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engaging your audience

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Engaging Your Audience on Social Media with Meera Sapra

Although social media continues to change, one thing that hasn’t is how important it is for online brands to be present there. If you’re not actively using social media and engaging with your audience on those platforms, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to grow your business. Despite how popular it is, there are still many brands who just aren’t sure how to do social media the right way. In our latest #ContentWritingChat, we talked about engaging your audience on social media and learned some really great tips!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Engaging Your Audience on Social Media with Meera Sapra

Our guest host for this week’s chat was Meera Sapra. Meera is the Product Manager over at Zoho Social and she plays a large role in the brand’s social media presence. She shared a lot of helpful advice on engaging your audience during Tuesday’s chat, so let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: What does engagement on social media look like for your brand? Which metrics do you typically measure?

When it comes to success on social media, brands all have different goals they’re aiming to reach. To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what kind of engagement their brand looks for online and which metrics are most important to them.

As Meera said, it’s so important to measure what matters. The metrics that are most important to you might not matter so much to other brands. You may even set different goals based on the campaigns you produce. This is why it’s key to set goals for your content and create and measure with them in mind.

Again, metrics can vary based on the goal of your social media post. You might be aiming for likes, shares, link clicks, or something else. It all depends!

As Julia said, clicks and conversions are two things we always measure here at Express Writers. We want to see that social media followers are taking action by heading over to our website and making conversions (whether that be email sign-ups or sales). Buffer has been a helpful tool when it comes to measure the success of our content.

Jenn knows the goals for his brand and he intends to monitor engagement from his audience as well as referral traffic she receives from social media.

Comments and replies are always great to measure on social media because it’s nice to see that your content gets your audience talking. Use it as an opportunity to engage with them in return and start building a relationship.

For Sara, she has a few different metrics she likes to keep an eye on. They include engagement rate, video views, lead generation, and she monitors what people are saying.

Q2: To reach your audience, you have to be present on social media. How do you choose the platforms that are right for you?

With so many social media platforms out there, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. It can even leave you wondering which platforms you should really be investing your time in. Here’s some advice to help you choose the ones that are worthwhile for your brand:

Meera is spot-on with her answer for this question. As she said, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Focus on the social media platforms that matter the most for your brand. That’s going to be different from what other brands are doing, so determine what’s best for you.

As Roslyn said, you need to know the demographics of your target audience. This will guide you in the right direction because you can figure out which platforms they’re using the most.

Varun agrees that you need to be where your target audience is hanging out online. Once you figure that out, you can begin building a community there and be part of their conversation. That’s key to engaging your audience on social media.

Even Sarah agrees! It’s all about being where your audience is spending their time.

This is another great way to look at it. Determine where your audience is online and asking questions and be there yourself. This is your opportunity to answer the questions they have and share your expertise.

Zala recommends also considering what your goals are and which platforms feel the most natural to you. If a platform just doesn’t feel right for you and your brand, that’s okay. Give it a good try and if it doesn’t work, move on to something else.

Elizabeth shared one key piece of advice we all need to keep in mind: don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of platforms to manage. You don’t need to be everywhere online. Instead, focus on the platforms that your audience is using and that will be the most beneficial to you.

Q3: What types of content receive the most engagement on social media? How do you know when something works for your brand?

When you’re focused on engaging your audience on social media, you have to create the content that’s going to resonate with them. Your posts will need to inspire them to take action. So, what content types receive the most engagement and how do you know when something truly works for you? Check out this advice:

Meera knows you really can’t go wrong with visual content on social media. Great graphics and videos can really help you stand out online and are so helpful when it comes to engaging your audience. They’ll really grab their attention!

Always keep in mind that what resonates with your audience will be different from what resonates with other audiences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and test them to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s also important to set goals so you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and can measure it accordingly.

Julia knows that infographics perform really well online, as they tend to receive a lot of likes and shares. She also knows that they work really well for us here at Express Writers because they gain a lot of traction and our audience responds well to them. If you haven’t tried creating infographics for your brand, you might want to give it a go!

Cheval knows that live video is very popular right now. It’s a great opportunity for brands to chat with their audience in real time and it’s worth taking advantage of this.

As Tony said, images and videos tend to receive more engagement than a social media post that’s just text and a link. Think about this the next time you’re filling up that Buffer queue! Great copy is also a must if you want to inspire people to take action.

And there’s no denying that GIFs are awesome when engaging your audience on social media. Not only do they stand out in a busy timeline, but they’re fun and help you connect with your audience on another level when they spark a conversation.

Q4: How do you write a headline that encourages clicks on social media?

If you’re using social media as a way to direct traffic back to your website, you need to know some key tips and tricks for writing copy that pushes people to take action by making the click. Check out these tips for writing a captivating headline:

Meera’s advice is to follow the KISSER approach: Keep It Short, Simple, Engaging, and Relevant.

If you want to encourage clicks, you need to write a headline that leaves people wanting more. Make it captivating, but never mislead anyone with clickbait. It’ll turn people off very quickly.

It also helps to think of the problems you’re solving for your audience. Katie said she considers how her audience might be searching when crafting her perfect headline.

Adding some personality always helps you stand out from the crowd and plays a huge role in engaging your audience on social media. Don’t be afraid to be yourself because people get turned off by brands that are too robotic or automated.

It’s okay to think outside the box as well! This will help you craft a headline that stands out from the rest.

It’s okay if you need to brainstorm a few ideas for your headline as well. You want to make sure it’s great! Ask yourself if it’s something you’d click and if it is, you’ve done your job.

For even more tips, check out this guide to writing headlines that Julia put together for our blog!

Q5: How can you inspire your audience to take action and convert via social media?

One thing we’re always seeking more of online is easily conversions. But how exactly do you inspire people to take that next step and convert with your brand? Check out this advice from the chat:

As Meera said, a great call to action is key. Let people know what that next step is by telling them. Don’t just sit back and expect them to figure it out on their own. Sharing stories from current customers is always a great way to encourage sales from those who are on the fence.

Make sure you take the time for actually engaging your audience on social media. Start up a conversation with them. Answer their questions. You can’t just schedule posts and walk away. You have to be present on social media in order to see success, so let them know you’re there and you’re listening.

Jessy agrees that it’s important to work on building the relationship between your brand and your customers. Connect with them via conversations on social media and they’ll begin to trust your brand. Once you’ve built that relationship, they’ll be more likely to convert.

As Julia said, make sure you don’t forget the simple things. Optimize your social media bio with your offer and a link and also balance sharing useful and promotional posts on your platforms.

Q6: Do you use a social media editorial calendar to plan content? If so, how do you plan efficiently for best results?

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the benefits of using an editorial calendar to plan content for your blog. But have you ever thought of using one for social media? If not, you should! Here’s what some of Tuesday’s chat participants had to say about planning social media content:

Meera recommends keeping your social media editorial calendar in sync with your brand’s overall marketing calendar and content goals. This will ensure you’re staying on track!

The Digital Natives cast sees the importance of having an editorial calendar. The key, as mentioned, is to keep it loose. You can plan out your content all you want, but you should also be flexible and adapt your plan as needed.

Tony uses Google Drive and Trello to keep his content strategy organized.

The team at Netvantage relies on Sprout social and uses their built-in calendar.

On the flip side, not everyone feels the need to plan in advance. Lex doesn’t rely on a social media editorial calendar and instead focuses on things the day of.

Q7: Which tools do you rely on to keep up with your audience and engage with them on social media?

With so many tools available today, managing social media is so much easier than it once was. If you’re looking for some tools to help you out, check out these suggestions:

As a team member of Zoho, it’s no surprise that Meera loves using Zoho Social for all of its features.

TweetDeck and Buffer make the perfect combination!

For Maria, her go-to tools include Hootsuite, Buffer, HubSpot, and Twitter’s own analytics.

Varun uses Buffer, Hootsuite, and Crowdfire for social media management.

Cheval relies on Hootsuite, Agora Pulse, and Blue Jeans Net.

Jessy is also a fan of Hootsuite!

You can’t forget about Twitter lists! They’re so helpful in engaging your audience because you can easily keep up with what others are talking about.

The RankWatch team relies on Hootsuite and Buffer for scheduling content, but has a dedicated team that handles social media engagement.

Q8: Which brands do an amazing job at engaging their audience? Tag them!

You can always draw some inspiration from other amazing brands. Take a look at these brands who are doing social media right:

Meera’s favorites include Starbucks, Airbnb, Oreo, and Amazon Kindle.

Julia is a fan of Applebee’s, Corner Bakery, and Wendy’s.

And she’s not the only one! Wendy’s is killing it on Twitter these days. Take a look at their Twitter and you’re sure to learn a thing or two about engaging your audience.

Mike said Applebee’s, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Delta have all been doing a great job.

Content Marketing Institute is another great example, especially since they run a Twitter chat of their own! Chats are a great way to encourage engagement with your brand.

Join us every Tuesday at 10 AM CST for #ContentWritingChat! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated on topics and guests.
#Contentwritingchat

teaching through blogging

Keep Your Audience Engaged By Teaching Through Blogging

Engagement, shareability, and even going viral. It’s what we all want out of our blogging. But how exactly do you get there? How do you keep a reader engaged enough (to read past the first word)? How do you get to the level of going viral and getting excess shares? One way is to teach through your blogging. It’s simple—start teaching your clients and visitors with your blog. Let’s take a look at why you should teach your clients, the benefits, and few examples of how you can do this!

Why Should You Teach Your Clients?

One of the main reasons you want to teach your client base is to keep them engaged with your blogs. Sure, the few blogs about your company are entertaining, but they do not provide value for your readers. Your services landing pages are where you can tell people about your company, what you offer, and more, but your blog is your chance to give your customers something of high value. People love being able to learn from businesses because it feels like they are getting something for free. This encourages them to use your company in the future for whatever their particular needs are. Marketing Land points out that when anyone encounters a problem they can’t solve on their own, they head right on over to the nearest search engine. This gives you the amazing opportunity to rank quickly and bring in new customers!

What Are The Benefits of Teaching through Blogging?

Teaching is something that is perfect for every company with a blog to do. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you will see when you teach your clients through your blog:

1. Keep Visitors Engaged In Your Writing. One of the key benefits of teaching is that you are able to keep your visitors engaged in your blogs. It is easy for people to just skim and skip your content if it doesn’t offer anything that they want or need. If you start teaching people, they will keep reading your blog. You may even see that people do more than just skim your blog because people can’t learn just by skimming (though some do try!).

2. Convert Visitors Into Customers. You know that it is important to convert those visitors to customers, but you might find that it is quite difficult to do. Teaching through your blog is a great way to do just this. You will show visitors that you offer something pretty awesome and they might consider using your company in the future, or even purchase something that day! Doesn’t it seem like a great idea to start teaching your clients? Offer them something of value to show your visitors that you really are the company to go with.

3. Create Longtime Customers. If you continually offer something that has value, you will find that your customers are more apt to stay with you for a long time. We all love receiving consistent information that can help us in our everyday problems and are more likely to stick with a company that offers something no one else does. Just think about it; are you more likely to stay with a company that never offers any helpful information on a certain task or problem? Or are you more likely to stay with a company that consistently offers you valuable information? We know that we’d prefer a company who gave us consistent useful information!

4. You Get A Competitive Edge When Teaching. Teaching is still something that seems relatively new, and as Mack Collier points out, if you teach, you get a strong competitive edge. This is a great way to start beating your competition and you might even bring over a few of your competition’s client base just by simply teaching people. Obviously, your competition might learn from you to teach others, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are worlds ahead of them already.

5. Content With Value Is More Apt To Be Shared. In the same article mentioned above, Mark Collier explains that content with value is more likely to be shared on social sites. The more your content is shared, the closer you will get to have something go viral. Viral content is something that most companies really want because it will get them noticed by more people and grow their client base significantly. There are several different ways that viral content can be achieved; teaching your customers is just one of many.

6. Your Brand Becomes More Trusted. Hubpsot points out thatyou will find clients are more likely to trust your brand if you teach them, than if your blog doesn’t offer anything valuable. They can give your brand excellent reviews and you will stand out amongst all of the others in your industry. Teaching can really help your reputation management and keep your reputation higher. As you well know, reputation is crucial in the online world and is what can make or break your business. Teaching will help you keep that reputation up.

7. Overall Happy Customers. According to the same Hubspot article mentioned above, you will find that clients will be generally happy when they are learning from your business. What you are doing is showing your client base that you appreciate them enough to give them help and information for free. As stated previously, customers will be more likely to share your business with others, and you will find that if a particular blog post really resonates with them, they will share it. Happy customers make for a happy business.

How Do You Teach Through Your Blog?

You are now probably thinking, “well, those benefits sure sound great! But how do I go about teaching through blogging?” We are going to give you a few tips on just how to teach through your blog and offer some excellent, valuable content for your clients.

1. Offer DIY Projects. People really enjoy DIY projects; just take a look at Pinterest! Offer your client base a project that is relatively easy to do that will not end up as a “Pinterest Fail.” This can give people the ability to try something on their own, which will help them trust your company. You can even follow it up with a statement that if a customer needs further help that your business can do just that.

2. Give People A Fun History Lesson. Sometimes, it can be fun to learn about the history of your products, services, or industry. Give a little history lesson in your next blog post to give people the backstory to your items. This will make your company seem more like humans run it and give people a feeling of connection with you. Make sure that you make the history fun and exciting. If you find that the written blog might be too overwhelming, make it into a handy infographic or turn it into a fun video.

3. Offer Free e-Books. Freebies are something we all love and you can utilize this perfectly when teaching customers, while giving them something for free. Places such as offer great free e-books for their clients and gives them the ability to learn about the latest, greatest ways to market their business. This makes their client base feel appreciated while also making sure that Moz is able to keep their base. Consider crafting an e-book to send out to your client base or maybe offer one when someone signs up to become a client. Either way, you are offering your clients an excellent resource for their business, making them more likely to stay with you and to share information about your business with their peers.

4. Hire Guest Bloggers To Offer Other Information. Another great way to teach people is to ask guest bloggers to write for your blog. This gives you access to more information and a different viewpoint on particular lessons that you might not have been able to give. You will find that a guest blogger can offer quite a bit in the way of useful information to your client base, and it also helps to keep your content fresh and ever-growing. Make sure your guest bloggers know what you expect from them and give them a set of guidelines to help them adhere to what you want in a guest blog.

5. Research What Your Customers Want To Learn About. While the above ideas are perfect ways to begin teaching your client base, make sure you also research what your clients want to learn about. You can do this by gathering questions to email your clients, setting up polls, or asking on your blog. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to give their input.

In Closing

You will start noticing that you bring in more revenue and that you maintain a client base when you start teaching your clients. Offer newsletters, blogs, emails, or whatever format you want to teach and your customers will keep coming back to you for more information! Now is your chance to sit down and start outlining a few excellent teaching pieces!