How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage

November 21st, 2018
Liz Hoscheid
Liz HoscheidSr. Digital Marketing Manager

Social media can be overwhelming to use. New channels seem to come out every day, each with its own landscape and subculture. While many brands focus on the number of posts they make each day, a more important number is how much engagement each of those posts generates.

Your current and prospective customers’ attention is what matters in the end, and it can be seen through engagement. Not sure where to start? The strategies below can help you keep your customers engaged and keep your MSP business at the top of their minds:

Identify the Channels Your Customers Use

The best social media content on the planet is not going to get quality engagement if it’s on the wrong platform. Make sure that you have a presence on the platforms that your audience uses most. For business to business, this means LinkedIn, SlideShare and Quora. Instagram and SnapChat are the places to be if your customers lean toward the younger end of the spectrum. Still other cohorts are likely to be found on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

beachside customer

Check Out Your Competitors

When you are researching where your customers can be found and what they are doing there, don’t forget one invaluable resource: your competitors’ social media. Carefully study what they do that gets them lots of likes, follows and interactions. Do they do a daily question that gets lots of replies? Which of their hashtags seem to draw the highest numbers of likes and comments? Did they post a contest that you wish you’d thought of first?

By carefully noting what gets engagement and what falls flat, you can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Adapt the winning strategies and give them your own unique twist.

Promote the Things That Make Your Customers Happy

Remember, social media should be social. Your feed shouldn’t be all about you and what you want people to get excited about. Instead, focus on the things that your customers want from your brand.

Plan to promote special offers, company news that impacts your customers and blog posts full of information your customers can use. When customers find your brand’s online presence entertaining and valuable, they are more likely to check in with you often and engage with your brand.

using social media

Put the Spotlight on Them

One of the most effective things that you can do to increase your engagement is to point attention away from your products and toward the people who love and use them. Acknowledge the great followers you have by making them the center of attention.

Contests are one great way to get people to engage with your brand. Photo upload competitions, where users and their friends vote for the picture they love best, encourage people not just to contribute content, but also to share posts about your brand. You can also increase engagement with caption contests or personal stories.

Let Your Brand’s Personality Shine

There was a time when communications from businesses were laden with a certain level of formality. However, younger consumers are less likely to find a formal tone engaging. A more casual approach feels more authentic. It’s not just okay to have a personality; it’s expected.

Let the way that you communicate on each channel match the platform’s general tone. You can be a little more reserved when communicating on a platform like LinkedIn or Twitter. The approach on a channel like Instagram or SnapChat, however, should be far more relaxed. Use slang if it fits your company voice. Add hashtags when appropriate. Don’t be afraid to express opinions or to have a little fun with what you post.

Go for Emotion

Maya Angelou once said that people forget what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel. When you provoke some sort of emotional response in your readers, you are more likely to make them want to interact with the content that you share.

Post relatable jokes or cartoons to bring out a smile (and hopefully a share or comment). Share heartwarming stories of generosity that evoke the sort of world you want to live in. Even sharing a story about a frustrating problem you helped solve for one of your customers can pique your readers’ curiosity and make them want to share their own stories with you.

Create Traction

Social media works best when you can generate back-and-forth interactions with the people who follow your brand. Make notes of what works and be consistent to get the best level of engagement. Over time, you will find that good engagement on social media means a stronger relationship with your products and your brand.