6 creative ways to use social media to engage with customers

Tshirt EditedSocial media is an incredibly powerful way of engaging with your customers. Here are 6 creative ways you can use various social media platforms to do this:

1. Facebook and Twitter cover images
When people land on your Facebook page, the first thing they will see is your cover image, so make sure it tells people exactly what you do and what your message is. Take time to ensure it is visually attractive and engaging. The recently updated version of Twitter also means you can include a header image on your page and promote your top tweet, so this is a very effective way of having fun with your visual content. As the nature of Twitter is fast-paced and current, you have more scope to regularly change your background and top tweets according to your latest campaign or news.

2. Behind the scenes videos
Whether your aim is to sell a product or service or spread a message, people and potential customers engage with people and companies who they can see as authentic. They like to see the faces behind the brand. A quick, unpolished video (using Vine, YouTube or Instagram for example), showing you at work and what you do will enable your audience to see exactly what you’re about. With these types of short videos, the more real the better and it doesn’t hurt to have fun with it to show you have a sense of humour!

3. Instagram
Instagram is a particularly useful platform if you are selling visual products. There are a number of fashion companies using it very effectively it to engage with customers. An example is SuperLove Tees who sell clothing on Etsy but drive a lot of traffic and sales through Instagram. Each item of clothing comes with a positive slogan and they use their Instagram page to post beautiful pictures of their clothes  in alluring scenic surroundings, therefore tapping into the health and wellness niches and customers within that market. They also interact incredibly well with their customers, who use the platform to post their own pictures of themselves wearing the clothes.

4. Pictures of inspirational and motivational quotes
People love a hit of inspiration and images do very well on social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ in terms of shares and likes. Groups and companies in the personal development business thrive on this. The key to getting this right is to mix up your content (so don’t post quotes every day) and make the quotes relevant to your brand’s message or your company culture. You can also, of course, come up with your own quotes. Take time to create attractive images around the text, as these will generate the best traction.

5. Question and answer sessions on Twitter
Question and Answer sessions on Twitter are a brilliant way to actually speak to your followers or customers in real time. There are no hard and fast rules but Twitter offers a few Q&A best practices to help you along. Set up a time where you will be there to answer any questions that people have for you and make sure you let people know when this will be in advance and post across all the social media platforms you are using. Depending on the time you have available and how many followers you have, this can be anything from 30 minutes to an entire afternoon.

6. Featured customers
Customers love nothing more than being made to feel special and valued. You can do this on social media by featuring a ‘customer of the week’ or something similar. You can also word it according to the tone of voice of your company and your customers. The more momentum you build up from doing this, the more your customers will check in every week/month to see if they have been selected. Plus they’ll also be more likely to engage with your other posts resulting in more likes, shares, comments and followers.

(Photo: Gisela Giardino)

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