How do you measure the success of your social media posts? If you're like most business owners, you make this determination based on the activity (likes, comments, shares, retweets, repins, etc) that your posts generate. If you're a marketer, you might even be taking advantage of analytics tools to measure the success of your posts in a much more granular way.
A big component of a successful social media marketing strategy is knowing how to start the conversation in the first place. In this regard, I guess you can compare starting up a good conversation on social media to walking up to the prettiest girl, or guy, in a bar and asking for their phone number. You want to put your best foot forward and encourage your audience to engage in the conversation.
With this in mind, here are 5 proven tactics to start a conversation on social media that will get your audience buzzing:
1. Know your buyer personas.
If you really want to spark a meaningful online conversation, you need to know your audience. Assuming you've taken the time to define your buyer personas, your base of followers on social media should fall into these molds. Take a look at what your followers on social media are posting and the types of articles that they like to share. No, you're not "creeping" on them. Instead, you're conducting some research to best cater your posts to targeted buyer personas to get them talking.
2. Make your content stand out.
There is so much content to compete with on the internet, so what you say has to really resonate with your audience. You have a great wealth of knowledge when it comes to your business and area of expertise, so find a way to share this with your audience while also keeping it relevant to what they want to hear. Offer value and consider sharing content that may not always be the most popular point of view.
3. Ask a question (relevant to your industry, product, or service).
This can provide you with a great opportunity to learn more about the needs and interests of your audience. You'll find that asking a question is one of the oldest tricks in the book for creating great engagement in any conversation. Asking questions can help you to determine where some of your leads fall in your sales cycle. It can also be a powerful way to compliment your customer service strategy.
4. Spend your time on social media where your audience is.
While a large portion of your audience is probably on Facebook, there may be a more niche social networking site related to your industry where your target audience spends a lot of time. For example, if you are an interior designer, Houzz is a great social media site that you need to know about and be active on. Making yourself aware of such sites and establishing an active presence can allow you to have more meaningful online conversations about topics relevant to your products and services.
5. Respond and keep actively engaging your audience.
If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, be sure to respond to them in a timely fashion. This will demonstrate to your audience that you are interested in what they have to say, and it provides you with an opportunity to keep the conversation going.
These 5 tactics for getting the conversation started on social networking sites may not naturally come easy. However, knowing your audience and what inspires them can help you to best initiate and keep the conversation flowing.