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3 Outside of the Box Examples of Social Media Engagement

Curation is all the rage today. People are generally are so busy and distracted that they rely on other people to hand-pick and deliver some of their everyday items that they care about most, such as food, clothes, cosmetics, music news and even socks.

Most of the time, company social monitoring (and social media interaction) falls into two categories:

  • “Thanks for the compliment!” replies to someone saying that brand X is their favorite thing ever
  • “Sorry to hear about that, how can we help?” replies to a disgruntled customer

Neither of these tactics are bad, but they're really the bare minimum for a social media engagement strategy. To get to the point where people follow your social accounts of their own free will and reshare the things your company posts, you have to go above and beyond that. Here's some inspiration to help you do so: 

Talk to the customer about the things they care about

People don't particularly want to hear about your products or services, most of the time. What they want to hear about are the things that matter to them. As an example, I'll never forget this Twitter interaction with Purina:

If they'd tweeted at me about their latest cat food release, I wouldn't have cared. But instead, they watched the #catsofinstagram hashtag and then created video replies that involved every cat owner's favorite thing: their cat.

Similarly, you can have your community manager figure out which hashtags your customers use to talk about things related to your products or services. From Twitter or Instagram, they can search for a topic (“cats”), and in browsing the posts, they'll see commonly used hashtags (#catsofinstagram, #catstagram, etc.). After that, it's easy to watch those hashtags in your social monitoring app and from there, your team can take the opportunity to engage with people on their turf.

Have a sense of humor in your replies

Taco Bell does this incredibly well:

Other examples include Denny's - or, for something in the B2B sphere, I've had Harvest reply to my enthusiastic tweets with hilarious gifs. (One time, I said my mind was blown by their integration with Asana, and I received this in reply.)

This won't necessarily work for every brand, but even if you're a little more corporate in your brand stylings and communication, you can incorporate jokes into your posts, or give your replies a little more personality with gifs or emoji. Work with your community manager to develop a style guide for your brand's social media efforts - that will keep the team on track as far as what's okay to joke about on social media, and what crosses the line.

Actively solicit questions

Instead of waiting until people ask you questions, why not actively seek out questions from your customers (or potential customers)? Your team can host a Google Hangout (like NASA did aboard the International Space Station), use Blab, or try Periscope or Meerkat. And if you don't want to do a livestreaming Q&A, your community manager can still host a special Q&A day or time on your Twitter account (or Facebook page, etc.) where people can ask any kind of question they want. 

Kelso Kennedy

Kelso Kennedy

CoFounder @RedStampAgency - Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the year. He likes Business, Technology, Hockey and Life.

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