What sometimes makes social media so amazing is the way in which it often feeds off of itself. When the content is good and especially relevant — whether it be a photo, video, or just a general message — a cyclical process is started. What happens next is that that content is shared over, and over, and over again. People that are actively involved on social media will see that content, and then they might share it, too. And then people tell their friends in the real world. And then people that aren’t on those social networks hear about it anyway, because everyone is talking about it. And then the news might even pick up on it. And then that content, whatever it is, has officially gone Viral, with a capital V. It’s amazing. It’s game-changing.
And yet this process can also be applied to businesses. That, too, is a very cyclical process that, at least initially, requires a lot of give (from the businesses). Here’s how businesses can greatly increase engagement among their social media channels by simply getting (and keeping) their customers involved.
Develop Your Approach
Rarely are strategies ever a bad thing. Sure, they might force us to over think things, but they usually give us an idea of how we want to approach a particular scenario or situation. That’s never bad, really.
When it comes to getting customers involved, businesses should have an idea of why they want to get them involved and how they want to get them involved, and it shouldn’t simply be to increase sales. Answers to why, should be to drive people towards events, or to get new ideas. How, should be the approach that that business is planning on taking in achieving that ultimate goal. Through incentives or campaigns? Challenges? Tweets? Pins?
Ultimately, the more fleshed out that strategy is, the more likely it will succeed, and the easier it will be to fine tune in areas that it doesn’t. The more involvement that you actively pursue among customers, the greater that will reflect through social media. And, like I said, it’s a cyclical process that can grow rapidly.
Then Let Them Change You
Large businesses are often huge, sprawling conglomerates that have gone through years, upon years of growth, aided by the brainpower of often hundreds if not thousands of employees.
But they are also entities that experience huge amounts of change. And that change often comes as a reflection of its customer bases. A businesses’s prime goal, more often than not, is to change the world around them in some sort of way so that those customers — those people who are keeping that respective business alive — are constantly intrigued, compelled and engaged with that business.
So why not let them become actively involved in that change? Businesses should ask users what they think of new products or new events, and stimulate them in ways in which they will share their own ideas. They should offer them rewards, or the ability to have their name on a new product, and do it consistently.
Most importantly, for businesses it’s important to note the biggest and perhaps best ideas, and think about ways in which they can incorporate those ideas into the vision of their company. Basically, it doesn’t hurt to think big.
Finally, as large corporations like Starbucks have proven, getting customers involved can often have huge benefits when it comes to social media. It makes them feel heard, and it benefits those businesses that find ways to incorporate those ideas into their own visions.
And truly, it helps them (and their social media presences) grow.
How do you get customers involved in your social media strategies?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester social media company based in NY specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.