How to Boost Engagement and Raise Online Influence
Customer contests are a time-honored tradition, harking back to the days of the first Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1949. Nowadays many contests have shifted online. Brands constantly encourage followers to like posts, retweet content, and submit photos, because incorporating user input into social media posts offers a low-cost, effective way to increase followers and amplify a point of view.
Capitalize on user content
A client of ours recently spoke at an industry event. The presentation was well received. The audience was engaged and participated in a lively discussion. When the client later posted a link to the presentation on Twitter, he noticed that conference attendees were repeating one phrase in particular from his presentation. Thinking quickly, our client capitalized on the momentum generated by the conversation by creating a hashtag, which is now associated with him and his company’s solution.
In addition to capitalizing on the momentum with the hashtag, the client entered into the discussion and kept the conversation going by expanding on the ideas raised in the presentation. Just by participating and sharing the conversation with his followers, the client reached a much broader audience and he boosted his online influence.
Describe real-world challenges
A blog post I recently wrote for another enterprise technology client featured questions voiced by conference attendees at a session dedicated to discussing top customer pain points.
The post described real-world business challenges customers face. It then outlined strategies to overcome those challenges, as well as the audience reaction to the proposed solutions.
Infusing content with real customer input makes readers aware of potential new business opportunities and/or associated risks. You gain the opportunity to reiterate how best to overcome these challenges, which burnishes your reputation as a thought leader.
You don’t have to rely on live events to generate customer input. You can post presentations on channels such as LinkedIn, BrightTalk, or SlideShare, or encourage viewers to comment on video posts and podcasts and then incorporate their responses into your social media posts.
Spark online conversations
Incorporating content from your audience drives engagement and boosts online influence in a number of ways:
- Entice your audience. Customer stories are one of the best ways to attract people’s attention. They demonstrate your understanding of customer concerns and show that you will listen to the needs of future customers down the road.
- Extend the conversation. Rather than just broadcasting a point of view, you can engage with your audience and develop a loop of continuous feedback.
- Broaden your message. When people share content with hashtags specific to your presentation or event, they’re expanding your reach and growing your profile as a thought leader. And most importantly, people will be more interested in you and your company when they see the volume of conversation.
Everyone knows the value of word-of-mouth. By sharing customer input, you can use people’s experiences to amplify your brand and encourage an ongoing conversation.