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By: Carolyn Edgecomb on March 27th, 2017

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Social Media Marketing: The Importance of a Two-Way Conversation

Strategy

Since the dawn of social media, brands have been trying to engage and interact with their prospects, leads, and customers in a way that is more human.

One way that companies and brands can achieve that type of relationship is through social media.

Companies don't want to be seen as power hungry. Instead, companies want to engage and interact by educating and personalizing their consumers’ online experience.

Social media is an important aspect of any brand. According to HubSpot, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of traditional outbound methods, but you can’t do this by simply creating a page and mindlessly posting updates.You need to have a two-way conversation with your audience on social media. You need to engage them not just as your buyers, but as people and really help them achieve their goals whether it be answering a question or finding a business partner.

This article will teach you why your company should be having a two-way conversation with consumers through social media and how to do it.

The Benefits of a Two-Way Conversation on Social Media

1. Helps You Connect on a Human Level

Unlike a one-way conversation where a company typically dominates the narrative and doesn't really acknowledge or interact with visitors/followers , a two-way conversation directly connects brands and consumers. A two-conversation is a dialogue, where brands speak and listen to their audience, responding directly to their wants and needs.

When you're posting on social media, remember that 80% of your posts should be adding value and brand building, in other words, not promoting your product or service, but helping. The remaining 20% of your posts, however, can be self-serving, endorsing products or upcoming events.

As a brand, you should share news and ideas, even if they aren't yours. The idea is to educate, inform, and "delight."

Engaging in conversation, shows that you’re not just a cold organization disconnected from their buyers; it shows you are listening,understand, and care about their concerns on a human level.

2. Shows Your Brand’s Personality

On another humanization note, two-way conversation on social media helps show brand personality.

This is where you can start highlighting your company’s culture and expertise, while adding in a little humor.

One way you can showcase your personality is through photos. Not to sound like a broken record, but images are worth more than words.

Here’s a look at how we showcase our personality on social media:

 

Let's face it; we all snuck samples. #instafood #instagood #impactbnd #impactlifestyle #dipday2016 #DIPendability

A post shared by IMPACT Branding & Design (@impactbnd) on

3. Gain Valuable, Candid Insight

Whether you’re a SaaS company or even a contractor, you’ll find that routinely monitoring your social media accounts will provide you with a ton of valuable, candid insight.

Love it or hate it, people say what they feel on social media, and this extends far beyond just how their day is going. They talk about brands, personalities, businesses, and products.

Positive or negative, monitoring and engaging in two-way conversation on social is a great way for you to not only learn about what your customers love about your company, but also their frustrations -- and take action to remedy them. This gives you the ability to use social media as a platform for customer service, responding directly to concerns or gaining insight to improve.

Based on research from CX Social, not only do 67% of companies believe that social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the customer contact center, but companies that improve their customer experience on social from average to “wow” can see 30-50% improvement in key measures such as likelihood to repeat purchase, upsell, and recommend your product to others.

Here are ways that you can make your brand more personal through two-way conversation on social media.

1. Be Part of Existing Conversations

You don't want your company to do all of the talking. Everyday consumers are liking and sharing your content, asking questions, leaving comments, and unfortunately, sometimes complaining.

You shouldn't ignore this engagement on your social media profiles, no matter how negative it might be. How else do you expect to repair your relationship?

To develop get the two-way conversation going, look at what’s already going on around your brand on social media:

  • Respond to comments
  • Answer questions
  • Address complaints

Just don’t let a week pass before engaging with those people. Unfortunately, in this fast pace world, you may no longer be on their mind. You don't want to miss the opportunity to develop a lasting relationship with your consumers or prospects.

Not only should you engage with your consumers, but don't forget about other companies. This is a great way to create a relationship with industry thought leaders and big brands.

2. Utilize Paid Ads to Boost Engagement

Oftentimes, reaching your target audience can be a tough feat.

Back in June 2016, Facebook updated their algorithm, prioritizing posts from family and friends at the top. Then in August, it went a step further predicting what posts you would think are informative.

Facebook makes these predictions based on your likes and engagement with other posts.

By implementing those changes to its algorithm, Facebook made reaching a significant portion of your business page’s audience organically a challenge.

That being said, consider boosting your posts! For updates s that aren’t getting seen or receiving a lot of engagement on their own, consider boosting them to maximize your reach and encourage likes and comments.

Any engagement you get when boosted with carry over and help the post naturally rise in people’s newsfeed, thereby encouraging even more conversation.

3. Create a Facebook Group

Now, don’t just make a Facebook Group, just to make one.

Consider creating an invite-only group, where you can invite your most engaged audience members to join. Unlike, a traditional Facebook page, with groups you can share the right information with the right people.

The biggest differences between posting in a Facebook Group and on your Facebook page, include:

  • Whenever someone posts in a Facebook Group the members will receive a notification. This is a great way to ensure that they never miss an update.
  • Also, this isn’t something you can automate. You’ll want to put aside time each day to pop into the group and interact with the members.

Do not use the Facebook Group to actively promote your content or offers, but rather as a way to build a community with like minded individuals. You can do that by leaving comments, asking questions, and facilitating discussions.

4. Break the Ice With Humor

I'm not sure about you, but a laugh is always appreciated. However, it's important to remember that humor isn't something that should be forced. No one wants to be that "comedian" who just told a joke and there's a moment of awkward silence where you think you can hear crickets.

Implementing humor is great because it’s a universal form of communication and a wonderful way of breaking the ice with a conversation.

Brands that are routinely incorporating humor into their conversations on social media, include:

  • Old Spice
  • Totino’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Bissell

Charmin has done a great job of incorporating humor throughout their social media marketing campaigns. Check them out!


If you’re able to get your social media followers laughing, you’ll have the opportunity to build connections that will also help your brand form this sense of community with your audience.

5. Show Your Face -- With Video

An easy way to build a connection on social media is through video.

Unlike text on a screen which can often fall flat, video gets your face and voice out to your audience. It creates the illusion of a more personal connection and conversation, and also builds trust by allowing people to see exactly who’s behind your company.

One of the easiest and most casual ways to do this is through Facebook Live.

Unlike a webinar or simply uploading a video to YouTube, on Facebook, you have the ability to interact with your audience in real-time by answering their questions and responding to comments.

With Facebook Live, you also have the ability to prompt responses by asking questions and getting a better idea of what they’d like to see and talk about.

Some brands that are effectively building a connection with their audience through Facebook Live, include:

  • Starbucks
  • ASPCA
  • Nana Macs Boutique
  • Birchbox
  • Mashable

6. Be Consistent

Just having a social media profile isn't enough. You need to routinely update it -- make it a lively place to hang out.

Let’s be honest; the easiest way to look like you’ve gone out of business is to let any of your social media profiles go dark.

In order to maximize your social media conversations, you need to post updates on a regular basis. We recommend at least one update per day on each platform. If you need help, consider building a social media schedule for your updates and stick to it.

Developing this routine and expectation of new content, will help followers get into the habit of checking your profile and encourage conversation.

How are you building conversations on social media?

I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing to expand your reach and increase engagement across your social media platforms.

Tune Up Your Social Media Marketing
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About Carolyn Edgecomb

Before moving into a portfolio management position, Carolyn was a key contributor to the IMPACT blog. (In case you thought she sounded familiar.) Nowadays, as our Community Coordinator, she manages and maintains the logistics of daily, weekly, and monthly operations from a portfolio management perspective to ensure each client, Pod, and the overall Community is performing at an acceptable level. You might call her the queen of post-it notes and organization. With a passion for all things inbound marketing and project management, she is always looking for new ways to improve our client services department. Outside of IMPACT, you'll find her on Pinterest, listening to country music, reading a book or trying out a new recipe.

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