“Social media” suggests that we are sociable with those that like us, follow us or connect with us. However, as we get busier and busier, we too often either use a social media management tool like Hootsuite, schedule our posts/tweets and never review them after they are posted, or we quickly log on to Facebook, post and log off, never reviewing the interactions.
We’ve shared a few ways to engage more through Twitter. As Facebook changes their algorithms and our posts appear in less and less news feeds, we focus on Facebook and – as our new definition of social suggests – design activities in which people engage with each other for pleasure.
1. Like every comment. Simple enough. Outside of the absolutely bashing comment – “The Anywheresville Zoo is the worst ever…” – like every comment! They took the time to comment on your post so like it. Is it the most eloquent endorsement? Can you use it in your marketing materials? Maybe not. But like it! It encourages more comments. And you want “Joe commented on Anywhereville’s post” to appear in his friends’ news feeds. Gold!
Even more so, comment yourself – “Thanks for sharing Julie!” If it’s negative – “We didn’t particularly like the zoo. A lot of walking!” Comment with “Thanks for sharing. Did you know about the tram back to the elephants?” You acknowledged their comment and provided assistance. How can you go wrong with that? Plus you showed your DMO or store is knowledgeable about services at attractions.
2. If someone asks a question, for crying out loud, respond! Again, they took the time to ask a question. We totally understand – no one can watch the page 24/7. Glance at it every now and then – first thing in the morning, before or after lunch and right before you leave for the day.
3. Do you have a friends page? Your Facebook page isn’t really a business page. “Anywheresville” is the first name and “State” is the last name? It’s common. And really it’s to your advantage! Birthdays! A client of our had both a friends page and a business page. We kept them both and wished all of their friends ‘happy birthday’. Numerous times we’d get replies surprised they’d get a greeting from an attraction. It’s as personal as you can get with your customers!
4. Pictures! When you scroll through your news feed, what grabs your eye? A text only post or a picture? So then why don’t you use pictures for your DMO or business’ posts? “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A picture might be worth a thousand likes.
5. Start conversations. Go ahead and prime the pump. Encourage dialogue. About once a week, a local Mexican restaurant posts a conversation starter. A recent one: “Imagine you can only order one thing off our menu for the rest of your life: What is it?” 28 comments. Try fill in the blanks. “In one word, our quacamole goes best with _____________” Combine this with pictures and have them provide the caption. (Possibly less successful as it really requires creativity more so than one adjective or commenting with your favorite burrito but worth a try.)
6. Feature customers. Get comment cards? Post the comments. “Thanks for the kind words Julie (followed by her quote).” A waitress in your restaurant was just asked to take a picture of guests at a table? Take a picture yourself and post it. Get their name and say “Peter and his friends celebrating his landing a big account.”
7. Ask for a like, a comment or a share. Word is Facebook is tweaking their algorithm to combat ‘spammy’ posts: How many likes can we get for the new dinosaur at the museum? Or What’s your favorite ride a the waterpark? Like for lazy river, comment for raft ride, share for death drop. We believe if you ask in a subtle tone, it’s still okay. “Let’s hear what you have to say” or “you gotta like this”.
There’s other ways to engage – contests, exclusive promotions, apps – but let’s keep it with these seven tips for now.
Social media isn’t easy! It’s not just posting, checking it off your to-do list and moving to the next task. Yes, it takes time and we’re all super busy – especially in the one man/woman offices. Perhaps it’s time to consider getting some help. Please let us know if we can help in any way. At the very least, the above can help you engage with visitors and potential customers.