Connecting with an audience takes more than active and frequent posts on social media. Successful brands employ a deeper audience engagement to make a memorable and lasting impression on their prospective audiences. I can recommend these three tips to create a more meaningful social media strategy.


Prioritize Social Listening For Stronger Engagement


Social listening, also called social monitoring, is the ongoing process of tracking online conversations using URLs, hashtags, and keywords. The objective is to gain a better understanding of target markets, whether that be prospects or competitor customers. Social listening can be used to determine how a brand is seen, to analyze target customer behavior and to identify pain points those customers may have.


To begin the process, make a list of relevant keywords, phrases, and hashtags that your target audience regularly discusses. Include things like abbreviations and alternate iterations of the brand name.  Also, research specific industry terms that encourage further discussion. Sites such as HootSuite, Social Mention, and Keyhole offer social media management tools to conduct automated searches through social media so companies can focus their energies on social engagement.


Social engagement is the reason behind social listening. Once relevant conversations to the brand are found, an engagement strategy needs to be put in place. Create a rubric (scoring table of criteria using a spreadsheet) that strategically determines the best types of responses for each time of comment or conversation found, whether that be complaints, praises, comparisons or general industry discussions.


Pinpoint Your Targeted Audience


As you probably know by now, a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on research and real data about existing customers. When creating a persona, build it out by  including consumer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. The more detail, the better. This will help you identify where to focus your time, aid in product or service development and ultimately lead to more valuable visitors, leads, and customers. Once there is a precise definition of the your target audience, the engagement process can begin.


Direct conversation with your targeted audience is the best way to engage. If unsure of how to start those conversations, create posts that intrigue or ask a question. Stay tuned in once the post has been made to establish rapport with the community. If done well, readers will remember the positive interaction and are far more likely to engage the next time they see one of your posts in their newsfeed.


Tailor Social Content


Using a buyer persona to tailor social media content really boosts audience engagement. Bear in mind that depending on the persona, the audience may prefer content in different ways. This could mean blogs, images, videos, infographics and presentations. Regardless of content type, its important to remember that over 70% of users access social media through their phones, so be sure to optimize content for small screens. Also get visual – a strong image draws a viewer in and helps make an impression. And color scheme can also make your brand stand out positively; choosing particular colors and incorporating them into each post helps create brand recognition and emotive appeal.  


The key to success is consistency, an authentic personality, and creating genuine interest online. Follow these tips to create conversations that will connect with the audience and establish a strong brand personality.