5 social media tactics to expand and engage your audience

User-generated content, influencer marketing and online polls can attract new followers and keep your brand faithful coming back for more.

Social media branding tips

Social media can help you enhance your organization’s messaging reach and interactions with target audiences.

Unfortunately, many PR and marketing professionals don’t harness the full power of social media to increase audience engagement. They generally they can’t seem to develop their brand on social media networks to generate leads that convert.

Consider learning from—and using—these approaches:

1. Sharing user-generated content.

User-generated content (UGC) is great for engaging your audiences. It helps build credibility and trust, which consumers look for when engaging with a brand.

People trust user-generated content above all others. The latest UGC statistics show that 93% of consumers find user-generated content helpful when making a purchase decision, and 84% of millennials say user-generated content influences what they buy.

Are you encouraging your target audience to create this type of content? Are you using this strategy to its full potential? Brands can encourage people to submit photos, videos or testimonials with rewards and contests. Brands can also uncover user-generated content with a social media monitoring tool.

Marketo once used banner ads featuring an interesting cartoon that an Instagram follower had created. The company continues to engage its audience with UGC.

Buffer named its UGC audience BufferCommunity and shares many interesting creations that help expand its reach. Buffer grew its Instagram account by 400% in one year after implementing user-generated content in its social media strategy.

2. Resharing content multiple times.

Many marketers mistakenly think resharing blog posts or videos multiple times will only annoy followers. Resharing your content can produce great benefits; just don’t overdo it.

Create a different description for a piece of content you’re resharing to increase the chances that people will interact with it. Perhaps they didn’t notice it the first time you shared it, so you have a chance to engage them with a new hook.

Along with the link to your post, you might ask a question relevant to the post, share a quote from it, cite an interesting fact, or mention a real-life example to add intrigue.

You can follow the example of AdEspresso, which frequently reshares posts, but with new captions to gain more engagement on Instagram.

3. Creating polls to gather feedback.

How you interact with your social media followers can make or break your brand. To communicate effectively and drive engagement, you have to get to know them better.

What are you doing to learn more about your audience? You may be doing lots of traditional research, but have you thought about using social media polls? Many world-renowned brands use them to provide invaluable feedback.

Starbucks, a few years ago, created a Twitter poll asking its followers to say what the first sip of a chai latte feels like.

That was a cool tactic to promote a new product, and it’s an excellent way to test slogans. Most important, polls elicit candid, free feedback that can strengthen a brand. 

4. Collaborating with social media influencers.

More and more companies tap into social media influencers huge audiences and significantly expand their brand reach.

Influencers know how to engage people and spark interest in what they have to say. They know how to connect with them emotionally and influence their buying decisions.

Find the right influencers for your brand—those whose niche aligns with yours and who can help you drive engagement and traffic. A social media monitoring and measurement service can reveal influencers with strong engagement levels in your niche.

Look at how competitors employ influencer marketing, and identify specific ways you can stand out. Refrain from copying them; it’s all about being distinctive, after all. 

5. Providing social media training.

When did you last train your social media managers (SMMs)? Have you ever? If you haven’t, or can’t remember when your SMMs last brushed up their skills, it’s time for a change.

Promoting your business on social media may seem straightforward, but there are lots of bits and pieces to put together for the best outcome. The most successful brands use plenty of tools to tweak their social media activity, but they also frequently train and retrain their social media managers. You might also train other selected employees to work as brand ambassadors.

Use employee training software and create online courses to help your SMMs and employees hone their skills. Include content for keeping them up to date with the latest social media trends and all the tricks to enhance social media engagement.

A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.


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