7 Ways to Build Authentic Two-Way Conversations with Social Media

July 15, 2020 Roxanne Leone 0
Social Media

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By Roxanne Leone, Director Marketing and Communications 

According to the Global Web Index, digital consumers spend an average of two hours and 24 minutes per day on social media networks and messaging applications globally.

 

As companies and brands strive to increase eyeballs on these various platforms, there is also a growing need to become more human. That is, finding a better way to connect with prospects, customers, and partners to build strong and authentic two-way communication. A good way to do that is by building relationships and trust on social media platforms including LinkedIn and Facebook.

1- Understand Your Target Audience

Your social media strategy starts with understanding your audience. What are their wants and needs, how do they wish to interact with you, and how to satisfy their needs in line with the goals of your business? In addition, your strategy should include clear content KPIs. According to Inc., the 80/20 Rule works for some companies but not all. Meaning, an average of 80% of content should inform, educate, and entertain to serve audiences effectively leaving 20% for straight promotion.

2- Track and monitor what you are doing, what is happening in your industry and what has the most traction

Many marketers struggle with social listening and monitoring. To put the challenge in perspective, take time to listen and learn from others in your industry including media and competitors. Choose one or two of your competitors and follow their social channels for a week. React to a handful of posts whether it is a comment, retweet, share, or other. See if they respond and how it made you feel. Now, go back and review the type of content you reacted to. Was it a video, image, link to learn more, or something else?

 

Learn from your own personal experience and begin documenting what your own audience relates to. Be more conversational with the comments you receive. It will help you better manage your reputation, uncover new business opportunities, and help you find more qualified leads.

3- Build a content calendar and make sure it is full of variety

Sure, social media continues to be a valuable platform to stay up to date with current news, but the fastest growing segment is driven by the evolution of social platforms as an entertainment hub. Consumers and B2B buyers crave funny and entertaining content – all audiences are human! So, be sure to include bits of fun, humor and pathos into your content. As you plan out your content calendar, make sure it is consistent with your brand and fits with your website and company blog. Remember, content should inform, entertain, or connect people together. For guidance on how to conduct a content audit, review this blog from HubSpot, How to Run A Content Audit in 2020.

4- Employ video content to increase engagement

Marketers and public relation professionals want to maximize awareness and promotion on social platforms and get the most from their investment. According to Social Media Today, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from the organizations they support. There is clearly never enough video! Review your budget and ensure you have allocated adequate funds to develop new videos and repurpose videos you already have in your content library.

 

From a day-to-day standpoint, assign a team member to respond to comments in a timely manner. When posting remember to ask for reviews or comments on your product or service. Ask pertinent questions and of course, respond to user questions. As part of your overall social media strategy, plan ahead for surveys or polls, share informational or entertaining videos, tag guests, reference other’s content that is educational and purposeful and naturally, show some personality in order to keep the dialogue going.

5- Do not be afraid to engage in 1-to-1 relationships

Social media is about human connections. Adjust your mindset not to market to the masses and the opportunities are endless. To do so successfully, you need to consider various forms of content that will resonate with your audience.

 

From a day-to-day standpoint, assign a team member to respond to comments in a timely manner. When posting remember to ask for reviews or comments on your product or service. Ask pertinent questions and of course, respond to user questions. As part of your overall social media strategy, plan ahead for surveys or polls, share informational or entertaining videos, tag guests, reference other’s content that is educational and purposeful and naturally, show some personality in order to keep the dialogue going.

6- Measuring Success

How to demonstrate success is top of mind for every social media manager. This Forbes article, Social Media: Measuring The ROI, reminds us to take a benchmark of where you are starting, so you can better determine where you want to go. Review website analytics, SEO rankings, acquisition costs, number of followers, customer satisfaction scores and more! Before firming up your social media strategy and setting your KPI’s, ensure that you understand what metrics you are currently tracking. Metrics used to prove ROI include reach, audience engagement, site traffic, leads, sign-ups and conversions, retention, and revenue. To dive deeper into how to show social media ROI, visit the Hootsuite blog.

7- Good social media can be a great crisis management tool

When reviewing your social media strategy, it is good practice to take a glance at your existing crisis communications plan. The better you understand how you are sharing key messages and what are the best methods to communicate the more prepared you’ll be if a real crisis hits. Social media can help manage your crisis or amplify and spread false information like wildfire. For guidance on pulling together a crisis communications plan and ensure all bases are covered, read our blog, “Crisis Management: Every PR and Marketing Professional is a “Crisis Communicator.

 

Social media marketing is so much more than a mass marketing tool. When you take the time to build upon conversations and connect with your clients, prospects and others your business will see tangible results and real benefits. Like all other aspect of PR and marketing, social media is changing all the time. It is imperative that you stay abreast of emerging tools, trends and apps and adjust your processes accordingly. Continuing to build two-way conversations can help you strengthen and expand relationships, trust and community.

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