by Michelle W. Quinn | Featured Contributor
You have a social media following, but how do you engage your followers without obviously selling your product? There are companies who know how to engage their audience on social media, and then there are the one’s who fail miserably. The difference is selling your company’s brand rather than product. You never want to make someone feel forced to buy your product. But, you can make them interested in how your brand stands out among the rest.
1. Create audience participation: Contests with prizes are a great way to compel your audience. Are you a restaurant with a great bar selection? Create an Instagram campaign. Ask your audience to create a name for your newest martini. If you are a clothing store, have your Twitter followers tweet a caption to a picture of an employee decked out in your best apparel. Everyone loves a little competition, and make your audience their own competitors. It creates a fun and memorable atmosphere for your business, without requesting your customer to buy a product.
2. Be Casual: Do not ever seem desperate to sell your product. If you have a special or sale, post about it an appropriate amount of times. Once a day at most. While it is good to remind your customers about your product, desperation is forever a turnoff.
3. Show interest in what your audience has to say: Customers who buy your product have an opinion. Whether it is good or bad, show them that you care. Create a poll, asking your customers for genuine feedback. Respond to Yelp reviews. Communication has been proven to be the main ingredient to success in any relationship, so consider this with your own employee-customer relationship.
4. Be Relevant: What are you posting? Are you posting pictures of your high school trophies, or of something relating to your business? Your audience is following you not because of your personal life, but because of your company’s product. That’s where their interest lies, so make sure that is your post’s priority. If they are disinterested in your social media, they are likely to become disinterested in your product. Understand your audience to create content your followers genuinely enjoy.
5. Create a popular hashtag: And continue to use this hashtag within all your posts. Let your customers know to use this hashtag when they post something which involves your business. It helps audiences follow your content by clicking on the hashtag, and promote your brand throughout the social media community. It isn’t exactly selling your product, but allows your business to avoid disappearing when you aren’t actively posting.
Michelle W. Quinn is the founder of MWQPR a Lifestyle Public Relations & Marketing Agency. A seasoned marketing, public relations and social media professional, she leads highly effective global marketing, communications, strategy and customer advocacy campaigns. She has experience across diverse industries, particularly Luxury, Retail, Technology, Travel, Hospitality, Financial Services and Consumer Goods in both corporate and consulting roles. Michelle has acquired a deep understanding of client profiles and needs from small business owners to the affluent global consumer.
Currently preparing to launch an online program for small business owners to embrace their social media and marketing strategy. Michelle is fluent in Italian and currently studying French. A quick wit, New York sense of directness and superstar Auntie, Michelle also volunteers with Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, supporting their Race Across America Campaign.