We all know what authentic engagement is. We all know that it is important for our business in the realm of social media. But how does a business or brand “authentically engage” their client base?
Consider how you engage with businesses and brands. What drives you to engage? Did you “like” the post? Did you become a “fan” of a page? Did you read the hyperlinked article? Did you share a photo? Did you retweet? Did you hashtag the business?
Here are just a few ideas to authentically engage your audience and organically begin to increase your client base.
User Generated Content
Solicit your audience to post photographs of themselves on their Facebook page (tagging you) using your product in an interesting way or in the most interesting place. You can also request short videos of people using your products as well.
Think “Where’s Waldo?” or the Travelocity Gnome or “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” The more participation and the more your business is tagged in photographs, the more your client base will organically grow.
Request Guest Posts
Consider requesting guest posts from your client base. You may gain new followers simply by having some new voices on your blog. Cross-market the blog posts, hashtagging the guest writer and hyperlinking to the blog post on all your social media networks. Send out “hints” and “Guess Who’s the Guest” teasers on social media, eblasts, and email signatures. Friends of the guest writers will see the posts that their friends have been tagged in, will want to read the posts, and thus, your business is organically brought to the forefront.
Instagram and Hashtag with Real Time Engagement
It isn’t always about business. It’s about getting personal and being truly social in real time. Find creative ways to mix business with pleasure, and you will become memorable to your client base.
If you are going to a trade show, send out teasers that you will be there and what city you will be in. Ask questions about the city itself. Where’s the best food truck in Austin? Where is the World’s Best Cup of Coffee in NYC? What is a must-see in Salisbury, North Carolina?
While you are at the tradeshow itself, hashtag yourself in statuses and in photos (Facebook or Instagram or other social media you use), and take lots of pictures at the event with people and hashtag or tag EVERYONE in these photos. You will then appear on your social media networks, but on others’ as well.
What if it wasn’t just about business? What if you were simply going to a concert? What if your client base was going too? Engage your client base to take real time photos and encourage them to tag you.
Or, on Sundays, send out statuses and tweets about watching football and have your client base tag you in photos of them watching games. You know those Facebook pictures that everyone takes of their feet near the ocean? What if you encouraged people to take those photos, only it was of their feet and the football game?
Make social media engagement fun. Be memorable. Be creative. Get results.
Use content to drive engagement.