Engaging the Audience: Using Social Media to Start the Conversation

In the 21st century, many businesses are taking on the world of social media. Doing so gives them a bigger platform on which to promote their products, but it also helps them to engage the customers. What are some ways in which this conversation can be started?

Ask a Question
Whether the business has a Facebook page, Twitter account or some other form of social media, it’s so important to ask questions. At the beginning of the business, the owners can ask questions that help them to brainstorm ideas for the company. Some possible questions include, “What are the current problems you see with similar products?” and “How would you like these products to be improved?” Looking at the customer through this scope can help the company to craft a better product or service.

Online Contests
Most people love some sort of contest, but they want the entry requirements to be fairly easy and not complicated. Allowing people to enter into a contest through a social media network fulfills both of these requirements. Companies can ask that competitors submit the entry form through a message. Of course, if people are sending in personal information about themselves, it needs to be a secure connection. With the winner’s permission, his or her name can be announced on the side when the contest has ended.

Suggestions, Feedback and Complaints
For a business to be successful, it needs to be open to both the good and the bad on its social media sites. It’s very unlikely that 100 percent of customers are going to be pleased 100 percent of the time, and companies should be prepared for that. However, all types of feedback should be the start of conversations. For example, suggestions should be addressed and positive feedback should be given thanks. When people do complain, it is important for the company to address these issues in a timely manner and to find a resolution within reason. For this purpose, many companies have person who is solely in charge of social media.

A Continual Conversation
One problem that a lot of businesses have is that the are very eager to communicate with the customers in the beginning, but eventually, all of this excitement starts to die off. Companies should strive to have a continual conversation with the customer. Even a simple post announcing that it’s just a few days until the product launches is enough to keep them engaged. Depending on the nature of the company, the person in charge of the social media account might even just ask a question that is for fun. In order to really engage the audience, it’s important to not be so serious all of the time.

Clearly, social media really has the power to engage the audience, but some businesses do not see the benefits of doing so. Ultimately, customers want to know that they are appreciated by the businesses. When the customers are allowed to have a voice in the matter, then they will feel that sense of appreciation.