Encouraging and maintaining a high level of audience engagement is critical for any brand keen on building a loyal following and a tight-knit community of reliable customers. Engagement serves as a foundational pillar to growing a business’s presence in the broader market, and those happy customers are often your best form of advertisement.
However, building a loyal community is only possible if the brand is strong enough and forges a robust relationship with its customers. To offer guidance on how to achieve this goal, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss a few lesser-known ways brands can encourage engagement and why those methods are so successful.
1. Offer Real-Time Feedback
One way that I’ve built up a community of consulting clients is by offering real-time feedback of their work via Loom. I asked them on social media to drop their websites in the comments if they’d like ideas on how to optimize and improve their homepages, and then immediately gave video feedback on each comment. – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
2. Send Customers A Text
SMS campaigns have significantly higher open and click rates than email, which often get buried. Given the lightweight messaging medium, you’ll find customers are much more receptive to hearing tidbits of news and receiving special offers via text than through any other channel, especially since their inboxes and social media feeds have become so crowded. Customers also know they’re in control with SMS, so with easy opt-out solutions they welcome engaging messages but will also unsubscribe if your messages are irrelevant to them. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress
3. Answer Negative Questions
Some of us focus on getting positive reviews and putting them at the forefront of our social media pages and websites. One lesser-known way of getting more engagement is answering the negative queries. Spend a good amount of time on research and discussion on how to tackle negative feedback and the steps that you need to take in order to turn that negative into a positive. These reviews have a chance to represent your company in a local community and spread the good word-of-mouth from then on. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS
4. Personalize What And How You Share
Not all of your content is equally relevant to your entire audience and neither is its delivery method. A good tip to increase brand engagement is to personalize what you share and how you share it with audience members based on their previous interactions. If you have users who continue to engage with your video content but not your long-form blog content, stop showing those users blog content, even if it covers the exact same topic. Determine what you show each viewer based on their past engagements. By linking what they see with their prior behavior, you create much more relevant and memorable interactions with your customers that will boost your engagement across the board. – Jordan Conrad, Writing Explained
5. Visibly Celebrate Loyal Customers
Businesses need to visibly celebrate their community of loyal customers. Not only should clients be featured, but their loyalty should be celebrated on a personal level. Your blog and social media are perfect places to display your customers. Ask to take photos of your clients either using your product or after a “win.” If you find images inappropriate for your brand, offer events and contests to allow clients to be featured. For example, no matter what industry you are in, have a toy or food drive and announce who made the biggest contribution. Everyone has a bit of vanity. By showcasing a customer, they’re likely to share your celebration. Your client will feel more loyal to you and also promote your business by word-of-mouth or social media. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
6. Include Clients In The Development Process
Bring your customers’ voices into the future products and services you offer. Bring customers into the development process by asking what they want, what they don’t like and what they want to see change. When you ask for audience feedback and then incorporate it into new products or updates, they will feel far more loyal to you. The key here is to show how their input was implemented retroactively. Once you launch, give them a shoutout or send them a product to gain their approval. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
7. Become The Go-To Source Of Information
Become the expert in your area and the go-to place for information. Flood your customers with tips, words of wisdom, little giveaways and tons of information. This will keep them coming back and engaging. Customers want to continue to be part of the “family.” Once they purchase something from you, make sure you can still offer value to them. Let them know your website, social media page or blog post, etc. is the place they should visit regularly to get information. Through these pages, offer value and ways for customers to engage with you and other customers. This is also a great way to get reviews and testimonials from customers to use for future selling! – Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
8. Organize Interactive Events
Interactive events such as webinars and livestreams can be effective for getting customers engaged with your brand. Social media stories can also perform this function. The key is to present material that’s interesting and entertaining and not merely promotional. Simply reaching out to your audience with questions and invitations to express their opinions goes a long way. For example, if you’re leading a webinar or any kind of virtual event, ask as many questions as possible. Even questions not related to your product, such as where people are from, how they’re celebrating a holiday or anything timely can boost engagement. You should use this principle with all of your content. Look at communication as a two-way street, not just you broadcasting your message. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting