social-media_500Thanks for your great questions! We received this one about engagement on social media from a startup new to social media marketing. Read the question and our answer, below:

Dear Markbeech,

I’m starting a small business and new to using Facebook for my business. What’s the best way to engage my followers and drive traffic on social media?

There are many great ways to use social media to engage your followers, and your choices will depend on how much time and effort you put into it.

The first step is posting.
It’s a good idea to make sure you are posting one or two times per day. Consistency is key. It will also be useful when you are checking your Insights to learn more about your audience (more on this to follow).

Finding content.
First, I would post content from your website. You can even promote your blog postings automatically with RSS Graffiti and Networked Blogs. Post a link to your email newsletter signup, promote your newest product or service, etc. If your business is active at any events, promote those events and ask who plans on coming.

You won’t want to promote your business on every post. Remember, this isn’t the place to spend all your time ‘selling’ – it’s a place to engage and build relationships with your visitors.

Ask lots of questions.
Ask what your followers want to see more of.

We had a man in one of our workshops whose company sold Christmas trees. Business was great and he was using Facebook, but just posting once a week or so. He was wary of posting too much so as not to ‘bother’ his followers by posting too often. We told him they absolutely want to see more posts from him. He adamantly disagreed. We were able to convince him to ask his followers if they want to see more posts from him. He asked via a post on facebook. Within 2 hours he had 37 comments with a resounding YES!

He now posts great tips like: What do I need to bring if I want to chop down my own tree? Great ideas for homemade Christmas ornaments, Ensuring your tree lasts as long as possible, Best ways to string popcorn, etc., and his fans love it.

Be sure to ask your audience what you can do for them, what questions they need answered. A Q&A platform like this is a fantastic way to reach your audience and post what they really want to see.

Be a gracious host.
When people comment, like, or answer questions on your page, always be sure to follow up with them and let them know you appreciate their responses. Like their comment. Comment on their comment – even if it’s just to say, “Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.” People want to know that their thoughts are seen, read, and appreciated.

Check your Insights.
Once you have your posts going consistently, check your Insights to see what kind of engagement you are getting.

Each month look at what are your most popular posts. Which ones reach the most people? Which ones got the most engagement (comments, shares, likes).

What kind of posts were they? Images? Links to articles? Quotes?

What time of day did you post them? Early morning/mid-morning? After lunch? In the evening? During the week? On the weekends? Try posting more often in the times that you get the most engagement.

What’s everyone else up to?
Look at what your competitors are doing on social media. What types of posts are getting them the most engagement? Don’t copy what they do, but it’s okay to borrow ideas.

If you have other social media marketing questions, use this form to send us an email. We may even feature your question in a blog post!

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