If social media were a person, it would be a preteen, so the rules that govern its virtual communities are works in progress.  A method that works one year may not be as effective the following year.  However, there are ways that you can always engage your followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites where your brand has a presence. 

Here are seven tips for getting your fans interested and active on your social media pages:

Post photos of networking events that you attend, charity events that you initiate, and celebrations. 

Make sure that the pictures are professional in nature, and always ask permission from people in the photo.  Instagram is an ideal platform for your business if you're going to post a lot of photos.  Better yet, link your business's Instagram app to your Facebook and Twitter profiles, and the photos that you post will appear on all three platforms.

Encourage your readers to submit videos or posts for your blog.

According to socialmediaexaminer.com, Tourism Australia launched a campaign asking fans to post photos to Instagram with the hashtag #SeeAustralia a couple of years ago. Today, fans still post more than 1,000 photos per day. This marketing strategy could be extended to other social media apps and mediums, like video. 

Post links that are relevant. 

Whether you're posting original content for your brand or you're sharing someone else's articles, the content should be related to your product or service.  For original content, include a call to action to visit your website at the end of the article.

Post a poll to get a sense of what your fans want to see. 

There are lots of benefits to asking questions of your audience. Facebook polls:

  • Are easy to share

  • Quickly provide you tips and insights from your fans

  • Give your followers the opportunity to talk with each other

  • Can provide you ideas for future products and projects

Provide outstanding customer service.

If customers complain about your business via social media, it's not always enough to tell them to call you or direct them to a Frequently Asked Questions page.  Follow the golden rules of customer service:

  • Listen

  • Thank the customer for bringing the matter to your attention

  • Apologize sincerely without making excuses

  • Work with the customer to determine a solution

  • Act quickly

  • Follow up

Create a newsletter and invite your followers to sign up for it.

Give your readers an incentive to sign up for the newsletter, such as:

  • A free e-book

  • Exclusive deals

  • Advanced information

You can then use your mailing list to launch campaigns via social media.  Your mailing list will grow because subscribers who are interested in your material will share information with their networks.

Offer free webinars or promote contests for free products. 

Ask your readers to comment on your post with their answers to a question so they can get entered into a raffle for the prize.  Alternatively, you can ask your fans to share your post in order to receive a link to a free upcoming webinar.  Everyone likes free stuff.  Publishing an informative post with an easy way for your readers to get free services is a win-win situation.

 

Even though the landscape of social media marketing will change from time to time, some approaches to engaging your fans will never go out of style.  Be receptive to your customers, offer incentives, solicit feedback regularly, and post quality content.  If you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to keeping your audience actively involved in the conversation.