Customer engagement is essential to building your brand online. If your customers are responding to your posts, blogs, and signing up for your email list you need to engage with them on a daily basis in order to keep their attention and sell them your products.
One of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make is neglecting customer engagement. If you focus on creating a great customer service plan with your team, you’ll significantly increase the size of your community. That’s what customer engagement is all about. Building a community to last a lifetime, and you do that one customer at a time.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement, client engagement, consumer engagement are all the same thing. Whether you’re talking about the traffic to your website, your followers on social media or consumers making a purchase, they are all affiliated with your business and should be treated with enough respect to warrant your response when they reach out.
According to Wikipedia, the customer engagement definition is…
If that’s too formal for you, I don’t blame you. Personally, my favorite way to think about is “treat the customer the way you would want to be treated.” It’s the golden rule and it’s really that simple.
Engagement Strategies Across All Platforms
Applying the golden rule to your customer engagement strategies is simple, but not easy. If you have multiple social profiles, a blog, and a large customer base it may be difficult to keep tabs on all the responses you get on a daily basis. Here are some strategies that will help you stay up-to-date with everyone on each platform, and use customer engagement to build your followings.
#1: Always Respond to Comments with Intelligent Remarks
Many customer engagement models forget to get their hands dirty. If you’re creating blogs, posts, and videos to get client engagement you should always respond intelligently and promptly to keep your customer’s attention.
People in search of great information are always looking to speak to the creator of the videos. Too many times I see marketers that ask their audience to engage with questions and comments without responding back to them. This is the cardinal sin of customer engagement and makes it easy for your viewers to assume your not interested in your brand or don’t take it seriously enough for their attention.
Take every opportunity you can to engage with your customers. If you’re wondering how to engage, keep reading for more strategies but keep in mind that user engagement is a sometimes as simple as liking their comments and answering their questions. Don’t wait too long to get back to them. If you neglect to answer their questions or provide poor responses they’ll abandon your content instead of sharing it with all their friends.
#2: Entice Your Readers to Ask a Question or Comment
Every video, blog, and post you make should include two things besides a quality message: A call-to-action (CTA) and a place for them to ask questions and leave comments. Don’t take a CTA as the green light to sell your clients with content.
Keep your content separate from your sales pitches. Use the CTA as a way to get them to continue to consume your content or to leave a comment. Notice at the end of this article, I point you in the direction of another article to enhance your ability to work with your customers. It doesn’t have to be about the same thing, but it should be somewhat related.
Businesses benefit when customer engagement is high. Being innovative is the key to making sure they feel connected to you and ensures their attention is drawn back to your brand every time you disseminate content.
#3: Create a Contest or Giveaway for Their Opinion
Contests and giveaways are fantastic ideas to increase customer engagement. Your brand engagement strategy should include giving related items to customers that provide you with valuable information. Why settle for statistics when you can get real-time data from your customers directly.
You can also use giveaways to increase your email subscription base. Many companies do this with a free report, case study, checklist, or ebook. The more useful content you create the more your clients will engage with you.
#4: Reach Out To Your Customers on Your Competitor’s Posts
This form of customer engagement is a great way to build good relationships with your future clients. If you’re on Instagram, it’s easy to find out who your competitors are. You can look them up by typing in the #hashtags that relate to your industry. Then check out their posts, and read the comments.
If your competitors do not answer the questions thoroughly or at all, look at that as an opportunity to get some more clients by helping them. When you give your opinion, those people will undoubtedly check out your profile and make it very likely they will start to follow you.
Another great way to find your competitors and reach out to your customers is Facebook’s free tool Audience Insights. Click the link to learn more.
#5: Become an Authority in Industry Related Social Media Groups
If you truly focus your energy on customer engagement, you’ll notice opportunities in groups. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter are great places to start a community especially considering why people use these specific platforms. Facebook is great for meeting people with similar interests.
LinkedIn for B2B relationships is a fantastic place to increase client engagement. Many of the groups have articles by some of the top minds in the world on whatever subject that interests you.
Twitter is the place you go to get the most up-to-date news. If you join existing groups on these platforms you can start posting your expertise and answering the questions on other people’s posts in the spirit of customer service.
Lastly, almost all social networks have a stories function. This is a great way to keep your customers informed of your daily progress. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or even Whatsapp don’t hesitate to use this awesome tool.
#6: Start a Your Own Facebook or LinkedIn Group
If you enjoy being in these groups, you should start your own. You can use your relationships with the other groups to build up your group with a private message to your connections.
Another great benefit is you automatically get the emails of everyone in your group. This is a great start to creating your email marketing campaign.
#7: Use Quora to Find Out What Questions Your Customers Have
Are you looking for ideas for content? Don’t try and dream up a topic. Go to Quora and learn what people are asking. If you answer them well-enough, your answers will be seen by thousands.
Here’s a tip: after you answer the questions, copy and paste those answers into your own group. This will get your group members to start asking their own questions and inspire customer engagement.
#8: Play Games (like an online Scavenger Hunt) with Your Customers
Structurally speaking, this is the same as doing a giveaway. What you should focus on is building the interpersonal interactions and fun activities like games will enhace that. Create an online scavenger hunt with Actionbound. This is a great way to have a little fun and teach your customers a thing or two about what you do.
This may seem irrelevant to you, but don’t disregard these kinds of activities. Fun things like loosen people up and inspire conversation and team building. Enjoy!
#9: Host an Event In Your Local Area
If you’re trying to create something in your local area, Facebook is a great tool to find people. If your community is still small and needs more traction, try Meetup. There is a small fee, but many people use this in conjunction with their social group to build a local community.
#10: Have Your Customers Participate in the Creation of a New Product
Using surveys to poll your customers on new product ideas is a fantastic way to make sure your new product is on the right track. Try SurveyMonkey, it’s a free tool to help you get started.
Great marketers always use their own customers and followers, to find out if their product is worth making before they actually make it. A great place to find out if customer engagement is possible for your idea is Google Trends. This is a great tool to help you find out if what you’re asking for is a still something people care about. If you use this tool you might find out that your topic is on the tail end of a trend and not worth pursuing.
#11: Create Viral Content
Google Trends is also a great way to create viral content too. Use it to spot the trends early in their rise to the top. Every piece of viral content you create will increase customer engagement. It takes a little more work before you create but it will pay off in the end.
Keep in mind that the most important part of viral content is to make shareable headlines. Most people don’t even read your posts, but they do share it. Funny as that may seem, it is very true.
Use Hubspot’s Headline Generator if you’re having trouble to make awesome headlines for your next blog.
#12: I’ll Only Share That Information if I Get XXX Likes …
This is not my favorite tactic, and I would only use this if you’re sure that you’re going to get the number of likes you say you want. The idea is to share the content and then actually deliver. Don’t dangle your content. It will only upset your clients. However, this is a good strategy to spread your work and only do this with your best stuff.
#13: Create Native Content For Each Social Media Platform
Only sometimes should you copy and paste your work into other platforms. Try to understand why people are on those platforms, then create content that makes sense for it. That’s the definition of native content. If you’re posting Instagram quality stuff on Twitter you’re really not doing yourself a service.
Be creative on Instagram and informative on Twitter. Be an expert in long-form content on your blog and on LinkedIn. Use Facebook for fun. If you embody the pulse of the platform you’ll increase your customer engagement 10-fold in the short-term.
#14: Create a Customer Engagement Team
Retooling parts of your organization is a great strategy without hiring more people. You can put one person in charge of monitoring your Instagram posts and another on your Facebook group. All it takes is one person to get notified of a comment on their phone and then it’s their job to respond promptly.
#15: Hire a Client Engagement Company
If you just can’t find the time or quality people to do all this for your brand, don’t scrap the idea like so many companies do. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build a loyal community based on customer service. Hire an outside consultant to manage your Instagram or have them create one from scratch.
Many of these people are easily found on Upwork for a low price. Do your research on them before you hire them? Also, set benchmarks for them to hit each month. If they don’t convert then, find someone else.
Pulling It All Together
It’s not about doing one of these tactics for a week then moving on to the next one. Building customer engagement requires a vigilant approach. That means you need to keep your eyes open for ALL opportunities to create customer engagement.
This blog only contains 15 tactics to increase customer engagement, but I can assure you that there are many many more especially for your specific business. Focus on customer service and you won’t have problems getting your customers to start liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts and blogs.
Lastly, make sure you put out the best quality content you can. If you skimp on the ability to share your best work, you’ll fail to create customer engagement. There is a massive fear among companies to share their secrets. Most people will not take what you share and run with it. I’ll venture to say of all the people that read this article, only 10% will actually do something with this information.
It’s keeping those secrets that stop people from having huge social followings or massive traffic to their website. Simply put, they don’t give enough upfront to create the necessary traffic to the paid products to turn a substantial profit. It’s not because of the lack of good tactics. If you keep in mind these tactics and do them religiously you’ll see your followings and traffic increase.
For more information on building a stronger brand and customer engagement check out this article.