The Art of Engagement
If you were a brand or business in 2012, and were able to ride the social media wave correctly, the return on investment came in consistently. This was when Instagram was gaining more attention than ever, and influencers became the new celebrity. Stars were born. Businesses drove sales directly to their online stores and even to brick and mortars. Times were much simpler then. The more cooler you took your pictures, the more your friends and followers liked them, in chronological order too. Fancy editing and professional photos weren’t necessary to spark plenty of comments or likes and tags on your profile.
As social media evolved and platforms became saturated, algorithms have changed. What once worked for engagement doesn’t make the same noise as it once did. Thanks to our friend, Steph Mi, there are still reliable strategies that she’s shared to keep your followers and community engaged. Here are 4 tactics to get started with if you want to master the art of engagement:
Do your homework! Who inspires you? Who fits the branding look and feel that you’re trying to go for? Who is following them? What are their interests? Why are they following them? These are just a few questions that should get you thinking in the right direction. When you have a better understanding of these brands, influencers, and followers, you’re able to target them as you begin your marketing campaigns.
So you’ve narrowed down a community to engage with. Now what? When there’s someone that you’re interested in, what’s the first thing you do? Start a conversation. How do you get someone that you’re interested in to respond? Start a conversation that matters. By understanding what these communities are interested in, this makes it easier to spark a conversation that matters to both you, and people you should be engaged with.
Jab, Jab, Jab. There’s no need to swing for the fences here. When approaching influencers or brands, you have to be able to offer value first. Asking for a shoutout or a hookup is typically not the best way to give a first impression. Continue to offer value and naturally, if your product is good, you will get that shoutout that you’ve been longing for. It may not be immediate, it may not be ever, but offering value first increases the chances of the cross marketing and promotion you desire.
Right hook. After offering so much value with a good product, you are now welcome to shoot your shot. “Jabs” or “Value” in this instance, disarms influencers and brands. You’re actually giving them something they need and they’re getting hit with tons of value by you and they believe in your project so much that when it comes to you throwing your “Right Hook” or “Collaboration” strategy, the knock out punch is in full effect. This should setup an effective engagement cycle from start to finish.
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.” -Gary Vee
Think about what you want your social media presence to do for you. Do you want to get paid? Do you want awareness to your cause or brand? Do you want to educate people on what you know? Do you want to do sales or create leverage? When you’re able to clearly identify what your objectives are, it’s much more than just posting a nice picture. Do your homework, start a conversation that matters, offer value, and collaborate. In other words, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.”