The social space is now so full on, that developing the consistent quality content that will create engagement and increase your visibility is a dedicated role that many businesses either outsource or employ in-house, to ensure they get it right.
So, what does ‘engagement’ really mean and how do you make your content something that your followers want to engage with?
As with everything client/customer/follower related, you are essentially delivering high quality value content that helps them with a challenge or solves a problem they have; soliciting their opinion on a topical subject or your services (because you appreciate their feedback); notifying them of updates/news on your industry that may affect their lifestyle or; providing them with a benefit or free gift for their loyalty.
Essentially, the goal is to build relationships and positioning yourself as a brand or thought leader within your industry
Motivational Engagement Tactics
Why should I care? How will it affect me? What can I do about it/What’s in it for me?
These three questions are great to ask yourself (from the perspective of your followers) when you are developing content that you want people to react to, because they drive motivation on a more personal and emotional level which gives them a stronger reason to engage.
Let’s look at them individually:
Why should I care?
This question focuses directly on their ‘it matters to me’ emotions because it makes them think about their individual situation and what they may need to do to change.
For example; if you are creating a video blog on healthy eating tips for the 40+ age group, leading with a headline such as:
‘Turn Back Time with These 4 Age Defying & Health Boosting Recipes’
This clearly helps to play into emotion of not wanting to get older and the increasing focus on being healthy, which let’s be honest, we all care about. Using video to engage your audience is a very direct way to communicate your message both visually and verbally and statistics show this to be one of the best ways of generating sales.
Maybe you have a new product that you’re looking for feedback on and you create a short survey that uses an emotion in the introduction:
‘We are excited to be launching our new product next month and we have especially selected you as one of our valued customers because we would love to know what you think before it goes live. Just watch this short video advert and complete the 3-question survey at the end and we will happily send you a £50 voucher for your time’.
Using emotional keywords in your text adds intrigue and let’s them know that you have singled them out as someone you think is special because their opinion matters to you. In showing you care about them, they will hopefully do the honour of showing you some love too!
How will it affect me?
This motivational tactic is great to use when you are just generally canvassing opinion on a particular topic in the news or your industry, which is great for B2B services. For example:
The advertising standards agency has just announced new policy changes to the personal data businesses can and can’t have access to from social media channels, which may mean less interaction and engagement with your brand. How do you think this will affect you in the long term, bearing in mind how important social media is to growth?
Nobody wants to feel that they are losing out on something or that it can potentially affect their growth or income, so appealing to ‘fear’ emotions like this is a popular tactic used for generating engagement on social media.
In the same way, other negative emotions like anger can also create big interactions online, but just be careful of the potential fallout when evoking these feelings with your audience.
What can I do about it/What’s in it for me?
Whilst comments are the golden goose of engagement and likes are useful, sharing is key for content that will benefit from having a wider reach, which could be anything from increasing bookings for your training course or event, promoting a campaign to increase sales or awareness, or obtaining signatures for petition before parliament.
When thinking about your events and campaigns, encouraging your followers to share with people they know within their network who they think will benefit from the seminar or product and maybe giving away a bonus or gift for a referral will encourage them to share your content so that you can expand your reach and your engagement – for free!
You can also consider using testimonials on past events and allow your existing customers to share their ‘feelings’ on why the product, service or event was so helpful to them.
Petitions are now becoming increasingly popular always use emotional motivations within the ‘story’ content outlining the particular injustice to encourage sharing.
Other engagement tactics:
> Creating or sharing your own story of how and why you started your business.
> Reviewing a competitor’s product and getting feedback.
> Asking your followers to share their experiences on a particular topic.
> Sharing personal photos (such as holiday snaps or those of you walking your dog in the park) also generate huge engagement
We are now used to a more personal relationship building interaction online…and we are also nosey. We like to see what other people are doing, who they are working with, how they are getting along and that works on both B2C and B2B. This is which is why you see so many multi-millionaires using their personal brand to showcase everything about their lives online, increasing their popularity, engagement and their wealth!
Motivational content that evokes emotional responses is the best way of encouraging your followers to be your brand advocates. Just be creative with your content, ask questions, provide value and be honest and open in the way you communicate. Respectfully of course!