Unless you’re stuck in 1984, your business is likely on at least one social media platform. What’s your number one social priority? Probably growing your audience and generating organic engagement.
Most people you encounter online are actual humans (unless you run into a bot), so having an actual conversation isn’t impossible, just a challenge. But what if you’re really struggling to engage with your audience on your channels? What if the screen between you and your customer is preventing you from having a genuine interaction? What if you just don’t know the right thing to say?
Take these 10 tips and use them to break the ice.
1. Be Relevant
Talk about industry-specific topics with your followers. At HIPB2B, we run the LinkedIn group Demand Generation and Content Marketing Group, where we share our own B2B marketing blog posts, as well as content we curate to share with our followers. This engages our followers with content they’re genuinely interested in and could make use of.
2. Ask a Question
The best way to engage anyone, but especially your followers, is by simply asking them questions about themselves or their opinion. Try some of these questions to break the ice:
- What is your favorite social media platform?
- Tell me what your business is in 5 words or less.
- What are your favorite business tools?
- What’s the hardest thing about being a [marketer, designer, copywriter]?
- How much time per week do you spend on social media?
- What is your favorite blog?
- What do you love about your current [SEO strategy, software, email platform]?
3. Discuss Recent Industry News
By getting topical with industry news, you can engage your followers with current events and maybe even get a new viewpoint. Try sources like MarketingWeek or AdWeek to stay updated on the most up to date news and interesting stats to discuss.
4. Reach Out to New Followers
If and when someone new likes your page or joins your group, send them a gentle message thanking them for the follow and asking how you can help them. Doing this can increase engagement and humanize your brand.
5. Actively Participate in Conversations
When you share an engaging post on your platforms, your followers may initiate a conversation with each other in the comments. You should jump into the conversation and actively participate with your followers to keep the conversation going.
6. Strike Up Conversations with Your Industry’s Thought Leaders
Instead of waiting for your followers to interact on your posts, try reaching out to the thought leaders in your industry. You might be able to strike up a conversation with them and learning a thing or two, or even build a strong connection.
7. Read and Comment on Other Blogs and Forums
Be sure to read other blogs and forums and chime in with your views and opinions. By doing this, you can get a conversation going with other followers about the topic and maybe even invite them to check out your own blog.
8. Run a Quiz or Poll
Quick quizzes or polls are an easy way to connect with your followers. People love expressing their opinions and quizzes/polls give them a platform to do so. Instagram has a great feature for their Stories where you can easily run a quiz or a poll.
9. Start a Debate
Debates are like a segue from running a poll. They’re a great way to spark conversation on social media. Whether it’s about a recent industry news story or just “Instagram versus Facebook,” you’ll be sure to engage your followers and explore multiple sides of the debate.
10. When all else fails, engage with broader questions like:
- What is your favorite, local small business, and why?
- What is your most productive time of day?
- Do you read your emails every day?
- What was the last great movie or TV show you watched?
- How many hours a week do you tend to work?
Like we said before, everyone likes to talk about themselves, whether in a professional or personal setting. Engage your followers with easy, broad questions about what makes them tick or how their day is run.
What happens after you finally connect with someone?
Nurture, nurture, nurture. Continue to engage the follower you’ve connected with, in the form of messages or commenting on their own posts. Simply ask how their day is going or ask if they have a project that you can help with.
Conversations on social media allow you to build and nurture relationships with your followers. And by doing this, you can generate business by word-of-mouth from your followers which only benefits you. Be sure to share relevant content and to keep the conversation going so you can build stronger relationships with your followers.
- How do you prefer to engage with your followers?
- How do you keep the conversation going?
- What else should we include on our list of tips?