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Boosting Brand Loyalty: Innovative Social Media Engagement Strategies for Businesses

Blog » Social Media Marketing » Boosting Brand Loyalty: Innovative Social Media Engagement Strategies for Businesses

innovative social media engagement strategies BLOG

Social media: where brands vie for attention. The ones who are winning? They’ve mastered social media engagement strategies, which are not just beneficial—they’re essential.

With over 15 years of experience in social media marketing and social care, I’ve witnessed the power of innovative engagement firsthand. While everyone else’s engagement is declining, our clients are still raking in record numbers.

Today, I’m giving you by comprehensive, step-by-step guide to elevate your brand’s online presence and cultivate unwavering loyalty among your audience.

Understanding Social Media Engagement

At their core, social media engagement strategies encapsulate the interactions between a brand and its audience across social platforms.

These interactions can range from likes and comments to shares and direct messages. However, effective engagement is more than just numbers. The strategies that are still successful today are fostering meaningful connections that resonate with their audiences.

Sure, there’s been a sharp decline in social media engagement, on every platform, year over year.

2024 social media industry benchmark 022 700w@2x

[Source: RivalIQ]

In fact, average engagement numbers hover around 3% across social media platforms.

But, we have clients that are still getting engagement numbers much higher than that. Even our credit union client (who many would say isn’t “sexy” enough for social) has an average engagement rate of 7% on LinkedIn.

Why? Because they focus on on creating social media content that truly connects.

Why Focus on Social Media Engagement Strategies?

Investing in social media engagement strategies enhances brand visibility, strengthens customer relationships, and ultimately, boosts loyalty.

Think about it: your consumers are bombarded with endless content. Standing out requires not just reaching your audience, but truly connecting with them. and I can pretty much promise you that your boring facts and features content is not doing the trick.

So, how do we tackle social media engagement with our clients? We follow the following steps.

Step 1: Know Your Audience

Everyone says they’re doing this. However, so few are actually doing it. Let me explain …

Most brands are still aiming at more followers. Follower growth is cited 9 times out of 10 when asking brands about their top three social media goals. And if this is you? You’ve already failed.

You must stop building a follower base and start building a customer base.

Understanding your audience is the bedrock of any successful engagement strategy. And for us, audience = best customers.

I’m talking a clearly defined ideal customer profile (ICP). [Read more on creating your ICP here.]

This is a dive deep into your customers’ demographics, interests, and online behaviors. And — I can’t stress this enough — you must be able to identify each customer’s channel of choice.

What’s ‘channel of choice’ mean? Segmentation and targeted messaging delivered through your individual customer’s consumption channel.

There are two things that will help you with this:

  1. Customer Segmentation: Surely, you already divide your customer’s into smaller segments based on their industry, company size, job title, or other relevant factors. Next, take it a step deeper by understanding each segment’s — or person’s — channel of choice for digital communication.
  2. Tailored Communications: Create targeted ‘channel of choice’ messaging and content for each segment. This ensures that your digital communications are relevant and resonate with the specific needs and interests of each group.

Is this as easy as collecting followers on your social channels that don’t care about your content and will probably never buy? No. Does it help you get in front of potential customers who will buy? Yes.

The choice is yours!

Step 2: Craft Compelling Content

Compelling content—content that educates, entertains, or inspires—is what truly captures attention.

Try this (non-exhaustive) list to get started:

  1. Polls & Surveys: Allow followers to voice their opinions quickly and easily. They’re engaging and providing valuable insights into their preferences.
  2. Fill-In-The-Blank Posts: Encourage users to share their thoughts by completing a sentence or question. It’s a fun way for followers to engage with you and each other.
  3. Quizzes & Trivia: People love to test their knowledge and learn new facts. And, if related to your brand, can also be educational and engaging.
  4. User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage followers to share their own content related to your brand. This provides authentic UGC for you to share, too!
  5. Behind-the-Scenes Content: Showing what goes on behind the curtain humanizes your brand and fosters deeper connections. (Seriously, this one never fails!)
  6. Live Videos & AMA Sessions: ‘Ask Me Anything’ events make your audience feel directly connected to your brand, allowing for real-time engagement.
  7. Interactive Stories: Instagram and Facebook stories offer interactive elements like polls, questions, and sliding scales.
  8. Contests & Giveaways: As people participate for a chance to win, encourage them to like, comment, share, or tag friends to enter. *Use sparingly.
  9. How-To Guides: Content that educates or provides value in a clear, concise manner tends to attract engagement, especially if it helps solve common customer problems.
  10. Personal Stories & Testimonials: Sharing real stories about your brand, employees, or customers can drive engagement by tapping into emotions and creating a sense of belonging.

Mix up your content types (videos, text-only posts, polls) to keep your audience engaged and eager for more.

[BONUS] The Non-Controversy Controversy

Here’s one of my favorite social media engagement strategies. We call it the ‘non-controversy controversy’ and asked for people to give advice on said [non] controversy.

Mine was about filler words.

I got 72 comments (72!) on what seems to be a pretty innocuous post, right? (Haha … there’s one of my filler words!)

And, YES, this works for brands as well. Check out Weezie Towels and their non-controversy controversy on the order of operations when getting ready:

Weezie towels poll IG

155 comments! See how they frame the “controversy” by asking for the “right way” to get ready?

Use this tactic! Add it to your social media engagement strategy! It works!

[BONUS BONUS] Creating Conversational Content That Connects

Did you know I have a 100%, no strings attached, totally FREE course on creating content that connects?

No? Check. It. Out!

BlogBannerAdFreeCourse1

You can knock out one session a day for seven days or sit down in just a few hours and complete the whole thing.

Step 3: The Social Media Engagement Strategy to Beat All Social Media Engagement Strategies

Real-time engagement. Yep. That’s it. That’s truly one of the best social media engagement strategies.

Whether it’s through live videos, Q&A sessions, or timely responses to comments—responding in real time adds a human touch to your digital presence.

burger king direct mention SMCC

More importantly, if you can respond in real-time when there’s an issue, you’ll be heads and shoulders above your competitors. Just look at how quickly Burger King answers customer queries.

If a brand with 2 million followers (on Twitter — nope, still not calling it X) can do it, you can too. No excuses.

This approach not only humanizes your brand but also fosters a sense of community among your followers. As I’ve mentioned before, consumers are now weighing these brand conversations as high or higher than online reviews.

publicis twitter letstalkshop data viz2.png.twimg .2560 800x450

[Source]

In fact, social media shoppers say that brand conversation impacts their purchase decision a LOT.

Step 4: Utilize User-Generated Content

Leverage the power of user-generated content (UGC) to boost engagement and credibility.

Encouraging your audience to share their own experiences with your brand not only provides authentic content but also amplifies customer satisfaction and loyalty.

[BONUS] Sell with UGC!

SnackMagic is a perfect example of how to sell with user-generated content. In their post below, they added how simple the process was to build your own snack box by highlighting UGC from one of their customers.

snack-magic-linkedin-social-selling-example

This is not only one of the best social media engagement strategies, it’s also a best-in-class social selling example.

Step 5: Implement Social Listening

Social listening involves monitoring conversations about your brand and industry across social platforms. This strategy enables you to gather feedback, understand customer sentiment, and identify opportunities for engagement that you might otherwise miss.

We’ve written extensively about social listening. Read any of the below to expand your social media strategies by using this AI-powered tool.

  1. FREE social listening workbook for getting started
  2. Social Listening: What Does It All Mean?
  3. Optimizing Your ABM Strategy with Social Listening for Enhanced Results

Step 6: Personalize Your Interactions

Automation is awesome. Until it’s not.

Personalized interactions stand out. Addressing your followers by name, tailoring responses to their specific comments or queries, and showing genuine interest in their feedback can make a significant difference in how your brand is perceived.

I’ll tell you a client story for this to hit home. *Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Once upon a time, there was a small, family-owned bakery named “Sweet Delights.” Despite their delicious recipes and loyal customers, they struggled to differentiate themselves on social media. They were posting mouth-watering pictures and announcing new flavors, yet their engagement levels barely budged.

One day, the owner, Ella, decided to change their approach. Instead of replying with a standard “Thank you!” to every comment, Ella began personalizing her responses. When a long-time customer, Mike, commented, “The blueberry muffins were fantastic as always!” Ella replied, “Thank you, Mike! We’re so glad you enjoyed them. Your support means the world to us. P.S. Next time you’re in, the first muffin is on us!”

Then, something magical happened. Mike was thrilled by the personal response and shared his experience with his friends, both online and offline. His friends, intrigued by the bakery’s warmth and personal touch, began to follow “Sweet Delights” and engage with their posts.

Inspired by this success, Ella continued to personalize responses, remembering small details from her interactions with customers. When someone asked for a recipe, instead of a simple link, she’d add, “I remember you mentioned how much you love chocolate. This recipe has an extra chocolaty twist I think you’ll enjoy!”

More people began to visit both the physical store and its social media pages, eager to experience the warmth and personal connection they had heard about.

Case in point: the best social media engagement strategies don’t just aim to respond. They strive to take that extra step, which in turn makes interactions extra special.

The customers in my story didn’t just see Sweet Delights as another bakery; they felt a personal connection.

Step 7: Collaborate with Influencers

Influencer collaborations can exponentially increase your brand’s reach and engagement.

Choose influencers whose values align with your brand and who possess a genuine connection with their audience to ensure authentic and effective partnerships.

Additionally, find out how influencers are now becoming a huge part of brand’s social care programs in our State of Social Care Report.

b squared media state of social care report 2023 golide chan

Step 8: Measure and Adapt

Regularly analyze your engagement metrics to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Here are metrics I’d focus on:

  1. Engagement rate. A helpful metric that shows how much people are interacting with your content and how effective your campaigns are. Engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of likes and comments by the number of followers, and then multiplying by 100.
  2. Impressions. The total number of views your content receives. Impressions are really only ‘eyeballs’ on your content. You’ll want to put more stock into your engagement rate.
  3. Reach. A measure of the unique users that have seen your content. A higher reach often indicates increased brand awareness and visibility. However, to keep Reach high, you’ll need good engagement!
  4. Conversion rate. Shows how many of the people you reach go on to carry out the action you’re trying to encourage.
  5. Audience growth rate. Tells you if you gain new followers or not.
  6. Share of voice. Tells you what percentage of the whole online discussion was initiated by a given social media account. The higher the share of voice, the more influential your social media account is. Use this metric to compare your brand to your top competitors.

Finally, your data-driven approach should allow for continual refinement of your social media engagement strategies, ensuring they remain effective and relevant.

Social Media Engagement Strategies: Success Stories

Brand X, our BBQ brand client, saw a notable increase in engagement by implementing monthly live Q&A sessions, allowing followers to connect directly with BBQ influencers and the brand.

B Squared Media social media engagement strategies case study Brand X

Brand Y, our pet brand client, utilized UGC to launch a hashtag campaign, resulting in a surge of organic content and engagement, significantly increasing brand visibility and loyalty.

B Squared Media social media engagement strategies case study Brand Y

Create More Conversational Content

Social media engagement strategies are not just about promoting content; they’re about creating conversations, building communities, and fostering lasting relationships with your audience.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, businesses of all sizes can elevate their social media presence, turning casual followers into loyal advocates.

The most successful brands are those that stay true to their values, listen to their audience, and continually strive to engage in meaningful conversations on social media. Now, get out there and make every interaction count!

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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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Category: Content Marketing,
Tags: B Squared Media, Brooke B. Sellas, Brooke Sellas, content marketing on social media, content that connects, Innovative Social Media Engagement Strategies, Innovative Social Media Engagement Strategies for Businesses, , , ,
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