5 Tips To Great Social Media Interaction

Like with any platform, especially social media, they all have their own buzz words and the one that tends to stick out the most is the word "engage". Let's not get it twisted however. Engagement, or what I like to call, interaction, is at the very heart of what we should be doing.

Conversation is not a one lane highway—it's a 2 lane expressway. We're far past the understanding that using social media specifically as a pitch engine is by far one of the most ineffective ways of utilizing the platform. Being that interaction, engagement, whatever word you want to use, is key to getting good or great results, here's 5 tips that can help you.

#1: Who Are You Communicating With?

Lebanon Ford Lincoln Mercury
@lebanonflm responding to a customer. Jeff Cryder, a good friend of mine, runs their Social Media.

Communication is key, however, for best results, speak to those that make up your target market. A seller of office supplies doesn’t talk with a plumber, the same way a car dealer doesn’t talk to 5 year olds.

Finding your target market can be tricky. A lot of people tend to go too broad and say "small business owners" or "young moms" for example. Every time you can get deeper and more specific, you’ll have a much clearer idea and much more targeted, potentially more profitable approach.

The first question to ask yourself is, “What makes up the people I’m communicating with and do they fit the profile of my target market?”

Figure out their likes, interests, main frustrations, desires, how they talk with one another, etc.

Once you know and understand who they are, then you can communicate in a way that's most effective to your business. The best way to explain it is a sales letter. If you write it with Moms in mind when it’s geared towards Dads, you'll get very little sales. However, if you write in the language that your target audience is comfortable with and understands, Dads, and is geared towards them, you'll get significantly more sales.

#2: How Are You Communicating With Them?

In the world of sales, what you say and how you say it are absolutely key. The same thing applies in Social Media when communicating with your target market and/or customers.

Think about what words you use wisely and the tone of your conversation. When you talk in a more negative fashion, it tends to turn people off. When you talk in a more positive fashion, it tends to open people up, have them more receptive to what you have to say.

The image below is a great example of what you say and how you say it. Notice that Zappos could have simply ignored it as the customer was planning on shopping again. Instead, they responded by not only thanking them (customers LOVE appreciation), but also by apologizing, as well as giving a call to action to resolve the problem.

Zappos Service

This is a small example and a customer service related response, however, you can see how using your words wisely and changing your tone, can make a difference.

#3: The Accessibility Factor

We all want to be where our key market is and where our audience is spending a bulk of their time. We also want to be easily accessible, meaning it's almost effortless to get a hold of us.

The big takeaway is this: The more accessible you are, the more communication you can have. The more communication you can have, the more money you can generate.

As much as being accessible is great, you also want to make sure that where you're spending time is actually a good place to be doing so. Sometimes your target audience/market may be more on Facebook than Twitter and vice versa. Nonetheless, something to think about.

Scott Stratten of @unmarketing on Twitter does a great job replying back to people and is very accessible. Image courtesy BarryMoltz.com

#4: Questions Trump Statements

The mack Daddy of all interaction is questions. If you're not asking enough or not asking the right ones, it's about time you fixed that. The mass majority of interaction in social media starts with or from a question so it's good to make them a big part of your daily use.

Most people will tend to stick to statements and although that's great, it's exactly that, a statement. You want a two-sided conversation and open ended questions, by far the most effective, can increase that conversation you want to be having.

Open ended questions garner a much more different response than a yes or no response from a typical question. People leave their thoughts and much more interaction can be had through that. Below is an example of an open ended question and a regular question:

What's your favorite feature of Hootsuite?

Do you like Hootsuite?

So you can see the difference between the two. One promotes a much more expansive response and the other promotes a yes or no and maybe a little bit added to that. I'm not saying that all you want to be doing is asking questions. That'll just be a bit weird. There's no set number daily, but a few here and there sure don't hurt.

Also, it helps to switch it up from time to time and get creative. For example, on the official Myrtle Beach Facebook page (one that I managed), we used a fill in the blank. Within 35 minutes, we had 200 comments and after all was said and done, this was the result:

Being creative definitely mixes things up and it's good to combine that with open ended questions.

#5: The Consistency Factor

Not a lot of time has to be spent on this tip. With anything, consistency is key in order to get great results out of it. You don't have to spend a ton of time interacting and getting more interaction in social media. What I tell most people who are extremely busy is take 5-10 minutes every hour or two, to communicate.

You don't have to always be on which is where many go wrong. Just make sure to be on several times throughout the day for a little bit of time at least. Your audience will get used to seeing you and this bumps up your accessibility factor as well. If people see you daily and often, they will tend to get in touch with or interact with you more.

"What would you add for getting more interaction in social media?"

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