A Toolkit for Social Media Engagement

They want to talk to real people on social media,” says Nick Martin, social engagement coordinator at Hootsuite. “Engaging one-on-one lets them know there’s a real person behind the account, and that can really make a difference in the trust they have for your brand.” This post contains tips for creating an engagement strategy, managing your time, and measuring your efforts. If educating people is where your brand can really shine, for example, then your engagement strategy would focus on providing resources, answering questions, or offering advice. You should also clearly outline how you use engagement on social media to positively impact your business. Make sure your business has a social media style guide in place already, and that it also extends to your engagement efforts. These guidelines should cover when and how your business interacts with the messages it receives directly on social. Your reactive engagement guidelines should cover: Whether or not you reply to every single @message or comment directed at your business on social (and if not, what the conditions are) If, when, and how you pass along messages for another department to handle (for example, customer support or sales) An overview of the tools and workflow used to handle incoming messages Proactive engagement guidelines People talking about your brand on social may not be directing their messages to your official accounts. Set aside a block of time in your day to handle reactive engagement, and another for proactive. Social engagement tools Social media accounts? At Hootsuite, we’ve created a metric called “Meaningful Relationship Moments” or MRMs to quantifiably measure the positive impact that our engagement efforts are having on the business.

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social media engagement tools

Social media is meant to be social. I know that statement may sound shockingly obvious but it bears repeating, especially if your business still spends more time talking at people rather than with them.

This often happens because the business is investing more time and energy into publishing than engagement. Publishing refers to all the outgoing messages on social media sent directly from your company’s account, while engagement refers to the direct one-on-one conversations that take place between your company and other people.

Engagement is what will help you develop the most meaningful relationships on social with potential and current customers alike.

“Your followers don’t want to talk to a faceless organization. They want to talk to real people on social media,” says Nick Martin, social engagement coordinator at Hootsuite. “Engaging one-on-one lets them know there’s a real person behind the account, and that can really make a difference in the trust they have for your brand.”

This post contains tips for creating an engagement strategy, managing your time, and measuring your efforts. We’ve also included some tips and tricks from our own engagement team to help you make it all happen.

What your social engagement strategy should include

You might be thinking “do I really need a strategy for something as simple as chatting with people on the internet?” The answer is yes. A strategy helps ensure every engagement you have on social media is not only useful for the people you’re speaking to—it’s beneficial for your business as well.

Goals and objectives

Defining how your business provides value to its followers is a key component of your strategy. Are you aiming to entertain, support, or educate? The answer will depend on what your business has to offer and what best suits your brand, however you should be able to clearly articulate what your followers gain from interacting with your brand on social. If educating people is where your brand can really shine, for example, then your engagement strategy would focus on providing resources, answering questions, or offering advice.

You should also clearly outline how you use engagement on social media to positively impact your business. Getting feedback about products or campaigns, finding and nurturing leads, providing information that helps move customers from one point in the buying journey to the next, and changing brand perception are all examples of how your business can benefit from engagement on social.

Here are some more key components of a solid engagement strategy:

Style guidelines

The one-on-one messages you exchange on social media need to be just as on-brand as the ones you publish to all your followers, from emoji use to punctuation and hashtags. Make sure your business has a social media style guide in place already, and that it also extends to your engagement efforts.

Reactive engagement guidelines

Reactive engagement is the act of answering direct messages, comments, or incoming @mentions your business receives on social. These guidelines should cover when and how your business interacts with the messages…

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