October 10, 2013

Ask Rignite: How to Drastically Increase Your Social Engagement

How To Get Your Social Media Community BuzzingHere at Rignite, we have a department dedicated to answering your questions. We call this department ‘Glen.’ Ha! I’m kidding – our entire team is all hands on deck, working together to provide the best possible answer to each of the social media questions we get from fans and clients. Today, for the first time, we’re sharing some of these questions (and the answers, of course) with you. So, without further ado, let’s dive in:

Question: “I’ve grown a bunch of followers on my company’s social media site, but don’t know what do to next. What can I do to get my followers active?” – John Wentworth

First things first – Good job on attracting all those followers! Now, you have a big room full of silent people – but that’s way better than a big room full of no one. In order to get them interacting, you just need to nudge them a little (or a lot, as the case may be). Here are some ways you can get them engaging:

1. Stay Active Yourself – Followers won’t stay if there’s nothing going on, so make sure to keep a regular schedule of interesting and relative content posts for yourself.
2. Be the You That Your Audience Expects – When you post, use a tone that aligns with your audience. You do have to keep your business in mind, of course, but try to speak with your audience instead of at them.
3. Don’t Sell to Them (much) – Engage your followers with content that is useful/fun for them. Find 3rd party content that is relevant to your business and post that. Always include a picture or video with your posts, as well as a link to the information source and a credit/tag to the author so that your posts stand out.

Rignite Insight: Did you notice the ‘much’ above? That’s because you do want to sell to your audience sometimes. After all, you built the community for a reason! We recommend an 80/20% ratio of non-promotional to promotional material.

4. Question a Lot of Things – Questioning everything is a bit much, but asking questions that makes your audience stop and think is a great way to create activity. You can go a step further and use your community to help with the decision making on a new product – they’re a virtual focus group that doesn’t expect pizza from you.
5. Answer Everything – Unlike questioning, you should try to respond to everyone quickly and respectfully (more on this in a bit). Make sure to like/retweet positive comments too!
6. You can buy attention – Used responsibly, sponsoring posts is a great way to reach a larger audience. You can spend anywhere from five to several hundred dollars, depending on how many people you want to reach.

Question: Should I be replying to every comment on Facebook and Twitter? – Claire Fallon

For the most part, yes, you have to stay as active as your customers on social media. Remember what your mother—or, these days, your grandmother—taught you about always writing a thank you note? The simple truth is, if they took the time to write, so should you.

Start with the negative stuff. Not because you don’t like to, but rather to keep any unhappiness from spreading. Remember these tips when responding to negative comments:

  • Respond promptly
  • Apologize for the inconvenience
  • Rectify the situation, or give them an email or phone number for an offline customer service representative (do this when you can’t resolve something in a sentence or two; full-blown conversations are usually TMI for everyone else!)

If you can’t resolve the issue and the complaints continue, it’s ok to disengage from the conversation. Unfortunately, not everyone can be made happy, and that’s ok. Some people are just taking out their aggressions, and it’s not your fault.

Also, be wary of trolls. Trolls are people who enjoy antagonizing companies, and they will keep on going—like the Energizer bunny—until you stop responding. If something is beyond negative—if it looks like spam, or is really hateful or inappropriate—you can hide, delete or mark the post as spam.

Rignite Insight: It’s not always clear when you’ve got a troll or a genuinely (very!) unhappy customer. If you’re at all in doubt, respond—at least until you’ve tried two or three times to solve the issue.

With positive comments, it’s just as important to respond, but here it’s a lot more fun. Like, retweet, repeat. If a positive comment is particularly good, take the time to give it a written response. You can also “favorite” an especially complementary post.

Does monitoring and responding to all of this seem rather overwhelming? This is where social media management tools like Rignite can make your life easier. And, as always, we’re here to answer whatever questions you may have.

Now it’s your turn. What are your social media questions? We’ll answer them in future “Ask Rignite” posts.

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About the Author
Glen Kosaka

Glen Kosaka is the CEO and Founder of Rignite. He’s the guiding force behind Rignite’s mission to help businesses grow through social media.

  • Slapshot Studio

    Thanks for sharing this article. This really breaks down steps that are known for many, but often not practiced. It was a nice clarification and refresher…

    • Glen Kosaka

      Glad you liked it! Let us know if you have any questions you’d like us to answer in future posts.

      • Slapshot Studio

        Thank you… I do have one question… It’s rather easy to identify users within a specific niche, but what is the best way to identify possible customers searching for your product?

        • Glen Kosaka

          Great question! We have a blog post that talks about how to cut through the noise when monitoring social media to get to the people you want. It’s all about using advanced filters to find those people who are expressing some intent or need for your service or product type.
          Hopefully that’ll help, but I think your question would be a great one for a future Ask Rignite! What is the product/service you are hoping to find people looking for?

          • Slapshot Studio

            Oh thank you… that’s awesome… I customize wordpress themes and help market them with SEO and video…thanks again!