5 Ways to Engage Your Audience on Social Media

Social media today is vastly different than it was 10 years ago. It’s even pretty different than it was 6 months ago. That’s because algorithms, platforms, and people change.

So, how can you guarantee success when the digital landscape is constantly shifting around you? While success may never be a guarantee, there is one thing you can do to give you a fighting chance: engage your audience.

No matter what platform you’re on, the one unifying purpose that brings everyone there is included in the term “social media.” People flock to social media to be social. They want to engage with others, share their thoughts, and have meaningful conversations. Here are five ways you can start engaging with your social media audience.

1. Ask Questions

A common mistake that social media marketers make is failing to ask questions. We often assume that if someone follows our page, they must want to know what WE think. In fact, they come for the opposite reason. They want to be engaged by us.

Think of someone you know that seems to only like to talk about themself. Do you enjoy spending time with that person or would you prefer to spend time with someone who asks you questions and genuinely cares what you think? Most people prefer the latter.

When writing post copy or responding to comments, think of interesting questions you could ask. Maybe you’re looking for ideas for a new flavor of ice cream. Maybe you want to hear about their favorite stories with Dad for Father’s Day. Anything you can think of that will get people talking with you will also get them talking about you.

2. Use Emojis

Written text is a tough medium to convey emotions with, especially in short doses. Even if you believe your words are clear and simple, they can easily be misinterpreted. A single exclamation point can indicate anything from excitement to anger to surprise! If you’re going to spend the time cultivating relationships with your followers, why not be as clear as possible?

Emojis give you the opportunity to visualize a plethora of different emotions in your message. Sure, they can be overly cutesy sometimes and a little annoying if overdone. Just be judicious in your usage and they can become a powerful tool for audience engagement.

3. GIF, GIF, GIF!

One of my favorite ways to engage with followers is through GIFs. They’re eye-catching, often humorous, and a whole lot of fun. I’ve found that when I use a well-thought-out GIF at just the right moment, my engagement gets a boost.

Because GIFs are often snippets of other media, they provide the opportunity for inside jokes with your followers. If you notice a commenter has made an image of Inigo Montoya their profile picture, it may be a good idea to respond to that comment with a GIF from “The Princess Bride.” This doesn’t just get a laugh, it makes your business relatable and human.

Another great benefit of GIFs is that it offers you that chance to be humorous. Not everyone is good at coming up with snappy wordplay and witty jokes off the top of their head. In fact, brands can get into a lot of PR trouble if they make the wrong joke. With a GIF, you’re borrowing someone else’s (likely tried and true) humor and getting in on the joke.

4. Broadcast Live

Live videos are a great tool for any business wanting to engage. It creates a forum for suggestions, questions, comments, and other congenial interactions between brands and their followers that’s invaluable. Real-time responses and a feeling of genuineness are what draw users to these videos and it’s no wonder that they’re taking over as the most popular post type on many major platforms.

The best part about them is, you don’t have to be an experienced videographer to shoot one. Most platforms have a simple interface that will allow you to broadcast at the tap of a screen. Just pull out your smart phone and start a conversation.

5. Be Prepared

Perhaps the most important advice I can give is to be prepared. When the moment comes, are you ready to engage with a follower who engages with you? Here are some suggestions to get yourself prepared.

First, build up your content bank. Regularly fill it with GIFs and photos that you can share quickly in various situations.

Next, Write the ready-to-go responses to frequently asked questions. Answer the same question multiple times in different ways and keep those answers handy. Then, when you get the inevitable question, you can answer right away without giving the same templated response every time.

Finally, invest in social media management tools. When you have multiple social media accounts across various online platforms, it can be tough to respond to everything. If you don’t currently use a software platform that lets you moderate all of your social accounts in one place, then you should start.

With a platform like Lava Surf, you’ll not only be able to post, schedule, and boost your content, you’ll also be able to bring all of your social accounts into one moderation dashboard. Instead of going to multiple web pages and signing into multiple accounts, you’ll save valuable time by logging into one single online platform.

 

 

Lava Surf teams with LoyaltyPlant to help multi-unit restaurant brands

Lava Surf has teamed with NYC-based LoyaltyPlant to help multi-unit restaurant brands build an outstanding omnichannel customer experience. This partnership will empower franchise restaurant chains with opportunities to effectively and seamlessly communicate with customers through their white-label branded mobile apps, as well as social media pages.

LoyaltyPlant’s mobile solution integrated with a handy CRM-system will allow users to automatically engage with customers 24/7, easily process their requests and orders, and ultimately sell more. LoyaltyPlant provides:

 

 

 

Both of our teams have spent years in the multi-unit & SAAS spaces. As a result, we perfectly understand each others’ needs for a simple, effective, & flexible system with services that can be tailored to a specific brand and internal needs.

“This team-up will surely enhance our customers’ brand integrity and increase their revenue. Businesses can now create more powerful social media campaigns through our partnership with Lava Surf. This will inevitably increase app downloads through social media referrals,” — said Joe Caraballo, Head of Partnerships at LoyaltyPlant.

Learn more here.

Facebook Data Update

You’ve probably heard about the Cambridge Analytica fiasco at Facebook. Because of this, Facebook is taking a couple steps behind the scenes to prevent future problems from occurring.

So, how will this affect you?

For now, it won’t. We’ve taken steps to ensure your connection is not interrupted and everything will be business as usual. We do expect to see Facebook send more changes down the pipe, so we’ll keep you aware of relevant changes as they occur.

Please feel free to contact your Lava Surf Account Manager with any questions.

-The Lava Surf Team

NEW: Instagram Scheduling Now Available

Instagram Scheduling Now Available!

Lava Surf is happy to introduce the new Instagram Publishing feature! Now you can schedule Instagram content on your Lava Surf calendar alongside Facebook, Twitter & Google Plus.

How does it work?

  1. Download the Lava Surf app on the App Store or Google Play
  2. Sign in using your Lava Surf user credentials
  3. Schedule your Instagram content on the web platform
  4. Receive a mobile notification when your scheduled content is ready to publish
  5. Press “send” and publish your content via Instagram

Please contact your Lava Surf account manager for details & setup assistance.

What Facebook’s Changing Metrics Mean For You

In a recent blog post and press conference, Facebook announced it would be changing the way several metrics are reported and even eliminating some of them. In the past, Facebook has had to admit to several mistakes that led to misreported metrics. Last year they were even called out for reporting reach numbers higher than deemed possible by census data. Marketers’ understandable lack of confidence surrounding the reported numbers is likely why Facebook has decided to take this action.

Below are some of the changes you’ll need to know and what they’ll mean for your social marketing goals.

1. Consistency

The first major announcement came from a blog post in early February. Facebook stated they would be altering the way organic reach is measured to be more consistent with the way paid reach is measured:

[We] will update how we measure organic reach of Pages to be more consistent with the way we calculate reach for ads. This is a change in the way that we measure reach, not a change in News Feed distribution, and other engagement metrics will remain the same. This will provide Page owners with a more precise measurement of their audience and offer a more consistent measurement methodology across both our paid and organic reach reporting.

What will this mean for you? First, you will likely see a dip in your organic reach numbers. While Facebook previously measured organic reach by the number of times a post was delivered to a News Feed, it will now only measure the times it actually crossed a user’s screen.

Second, you’ll get a more accurate picture of who you’re actually reaching. While the numbers may seem lower, knowing exactly how many people really saw your post is far more valuable. It also creates a consistent standard of measurement between your organic and paid reach numbers.

2. Transparency

It’s no secret that it’s been tough to trust Facebook’s metrics in the past. This has largely to do with the fact that many of them don’t come with an explanation of what they actually measure. Luckily, this announcement comes with the promise of more transparency, including introducing new ways to measure engagement and a robust labelling system that will inform marketers if a metric is “estimated” or “in development. It will also add more detailed descriptions that include how the metric is measured and suggest use-cases for each.

More transparency is always a good thing, and Facebook’s move to embrace it is a good indicator that they understand past frustration among marketers. This will likely be very helpful for you when determining which metrics will be of value to your organization.

3. Clean-Up

In addition to adding new metrics, Facebook is scrapping some of its less useful offerings. The blog continues:

In July, we will remove approximately 20 ad metrics that marketers have told us are redundant, outdated, not actionable or infrequently used. For example, the social reach metric shows the number of people who saw an ad with social information above it, such as noting a friend who also likes a certain brand. We’ve heard from you that this metric isn’t meaningfully different from the reach metric, and we know that the insight drawn from it doesn’t indicate a business outcome.

This focus on what’s useful to marketers is encouraging. It shows that they are listening to what their business customers want. Instead of having to sort through a bunch of metrics that don’t seem to be useful, Facebook will instead make it easy by providing only information you want to know. So, you can spend more of your time reading through actionable insights rather than weeding through all the fluff you don’t need.

4. Education

In addition to fine-tuning the types of metrics it measures, Facebook also announced an effort to educate business users on using them. It introduced a program, launching this month, called Measure What Matters. This program will seek to educate advertisers through in-person events, Facebook live event, and online content.

[It] will offer two tracks—one for advertisers focused on brand objectives and one for advertisers with direct response objectives. Each track will draw from research and analysis across creative planning, ad delivery, cross-channel measurement and video measurement…

New Feature: Calendar/Library Visibility & Permissions

In our quest to continually enhance your experience with Lava Surf, we’re announcing a new and exciting feature that will cut down on calendar clutter and allow for more collaboration between users.

What is changing?

This is an optional feature that can be turned on and off depending on your preferences. For all current users, nothing will change automatically. The calendar and library will function the same as it does now. For those who may be interested in utilizing this setting, this is what will change:

  1. Voluntary post sharing between users will be enabled
  2. “Make post visible to all users” option will be added to post creation
  3. Admins will be able to see and edit all posts created by any user in the organization’s Calendar and Library
  4. Non-Admins will see posts they have created & that have been made visible to all users
  5. Non-Admins will only be able to edit posts they have created

What are the benefits?

  1. The ability to share posts with peers without fear of alteration
  2. The option to utilize peer content through cloning
  3. A less cluttered calendar view that only shows what is actively shared

How do I activate this feature?

If you are interested in taking advantage of this new tool in your organization, please contact your Lava Surf account manager about activation.

-The Lava Surf Team