Getting started with social media marketing is easy. But getting actual engagement from your social media audience is sometimes surprisingly difficult. All kinds of law firms, medical practices, and other businesses break into social media with high hopes. And a whole lot of them end up disappointed that, despite the effort they put into it, their audiences just aren’t biting.
You can blame it on “bad luck” or the whims of an online audience, but that may not be the only thing that’s holding you back from social media domination.
In most cases, getting better social media engagement is really about giving your audience a better look into who you are and what you do—and here are our 5 easiest ways to do just that.
1. Participate in #ThrowbackThursday
Each Thursday, people all over the world, on all kinds of platforms, post old photos alongside little stories from their lives with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT. Some are sweetly nostalgic. Some are funny. Some are even serious. But it’s something that a lot of people enjoy, and it’s something that’s really easy for businesses to participate in, too.
First, find a photo from the past that you’d like to share. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- A photo from when you first opened your business or moved to your current office
- A photo from when you were still in law school or medical school
- A photo of a longtime staff member when they were first hired
- A photo of you or another staff member growing up in the local community
Once you’ve chosen a photo, share it to your favorite social media platform with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT. Don’t forget to include a short description of the photo and what that memory means to you!
If you love this idea, you might also explore other popular and participatory hashtags, like #MotivationMonday or #TuesdayTrivia. There are a ton out there that might be a good fit for the personality of your business!
These kinds of posts tend to get a lot of engagement because they bring in a bit of familiar social media fun, and they also give people insight into who you and your team really are. Ultimately, that personalizes your business and helps people make a stronger connection with you and your team.
2. Go live!
Lots of social media platforms now make it easy to do a live broadcast, so give it a try! There are lots of topics you can cover in a livestream that are compelling to your audience and likely to kick up some good engagement.
For example, you might give an educational talk about boating safety at the start of the summer or fireworks safety around the Fourth of July. You might start a Q&A session about estate planning issues for the children of older adults. You might use a model or prop to show how running affects the foot. You might even explain a breaking news story that relates to your business or affects your clients. The possibilities are nearly endless!
The coolest part is that most platforms also allow your audience to comment in real-time while you’re live. You can respond to their burning questions as soon as they ask, and they get a better idea of what to expect if they come to your business for help with their problems. It’s really a great way to “break the ice” AND educate your potential clients as you do it.
Just make sure that you promote your livestream ahead of time and let people know when to tune in. And be sure to have all your technical issues worked out before you go live! While people are fairly forgiving of some minor “technical difficulties,” you don’t want unexpected issues to totally get in the way of what you have to say.
3. Talk about your team.
People don’t want to work with faceless businesses. They want to work with people that they like. So, don’t hide the people that keep your business running every day. Instead, show everyone who they are and what makes them great!
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Post a photo and a nice blurb about your staff on their birthdays or the anniversary of their hiring dates. Show photos from team outings, charity events, or even just lunch at the office. Share their victories and celebrations, like completing a 10k run or the graduation of one of their kids.
Just like #ThrowbackThursday, these are little things that humanize your business and show off the people that make it tick. It shows that you’re more than a logo and a phone number—you’re a team of real people with real lives that are ready to help the real people that need you.
4. Tag someone!
Social media is awesome because it lets you connect with people. So, don’t overlook one of the simplest ways to connect with someone else. Tag them!
Most social media platforms give you an option to “tag” another user. For example, on Facebook, you can type “@” followed by the person’s username (or choose their username from a dropdown list) to create a tag to their profile or page. Depending on the settings they use, it may also send them a notification that they’ve been mentioned in a post.
This is really easy to do, and it’s really easy to incorporate it into the kinds of posts you’re probably already making. Look for the user tags in the following examples:
- “Thanks to @MayorBobSmith for being part of our Bike Safety Panel last night!”
- “Great post from @JaneInfluencer about filing insurance claims after a hurricane. Her list of common mistakes is spot on!”
- “We have partnered with @CharitableOrganization to create a relief fund for those in need.”
- “Come to our workshop and enjoy lunch provided by @LocalPizzaPlace!”
Don’t be annoying with this, though. You don’t want to tag everyone you know on a generic post that doesn’t specifically relate to them. And you don’t want to randomly tag people without a good reason. If you use your common sense and tag people respectfully, though, you give yourself a perfect chance to connect with others, show your local roots, and engage a much wider audience.
5. Highlight client successes.
We talked above about how people like to work with people they like. Well, people also like to work with people that have already helped other people like them. So, tell your clients’ stories—or let your clients tell their own stories in their own words.
People love stories about real people because they are compelling and memorable. And happy clients always give more insight into what your business looks like at its very best!
So, if you get a great written or video testimonial for your business from a happy client, share it. If you’ve added a new case story to your website, make a post pointing people to it. Your social media audience will appreciate hearing the stories of real people that you’ve worked with, and it helps them really imagine what it would be like to be in the shoes of the client you helped.
If they run into a similar problem in their own lives, they’ll remember you and the stories of your clients. And that means that they’ll be that much more likely to make your business their first call when they need you.
Before We Go, A Word of Warning About Social Media Marketing…
The tips we talked about above DO work, but nothing about social media marketing is guaranteed. And, if you don’t already have a strong foundation for your social media strategy, you won’t get very far—no matter how creative or interesting a single post is.
In the end, a bad social media strategy can hurt your image more than help it. So don’t let that happen to you.
If you know that you don’t have the time to devote to a frequent and consistent posting schedule, don’t get involved in social media. If you know that you can’t consistently create social media content that is fresh, new, and engaging, don’t get involved in social media. If you know that you can’t monitor your social media accounts or respond to comments, just don’t do it. Or, at least, don’t do it all on your own.
However, there are huge benefits to be won from social media involvement as a business—and you’re not on your own if you don’t want to be.
Want to get more likes, comments, and shares? We’re here to help you make it happen. Get started with a free marketing report card, and let’s talk about what will make your social media dreams come true.