Why is Engaging With Your Online Audience so Important?
Engaging with your online audience is critical to the success of your social media platforms, because it offers a direct connection to the clients and viewers who are following you. In today’s online market, reaping a mass following is the main aim for many companies. While posting interesting content is essential, it is only one part of the equation in order to have a successful social media presence. These three tips will help you to understand how to properly engage with an online audience!
1. Take advantage of Direct Message (DM)
Luckily for businesses, most social media platforms have now integrated some form of a private messaging system to talk one-on-one with a specific person. Most users will ask their questions directly onto a specific post, leaving it up to you to decide if you prefer responding in the comments section or suggesting that you move into DM.
Direct messaging is a crucial tool that should be utilized most often when you are answering a specific question or your response is longer than a few words. It allows for the user to feel like they are receiving a personalized response, as well as offers a private space to continue the conversation if the user has more questions.
2. Aim to Respond to All Messages (both good and bad)
Of course, with good messages, it is easy to acknowledge the response and engage enthusiastically with the user. Many businesses, however, simply ignore or even delete bad messages. This is a mistake that should not be made, as negative messages are where you have an opportunity to mend a broken bridge or turn around the customer’s experience with your company. Especially in the context of a more negative message where you would like to open a dialogue with the person who is upset or disappointed by your business, utilizing direct message (as discussed above) is crucial to ensuring the person feels heard.
Simply ignoring bad messages does not make them go away, and it can instead further illustrate the point to the user and your wider audience base that you do not value customer feedback. By aiming to acknowledge and respond to all messages, customers will feel valued by your business, and will be more likely to stay loyal to you!
3. Respond in a Timely Manner
In a 2017 poll done with social media users, 78% of Twitter users expected a response from company accounts within one hour of posting (1). This not only means that users are looking more towards online accounts to express their feelings about a certain company, but that they also expect a very quick answer.
The speed in which you reply to questions, comments, and complaints has become as important as actually answering at all. On Facebook, business profiles now have a post above their star ratings that show how fast businesses respond to messages. A company that has an 80-100% quick response rate sends a better image to prospective clients than seeing, for example, a 66% quick response rate. Again, by responding quickly, it shows your customers that you care about their questions and remarks.
Implementing these simple but key tips should help you grow an online audience that is committed to your brand, making them feel important and valued!
This week’s blog was written by our Marketing Assistant Chloe Gillot, a recent grad of the University of Victoria with a major in English and French, with a minor in Business.