You manage a company with products or services targeting the diverse foreign community in Japan. You want to use your social media (SNS) accounts to raise the profile of your brand to these customers. Gaining the attention of bilingual and multilingual Japanese customers would be a bonus. You open the accounts and start posting, but the follower numbers level after peaking at a few dozen in the first days after launch. And those few dozen are mostly your employees…
In other words, you know you need to kickstart your social media branding. But how?
Before you open up an analytics dashboard and start generating charts, remind yourself of the one metric that always raises the bars of buzz and brand exposure. It’s called engagement, and it can boost your brand and business by as much as 300% or more.
As the term implies, engagement in the SNS world refers to the level of user interaction generated by posts and other content. How many people talk about your brand in comments, share or talk about you in their own original posts? How many tell you what they think directly, introduce you to their friends or simply click a button to get more information? This is your engagement level and the best indicator of SNS success.
How, then, do you develop a social media content strategy that maximises engagement? The one common feature we see in all successful SNS campaigns is an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Following are five basic elements we recommend that you keep in mind to create the kind of quality SNS campaigns that build meaningful engagement with your target audiences.
Where is your audience? How do they communicate with their peers?
Not all social media are alike. Some are best for campaigns heavy on images or video, while others are more suited to concise messaging that is straight to the point. Find out where your most important audiences spend the majority of their SNS time. Focus your efforts on that platform, because knowing the preferences of your target audience lets you devise content strategies and tightly focused campaigns with strong appeal. The potential for successful engagement and maximal ROI is greatly enhanced.
What floats their boats?
Unless your SNS strategy needs only cat videos or seasonal images of Mt. Fuji, chances are people are going to engage with you when you offer content they are looking for. In most cases, this would either be answering their questions or providing timely insights into topics that interest them.
For many industries, the internet has reached information saturation, so it’s important to do your due diligence on the current digital landscape. Find the gaps you can fill with valuable content and insights. It’s almost 2016, and content is still king.
When is the best time to call?
If you know what events, trends or even daily habits drive people to SNS, then you are in a better position to time your content effectively and ensure maximum engagement. Map your posts. Track not only what content does well, but when it gains momentum. Track the kinds of content that result in conversion, whether to purchase a product, apply for a service or register for a subscription.
You will need to constantly keep your finger on the pulse of engagement, because audiences and their habits change. But starting out on sound footing makes it easier to maintain an effective SNS strategy moving forward.
Are you there when they need you?
The rewards of maintaining a consistent SNS strategy cannot be overstressed. Not only must your content look great and be timely, it must be fresh, yet familiar at the same time. In a digital world where new brands pop up daily, and just about anything is just one click away, it’s unlikely that your audience will remain loyal for long if you have nothing new to say, or if you change your style with every post.
If you’re content earns a reputation for freshness and insights relevant to your audiences, then more visitors will become repeaters who engage regularly with your brand.
Are you a good listener with the right answers?
Social media are not art museums. Few visitors stop by just to marvel at your great content. They discuss it among themselves and, not surprisingly, they want you to know what’s on their minds. These are social media, after all.
And you shouldn’t want it any other way. In fact, you should join in.
Listen to the conversations being sparked by your campaigns and what people are saying about your business. If they reach out, always provide feedback. If they say something nice, show your appreciation and offer more of the same. If they complain, react in ways that allay or resolve their concerns.
Being interactive in a positive way shows the human side of your business. It almost always increases engagement, to the ultimate benefit of brand loyalty. Which, after all, is the whole point of the exercise.
Have questions? Want to learn more? Start the conversation by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.