One major mistake many entrepreneurs are guilty of is focusing too much on the numbers when it comes to growing an audience. Ultimately, the number that matters is followers who are actually engaged with your business.
When you share posts or information online, do your followers like, share, or comment? Online engagement has a direct link to sales, as the majority of consumers visit websites and social media pages to determine their purchasing decision.
Engaging with potential customers will increase the likelihood they purchase from you, and improve your rates of loyal customers for the future. Creating genuine engagement requires some planning and strategy, but it is sure to pay off in the long run. Here are three tactics to consider.
Host live Q&As
Live video is one of the top trends of 2017, and seems likely to continue growing in the future. One way to get the conversation going with your audience is by hosting question-and-answer sessions through live video. This allows your followers to really get to know you as an entrepreneur and understand your business on a personal level.
Decide which channel is best for hosting your live Q&As based on engagement numbers. Engaging through social media is one of the best ways to reaching a worldwide audience. Facebook Live allows you to see the locations of which your followers are watching from, and the audience can fire off questions and comments in real time.
You can check the analytical data after your broadcast ends, letting you track engagement levels, see comments, and view shares. Twitter and Instagram now offer live video streams as well, with similar capabilities. Choose the platform where you seem to experience the highest amount of engagement.
On-site or private webinars are also an extremely popular format for conducting Q&A sessions that target a niche or just your customers instead of a broader audience. Many live under the assumption that these are awfully tough to produce.
However, video conferencing tools like ClickMeeting make the process of building custom webinars easy to promote your unique messaging. The system allows you swiftly craft a presentation, create and send invites, share screens, take real-time polls, and foster two-way communication. It even provides in-depth reports on your engagement numbers after the webinar.
Be sure to plan out your session before you begin. Gather some questions that have already been posted or sent to you, or address some FAQ’s before taking questions from your live audience. Market your sessions through social media postings and email campaigns. Determine the goals so you can rate their success:
- Do you want to gain more followers?
- Increase sales?
- Market a new product?
Make sure you have a rock-solid plan and set of objectives in place so you can properly gauge your ROI.
Blog frequently and consistently
Many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of consistent blogging; simply because they do not understand how valuable it is when building a brand. What might seem like a waste of time may actually be the key to creating an engaged audience.
What makes your blog great? The key is to value quality over quantity. After all, nothing encourages engagement with your audience like producing great content.
First of all, generating consistent, high-quality content can increase your search engine rankings, assuming you are including keywords that lead visitors to your webpage. Think of every piece of content you produce as an opportunity to improve your search engine ranking.
What types of words are likely to be searched by your audience? Dive into some keyword research on Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to find the keywords and terms driving the most traffic and clicks. Ahrefs offers an in-depth analysis of keywords, with charts showing the popularity of each search term.
Ahrefs will even suggest keywords that are related to your primary keywords, and you can use these to reach a bigger audience.
When you write about what your audience wants, you, as an entrepreneur, set yourself up as an expert and establish credibility in the process.Producing content that provides value through explanation or recommendations means that readers will look to you as a source of information. As you continue to generate this type of content, your audience will gradually begin to trust your judgement and suggestions.
If you’re a solopreneur, blogging can even become an extra source of income for your business, both directly and indirectly. Once you start generating serious traffic, you can earn money and business connections by promoting other companies and brands with your posts.
Free advertising is a great form of exchange for entrepreneurs, since it doesn’t cost much and provides value for clients or partners. Indirectly, it can boost website traffic by up to 70 percent. More views to your website give you a greater conversion potential, leading to increased sales overtime.
Support a social cause
As if giving to charities and supporting causes isn’t good enough in and of itself, it can also lead to better sales for your business in the long run. Customers appreciate when small businesses give to charities.
87 percent of consumers say they will choose to buy from a company that supports a cause they care about. Giving the opportunity for buyers to join and support a social cause not only makes them feel good about giving, it also increases customer loyalty.
One of the best ways to support social causes and increase engagement is to build a sense of community through your business. Makro South Africa is a great example of a company supporting local causes through events in the community, like their “Mooooving Movements” event to support the Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa.
Whether you host get-togethers at your business, plan fundraisers or events in your city, or build online gatherings, creating these types of relationships will benefit everyone involved.
Finding an effective method of customer engagement takes a great deal of thought and commitment. Whether it be providing valuable information with blogging, hosting live video sessions, or creating a community through giving back, improving engagement should be of the upmost importance for entrepreneurs and business owners.
Customer engagement leads to more than just sales; it creates a loyal customer base of which is sure to return for years to come.