. Who is posting content there? Who are they talking to in the comments?
Search for the hashtags your customers are likely to use and follow them so you can respond in the feed.
Join the groups that your customers will be members of.
Search for people and content related to topics and hashtags that will interest your customer.
2. Find conversations
The Engagement Monarch loves conversation. The more we have the closer she comes to taking the throne.
You’ve found your people, now all you need to do is to talk. Sroll through your feeds and find the conversations.
What are they talking about? How can you become a part of those conversations?
Ideally, you’ll be chatting about topics that will have relevance to the problems you solve for your audience. But even the simplest conversations can build relationships. A chat about the weather is often the beginning of a valuable relationship.
3. Start conversations
We can’t eliminate the King completely. You need him to spark your own conversations.
By using Polls on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you can get our audience talking. By posting questions relevant to your audience you can start conversations that help you build relationships.
What should you ask?
If you want people to respond to you, make the questions easy to answer.
Start a list of topics people are already talking about online. What conversations are they having in groups on Facebook? What are they saying on Reddit and Quora?
Now you have a list craft your questions.
I find a winning formula for getting responses is:
Here’s an example from my LinkedIn account:
4. Always respond
If your audience is talking to you celebrate them. It’s easy to click a like button or reply with an emoji but if you craft a good response, you’ll make your audience feel valued and they’ll be happy to talk about you more.
I talked to Sarah Clay about this in my recent podcast episode about Monzo. Listen to that here.
So what becomes of the Content King now Engagement has taken over? He’s still important, we still need him but he needs to go on a diet so we can start working with Engagement. So we can build those valuable relationships that will lead to better business results.
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