7 April 2022
Seek Social’s Top Active Engagement Tips
As elite digital marketers we know that if you’re not performing active engagement, then you’re not doing everything that you can to make your digital marketing efforts a success. However, we also know that due to the nature of the work involved, active engagement isn’t at the top of everyone’s to-do list when they think ‘digital marketing tasks’ – but it is one of our digital marketing specialties.
Today, our team of digital marketing professionals seeks to change that – first by explaining just what active engagement is, and then by showing you why it’s important, and how to do it effectively. Let’s get started!
What Exactly is Active Engagement?
Active engagement is the name given to activities that see you interact with your audience online. Most commonly this takes place via social media marketing on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, though these aren’t the only places that it can be done.
Why Should You Be Performing Active Engagement?
The analogy that Seek Social have always liked to use to make this point is that not performing active engagement for an online business is akin to just ignoring customers that come into your brick-and-mortar store. You wouldn’t do that (or at least, if you did you’d quickly get a reputation as not being customer-friendly) – you’d greet them, offer to help, that kind of thing… There’s a whole social contract been built up around the customer / shopkeeper dynamic when it happens in person, and the more popular that online shopping gets the more that online customers expect a similar experience. In an online environment social media marketing services this need, so you can’t afford to ignore it.
So, ‘it’s nice for your customers’ then, is that it? Most certainly not! The reason why we decided to make active engagement one of our key digital marketing specialties is that when performed well, it also has definite benefits for the business doing the engaging – including, but not limited to:
It’s a simple fact of how social media platforms work that you will see posts from people that you don’t know. Frequently these will be friends of friends, people in the same groups as you, that kind of thing. Now look at it from the point of view of a business providing social media marketing services – each person and post that you can engage with is a chance for those people two degrees of separation away from you to be exposed to your brand – to be reminded who you are or to discover you.
Transparent Customer Service & Reputation Management
Another fact of how people use social media is that when they’re unhappy with a brand’s product or service, they’ll complain to that brand’s social media presence on their platform of choice – their Facebook account, Twitter page, whatever platform(s) the disgruntled individual happens to frequent.
Of course, it’s a blow to have people complaining about your business in such a way, but it’s also an opportunity. By performing active engagement well when this happens, you can not only potentially resolve the customer’s issue using some good old-fashioned customer service – you also demonstrate to other social media users that have seen the complaint that you’re working to resolve it, that you care about the experiences your customers have, and that when things go wrong (as they inevitably will on occasion) you want to make them right.
The Importance of Your Brand’s Online Perception & Standing
When it comes to earning online engagement we can actually draw parallels with the pro wrestling world, where the businessmen running the promotions and the wrestlers want their characters to either be loved or hated. Either extreme is good, as both draw a reaction – the real enemy is seen to be indifference on the part of the fans.
Now, we’re definitely not saying that you should be a bad guy online just to earn engagement, as the engagement you get won’t be productive, or good for your business. However, you do need to be aware of how your brand is perceived online as it has a big impact on the kind of active engagement you might receive. If you have a bad reputation you can expect more people to reach out to you with negative feedback or stories to tell – if you have a good reputation then you can expect more of the engagement you receive to be positive.
Moving beyond this, there’s a definite relationship between how much love or otherwise) people online feel for your brand. More of this sentiment means more engagement, while less of this sentiment (i.e. ‘more indifference’) typically means less engagement – just as more indifference means less audience reaction for a wrestler.
How Might You Perform Active Engagement?
Traditional active engagement
The uses that we’ve described above would constitute a ‘traditional’ approach to active engagement – that is, replying to posts directed at you on your social media platforms. We’ve covered the main reasons why responding to these posts is a good idea above so we won’t go into that again here, but to do this effectively you don’t need any specialist technical or marketing skills at all. If you know how to reply to a post then you can do this – you just need to remember to keep your professional business or customer service hat on when you do so and respond to people appropriately.
Don’t forget however that you don’t have to wait for engagement opportunities. You – or the company providing your social media marketing services if you’re outsourcing – can use certain types of posts to pro-actively seek out and encourage engagement from your online audience. It’s not something that can be done with every post and still fulfil all of your digital marketing goals, but as the north-west’s active engagement experts we know that there are certain types of post that are more likely to attract more of a response than others.
What you’re looking for is something that encourages people to interact, or leave a comment. They might do this in response to an open-ended question for example, so if you can round off a post by asking your audience for their opinion on something then that’s a great way to promote engagement on your posts. This does need to be an open-ended question however, as if you ask a question with a clear factually ‘correct’ answer, all you’ll get back is lots of people commenting the same right answer, as well as a few people trolling with incorrect ones. This approach might get you a lot of comments, but they aren’t comments that you can really use to start a conversation, and therefore they aren’t useful for active engagement.
Another way you can promote active engagement is by using a poll, and asking your audience to explain their response to your poll in the comments. By doing this you’re effectively asking them why they chose what they chose, and can then build a conversation from there.
Live chat / Instant Messaging
Lastly, perhaps the most direct form of active engagement is to chat to members of your audience via some form of instant messaging. You likely won’t have time to do this for everyone (and even if you do, we advise against it), but sometimes this approach is definitely appropriate. Examples for this would include special cases such as people who have had a bad experience, or known regular repeat customers.
Taking the time out to chat with them directly in this way shows your more personal side, since the people you talk to via IM are no longer talking at a branded company page, they’re talking directly to a person that works there. This approach also shows that you care, since you’re happy to go to the trouble of talking to them directly to keep them updated and ensure that everything is okay, or at least works out that way in the end.
Seek Social Can Help You Get Active Engagement Right!
The knowledge on display in this blog is just the tip of the iceberg though – in addition to our social media marketing services and active engagement expertise you can also count on our elite team of digital marketers for top quality support and insights regarding the following digital marketing specialties: Web design & development, SEO, email marketing, content marketing, paid online ads and more!