If you’re a social media manager (SMM) chances are you have drafted up a long social media strategy with the help of your team and the brand you’re working for. But when it comes to the engagement part of the strategy it usually just reads “respond to comments, DMs, and reposts”. While those will get the job done, there is so much more that can be added to the engagement strategy to get more bang for your buck. Here is what I recommend putting together to bulk up your engagement strategy.
One of the best parts of an engagement strategy is including a section filled with FAQs and the corresponding answers; having the answers pre-written will decrease the time you have to spend researching. It will also keep everything in one spot where it’s easily accessible for anyone on your team who needs to access it. Once you have the FAQs spelled out you can add the answer as quick responses in the social media apps used. You’ll be able to figure out or guess most of the FAQs within the first few weeks of managing the account, but if you need help generating answers and questions always check in with the client! You don’t want to be giving people the wrong information.
If there is an SMM on the account as well, chances are you won’t be meeting directly with the client and all communication will go through the manager. If this is the case it’s super important to schedule a time with the SMM to go over any goals the client has. Goals will look differently for each client and it’s important to know what they are hoping to get out of the engagement strategy. Some brands don’t care about comments and want DMs answered immediately. Some brands care more about outreach to other similar brands as well as the target audience. These goals are important to note in the engagement strategy because they are what you should be striving to achieve for the brand.
Voice & Tone
You should also establish the tone of the brand; this will determine how you respond to comments and DMs. For example, a bridal shop will have a more feminine tone and will utilize lots of emojis such as hearts, sparkles, dresses, etc. While an account for a pizza shop will have a more laid-back tone, probably be more on the humorous side, and may use more food-related emojis. I like to think of each account as a person; if you think of them as a living being it makes it easier to respond as that brand while engaging. This is a great way to involve your whole team in a brainstorming process to decide the attributes you want to use while you are interacting as the brand. It’s important to remember you aren’t acting as yourself; you are acting as the brand and the way you post and respond should be cohesive with the overall brand.
A big part of engagement is commenting on other accounts to help boost your audience and reach. If you put all the relevant accounts you should be commenting on and interacting with it will also help keep you accountable with engagement. This is also a great way to build connections within your community; many partnerships, events, collaborations, and giveaways start with a simple comment on a post. The main reason you should comment on other accounts is to get your brand in front of new eyes. For example, if you’re a pizza shop in a college town you should comment on the school’s government, greek life, dorm, and main account to get the students’ attention which will not only increase your following but can also increase your business.
While hashtags are losing popularity in comments and captions on social media, they are still important for engagement purposes. I’ve mentioned using niche hashtags on posts while posting because it will help narrow down your audience and help reduce bot accounts commenting, but it helps your engagement strategy as well. Let’s go back to the pizza shop example; if you use #PizzaLover on your posts you can search it and comment on accounts that are also using that hashtag. This is a broad hashtag though so it may bring up examples not applicable to you. If you’re using a niche hashtag established by your brand when you search for it it should bring up people in your area posting about your pizza. Once you find a post about your pizza you should be liking, commenting, and interacting with them. People love it when brands interact with their content because it not only humanizes the brand but also forms connections with possible patrons. This is another great tool to find user-generated content.
Location tags are important to note because they can help reach an audience in a specified area. This is also helpful if you have multiple locations and you want to be interacting with people in each area. Utilizing a location tag while posting also allows your posts to be found if people are searching specifically for the location. Since we live in the age of social media many people will search for new shops, restaurants, and more through apps like Instagram.
When creating the engagement strategy it should reflect the client and the brand, which is why it is important to communicate with the client and with the SMM while assembling the strategy. I recommend making the strategy electronically so it can be easily altered in real time and shared with anyone who needs access to it. As with everything in the world of social media marketing, the engagement strategy is all about trial and error; test out different strategies to find out what works best for your client.