Community Engagement on Social Media
Marketing in the world of social media is unique in comparison to more traditional methods because of the way that you can connect with your customers and fans. Not only can you interact with them, they can also communicate with you and the wider community to express their thoughts and give feedback, whether positive or negative. Considering this, it is important to take an active approach to community engagement and manage your engagement with your audience in a way that keeps them interested and invested in your brand, as well as that resolves any negative experiences they may have had.
Comments and direct messages
Responding to comments and checking your DMs is the simplest way to show your audience that you care and are grateful for their support! Did someone post a glowing review about their fantastic experience at your cafe? Leave a message of thanks! Conversely, you can also use your comments and DMs to investigate customer complaints or even just to answer customer queries. It might even helpful here to come up with canned responses for commonly asked questions. In fact, Facebook and Instagram even have automated responses for these questions that you can set up. Be aware that there are often multiple folders for Direct Messages, so make sure go through all of them. When interacting through comments and direct messages, make sure that you keep in line with your brand image and voice. Thought you might personally be responding, the tone you take contributes to building your brand’s presence and persona.
However, it’s not just answering comments that appear on your profile. On Instagram, you should also be finding profiles that fit your target audience to follow, like and leave comments. This is important has it increases your reach on social media, spreading more awareness about your brand to people who are likely to be interested!
The timeliness of how you respond to comments and DMs is also important here, as it directly works with Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms to determine your future reach to audiences. The quicker you are to respond, the more likely that the social media platform will see you as an ‘active’ profile and the more likely they are to show your upcoming posts to your followers.
Create a hashtag
Another way to build a community around your brand is to introduce a common hashtag that your fans can use when visiting your venue or enjoying your products. It might be something as simple as the name of you #restaurant, or perhaps a funny pun associated with your brand name. You could even have multiple hashtags! For example, #yourbrand, #yoursignatureproduct and a more distinctive, #community hashtag that your audience can more easily link to your brand. Whatever it is, a hashtag for your brand will help in gathering all the content related to your brand in one place for potential customers to discover, give your fans a sense of community and to make it easier when sourcing User-Generated Content to repost on your own social media!
Facebook groups dedicated to specific interested are also a great way to get to know your customer-base and target audience, as well as spread more awareness about your brand. For example, if you operate a vegan cafe, it’d be a great idea to join or even create a vegan-focused Facebook group where you can participate in conversations about ideas for vegan recipes, tips for leading a vegan lifestyle and share your vegan dishes.
Remember to check your Tagged Photos/ Stories, Mentions, Shares and Geotags
Tagged photos, mentions, shares and geotags can sometimes be forgotten as they are mostly actioned without your knowledge by your followers. However, it is important to check these and interact with them by reposting and leaving likes and comments of appreciation so that your fans feel like they matter to you.