11 Ways to Engage Customers Using Social Media

Are there rules of engagement in social media? If so, which ones apply to small businesses?

“If you’ve ever wondered how to engage better on social media, you’re not alone,” according to “The world of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can be confusing—and most marketers are still trying to figure things out. When should you post? What should you post? What are the rules?”

 Thirteen entrepreneurs share practical tips on how to best engage customers using social media.

1. Always stay informed.

“Social media is a constantly evolving field, so staying up to date on your knowledge is key! Use your social media platforms to show off your knowledge and skills and to establish your company as an expert in your industry. Research what’s trending and establish a presence in the new networks as soon as you can.”

– Phil Laboon, CEO and President of Eyeflow Internet Marketing, @eyeflow

2. Dole out an incentive.

“Social media is all about incentives. Providing real value on your Facebook page, for example, is going to give fans something to like, share or comment about.  If someone can find all the same information you have on your Facebook page on your company website, why become a fan or be a follower? Engage with your community and offer them a special incentive for liking your page.”

– Seth Worby, CEO of Champ Internet Solutions, @champinternet


 3. Offer valuable content.

“Offer your community valuable content and not just a coupon. A quick laugh, fun fact, delicious recipe, or cultural quip are all great options for some unique content. Something that isn’t always self-serving always connects.”

– Brian Taylor, Founder and President of Kernel Season’s, @kernelseasons


4. Become interactive.

“Be interactive with your audience. Posting high-quality content is great, but you must also engage your audience via surveys and polls on Facebook and scheduled TweetChats on Twitter. If you want to increase participation in these online events, include a raffle for a modestly priced gift card for participants.”

– Andrew Schrage, Co-Owner of Money Crashers, @moneycrashers


5. Create a unique brand experience.

“Everything you share on social media should be helpful, funny or inspiring. Stay front and center by creating your unique brand experience on social media, one they can’t get anywhere else. Copycat marketing is out the window; be you and start to thrive!”

– Erin Tillotson, Social Media Specialist at Premiere Virtual Office, @erintollotson


6. Reply to social media feedback.

“The absolute best way for companies to stay relevant in social media and to effectively engage their followers is to listen to what their fans are saying. Don’t try to steer the conversation; instead, listen to what customers are saying and respond. Reply to user’s feedback and jump into conversations that are already happening.”

– Lisa Parkin, President of Social Climber, LLC, @lisamparkin


7. Show customers product benefits.

“Offer real, value-packed information related to your products that customers or clients can use. For instance, if your products are cloth diapers, don’t just shoot links out to them or focus on their features. Instead, show your customers how to use them, wash them, pre-soak them and also, how to recycle them, if needed! Pair this with more “benefit-oriented” posts and updates, and you’re bound to have customers looking forward to what you have to say.”

– Prerna Malik, Co-Owner of Social Media Direct, @socmediadirect


8. Use images with viral potential.

“In social media images speak louder than words. My top tip for engagement would be to carefully select an image for its viral potential. Don’t forget that an unassuming image can often be enhanced by the caption or question you submit with it.”

– Sara Bodinar, Founder and Director of Monty Manatee Weddings, @montymanatee


9. Stay consistent.

“The only way to keep your brand relevant is to speak up!  It is essential to maintain a constant flow of articles and ideas… People who know [of your] business are far more likely to work with [you].  A company will quickly loose its luster if they are not making some kind of noise.”

– Jason McClain, CEO of McClain Concepts, Inc., @jasoncmcclain


10. Share engaging video content.

“[Create online] videos that instruct your customers for free on a solution to a common problem. ‘Behind the Scenes’ videos are also great [engagement tools].”

– Mark Black, CEO and President of Adversus Communications, @markblackspeaks


11. Don’t preach about your company 24/7.

“It’s critical that companies don’t use social media as a place to preach about their products and services. Think about what your target market is interested in and provide them with information that they are looking for. Only share information about your products and services 20-30% of the time and make it natural.”



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