You’ve put the effort in to building a large following, you’ve grown your digital presence, now how do you get your audience engaged with your pet brand? The principles behind creating a social presence that will get noticed are the same regardless of your marketing budget.
Before you overhaul your social strategy, hone in on your core audience and set SMART goals for your social media efforts. Read more about SMART goals in an earlier blog post.
Social media engagement can build profound brand loyalty. Being responsive and helpful is key to an overall positive brand experience. Engagement on social media is a marker of how likeable and relatable your pet brand is.
Negative comments can be a positive for your business
Negative feedback is an inevitable part of business. Despite your team’s best efforts, you will have customers who aren’t happy. Responding promptly and transparently on social media can boost your brand’s esteem and trust with other customers.
The Steps to Building Social Engagement
1. Be Human
The balance between being genuine and authentic while still being professional and appropriate can be a hard one to strike. Don’t be afraid to be relaxed in your communication; you want to connect directly with your audience, not sound like a polished commercial.
At the same time, never forget you are representing your brand. Your posts, tone, and philosophy should be a seamless extension of the brand. Anything discordant will stand out as awkward and inauthentic. Ensure anyone posting from your company follows the same guidelines.
2. Ask Questions
The fastest way to engage anyone in a conversation (IRL or digital) is to ask them questions. Get your audience to share what’s important to them and what challenges they face. Of course, you need the right questions!
People like to think things through. They want to read what other people think. Get them engaged by asking what they think about timely topics. Pose questions that encourage people to weigh in with their opinion.
Join Q&A sessions within your industry or host your own. Foster real-time conversations to build authentic engagement.
3. Test Knowledge
People can’t help but weigh in when you’re testing their knowledge about a subject they care about. Pet owners, for example, will be eager to share breed info and facts. Polls and quizzes can be great, quick ways to drive engagement.
4. Keep the Social in Social Media
1,000 followers that regularly engage with your posts will do more for your business than 10,000 followers who never interact. The quality of the relationship will determine the impact on your sales. Particularly in the pet industry, your customers need to know who you are and what you stand for before they want to do business with you.
5. Post Consistently
It’s hard enough keeping up with our friends and family if we only hear from them occasionally. A brand that posts infrequently will not build a strong following or an engaged audience. Build a schedule and stick to it. A schedule helps you plan, ensuring you have the assets you need to make impactful posts.
6. Be Helpful
Although your social media strategy is ultimately to boost sales, your presence needs to be about helping your customers. Find out their pain points and solve them. Learn what information they want and provide it. Become a resource for how they care for their pet, beyond the use of your product.
7. Create Great Content
You’re competing with an infinite number of posts. Make sure your content is something that people want to see. Post excellent photos and videos. Post relevant content. Post regular content! Talk about your topic, not just your brand. Bring valuable content, teach your audience something new about a subject they care about.
8. Be Consistent
If your brand image has always included inspirational posts and messages, pivoting to comedic posts will disengage your audience. Review your previous posts and campaigns; what gained the most traction? Build on the material that resonates with your audience.
9. Respond to ALL Comments
Positive or negative, everyone who takes the time to comment on your posts deserves a response. You can’t build engagement with one-way communication. A comment from a customer is an opportunity to develop deeper relationships.
10. Grab your reader’s attention
Use short keywords at the start of your posts. Starting with “contest alert” will encourage people to keep reading! Finish all your posts with a clear CTA (call to action). What do you want your audience to do next? Keep the engagement going!
The team at StreetDog Marketing can help you build a social media strategy that will drive your business and create an engaged audience. Talk to us today about how we can help take your brand to the next level.