If you are an entrepreneur on social media, it’s a safe bet that you are obsessed with engagement.
Or, at least you should be.
Improving engagement on all of the Big 5 social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram) should be a major priority if you are using social media to promote your product or service.
Engagement is more important than how many followers you have.
Engagement is more important than trying to figure out how to hack an algorithm.
If people are engaging with your content – that is, your intended audience is liking, sharing and commenting on the content you publish on social media – then algorithms on Facebook, Instagram, and any other major social media platform are going to decide that you are worthy of being noticed, and they will make sure you get more visibility.
You could have all the followers in the world, but without engagement, it won’t matter.
Your content will get buried.
So – what’s an easy way to be more engaging?
Well, the good news is, improving engagement doesn’t always have to very complicated.
One solid way to improve engagement on social media is to make sure you are talking to your audience the right way.
It’s amazing to see so many great business owners, who have a lot to offer in terms of products and services, but they just haven’t figured out how to address their target audience properly on social media.
They haven’t found their voice.
They haven’t figured out the right language, or the right tone, that will capture their intended audience’s attention and keep it.
To be fair, finding your voice is not always as easy as it sounds.
It takes time to find your voice.
And, it’s something that you – as a social media marketer – will hone and perfect on an ongoing basis.
Here are some surefire steps to finding your voice on social media, and improving engagement…
1. Dump the lingo
Try not to use lingo, or technical terms.
Ditch the tech talk.
There’s a common misconception out there that using technical jargon will make you sound more credible and knowledgeable.
And, maybe sometimes it does.
But, it is really hard to build rapport and trust with someone when they don’t really understand what you’re talking about.
And in the end, audiences are going to engage with (and ultimately buy from) people they understand, trust, and like.
Leaning on tech talk to sound like an authority will make your social media audience feel like they are being talked at, instead of talked to.
They won’t feel like you will understand them or their problems.
When you are trying to engage with an audience – particularly when time to do so is so limited – you need to make it clear that you are talking to them at their level.
They need to feel like you “get” them.
Now, that doesn’t mean dumbing yourself down or being condescending towards your audience. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
It means understanding where they are coming from and connecting with them from where they stand.
Save the industry jargon and lingo for when you are with your peers, or people who you work with you in your industry.
When you’re addressing your audience, quite often they are coming from a different space and you need to acknowledge that if you want to earn their trust and win their engagement.
2. Speak in terms of benefits, not features
It’s important to be excited for what you have to offer in terms of a product or service.
It can be slightly gut-wrenching when others don’t show the same excitement.
Especially when these other people are those who matter most to your business – your target audience.
Don’t ever take this personally.
It doesn’t mean (necessarily) that your product or service isn’t any good.
What it likely means is you’re not making sense to the right people.
You’re not appealing to their values.
When you’re talking about your product or service, don’t talk about how great it is, talk about how it benefits your customer.
Otherwise, they just won’t care.
For example, many years ago, I had a wedding video company (I know, crazy right?)
When I launched this company, these new cameras had just come out, and it was very exciting because these cameras had special new microchips that enabled them to shoot really good quality footage in low light.
This was considered a technical breakthrough in the video industry at the time.
It revolutionized the way people shot live events.
But, when I explained how impressive these cameras were to my target audience – brides and grooms – they just didn’t care.
My excitement wasn’t relevant to them.
I couldn’t engage. And, I couldn’t close business.
Then, I figured out what I was doing wrong.
Instead of talking about the technical aspects of the cameras, I focused on the benefits this technology would bring to my potential customers.
I told the brides and grooms that these cameras didn’t require distracting lighting equipment, because they performed really well with natural light. And, that meant that the ambience of their wedding day would not be ruined. It would be like the video crew wasn’t event there.
THAT got their attention.
In the end, this was the story that was engaging. Actually, it was the same story as before, but it was told from the point of view of the target audience, not the seller.
The audience cares about how what you offer benefits them. Everything else is secondary.
On social media, focus on benefits – not features – and you will see a rise in your engagement.
3. Answer burning questions
Sometimes, when you have poor engagement, it’s because you aren’t talking about the right things.
You aren’t talking about what matters.
Specifically, you aren’t talking about what matters to your target audience.
You might think you know what they need to know, but sometimes, entrepreneurs are surprised at how much they take for granted.
Every piece of content you produce should answer a question that is burning a hole in the collective mind of your target audience.
If you don’t know what these questions are, you’ve lost touch with your audience.
Get on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or your social media platform of choice and ask your audience how you can help them.
Join Facebook groups or any type of forum where you can reach out to your target audience and find out what frustrates them or confuses them.
Offer them help.
Get their opinions on something.
Never lose touch with your audience.
Make sure the topics you choose for your content are relevant and important to your audience.
Something as simple as finding the right voice – the right language and tone – to use when communicating with your audience is key to improving engagement on social media. Resist the urge to use technical terms or jargon that may alienate your target audience. Make sure you speak in terms of benefits and the value that your business brings to your audience. And finally, make sure you are creating content that answers the right questions.