7 Sept 2011

Saying "I Do" to Social Media Marketing Engagement

In every human relationship there is a courtship phase. We meet, we Google each other, and then we date.

Time passes, and before you know it, we’ve fallen in love and we’re skipping through poppy fields. Well, okay, maybe not poppy fields - but clearly, we’ve fallen for each other.

We learn all the things Google couldn’t tell us, and figure out how to communicate with each other most effectively.
Next thing you know, one of us is popping the question - know, I read too many romance novels!

Social media marketing works in much the same way. You go online and find interesting content on one of the social media channels that you frequent. After a while, you realize that you really enjoy what they have to offer. So you “like,” “friend” or otherwise engage with the content producer.

Soon, you’re commenting on posts and retweeting content. Which, in most cases, will cause the content producer to get down on one knee and propose. The question is, will you say “I do?”

If you’re the one popping the question, what steps do you need to take to ensure that your relationship works out and lasts a lifetime?

Each day, billions of social media messages are posted around the globe. Getting your target audience to pay attention to what you have to say is a real challenge. Producing lots of content—even if it’s great—isn’t enough anymore. In order to have a true relationship, there has to be some give and take. As the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango.”

So what is social media marketing anyway?
It’s making the decision to actively interact with your target audience—and then following through. You can measure your engagement using Website visits, clicks, re-tweets, conversations joined and comments. You can even find out if people trust your business and feel connected to it.

Here are four ways to ensure that your social media marketing engagement is a smashing success:

1. Inspire and Inquire
Your audience wants you to offer them value and information about your brand. Go a step further and offer answers to questions, reply to comments, thank them for sharing your content with their communities and, if they offer up relevant content, share and retweet their stuff too.

2. Reach Beyond Your Target
Find relevant trends and keywords that will enable you to start conversations with new audiences. Search Twitter is a great tool that lets you comb through droves of interesting tweets in real time. And you can use Google Alerts to set up e-mail updates based on your choice of query or topic.

3. Monitor & Listen
Did you hear that? If not, you just missed an opportunity to engage. What is your audience talking about? How do they like to be talked to? Are they asking relevant questions? Are they talking about your brand? Both positive and negative sentiments need to be heard and responded to in a timely manner. And you should be gauging what’s going on with your competitors and industry, too. Hearing these conversations, lets you jump in and engage without being intrusive. After all, listening begets conversation and conversation begets opportunity.

4. Create a Genuine Relationship
Building a real relationship is one of the main purposes of social media. As it is in every relationship, people want to be recognized and validated. To create a genuine relationship online, use personalization and as much one-on-one connection as possible. It’s as easy as replying with a "@iVisitorGuide" thank you for your comment.”

Creating a social media marketing engagement plan that you consistently implement is the key to keeping your audience engaged. Keep your content fresh and valuable. And hold true to your brand. Get your audience to say "I do" and then make every effort to keep the love alive. After all, love comes naturally, but relationships take work.

You  may now kiss the bride.

Article source: The Kern Organisation