31% of website traffic now comes from social media. This should tell every e-commerce organization that, as this trend continues, their social media accounts and pages will be the most critical sources of consumer engagement and the single most important vehicle for getting visitors to their websites to be further engaged, ultimately to be converted. Two major thrusts will be involved in engaging readers – the psychological aspects of appeal and solid data mining that finds and engages the right demographic.
Psychological Aspects of Engagement
Readers want several things when they use social media. First, they respond to content that entertains and provides humor, shocks or puts them in awe, connects with their “pain” and anxieties, and appeals to their need to “belong” and be valued. This should drive all content placed on social media once a business or organization has solid information about its typical target demographic. That demographic comprises a community, and there are specific steps to engage community focus and maintain that engagement over the long term. Here, then, are the specific things research shows promote reader engagement.
Nothing further will be read if a title does not immediately strike the reader. Creating catchy titles is an art; as much time should be spent developing a title as with any other content. If you are not good at this, get someone who is. Another option is to try it yourself by checking out Copyblogger.com and going through their “How To” process for headlines. Headlines that attract will ask questions, promote lists, give “how to’s,” state commands, or create some aura of mystery.
Teasers are like headlines. You have a great blog post. You don’t want to publish it on your social media page because you want that reader to visit your site. Instead, you are putting a compelling and creative “teaser” about design tricks for your site that will continue to engage.
If people are commenting on your posts or tweets, you must respond, and this can become a daily, rather arduous task. Remember, however, that your followers have an emotional need to feel important and valued. One way you do this is by engaging them in conversation and by responding to all of their comments/questions. And go further than that. If you can determine their specific interests, write a post related to it and notify them that you have done so, with a link to that post. This is part of establishing your relationship to convert your readers/followers.
Look at Your Competitors
What reader are comments appearing there? Address those issues with posts you then “tease” for on your page.
Search by keyword on Twitter and learn what questions people are asking related to that keyword. Then, respond to those tweets with your “solutions” and invite those questioners to link over to your content.
Establish a Compelling Daily Routine
One of the greatest ideas for using social media and for getting a regular audience that then shares your posts is to have a daily joke (readers love the humor) that people will come to read every morning or evening. This may take research and some solid creativity, but it is a truly effective way to keep people coming back and spreading your brand all over the place. If you know your demographic, your humor can match its sophistication level.
One company that uses humorous posts a lot is Newcastle Beer, and a recent tweet went like this: “Today is National Beer Day. Have an ice-cold Newcastle and pretend you care.” If jokes are too difficult, find great compelling quotes or some other gimmick – even a “picture of the day.”
Use Facebook for story-telling with videos or photos of your team with personal anecdotes: This gives you humanness that is a psychological draw.
Design Your Content Strategy as Follows
Start with emotional appeal and continue to engage while moving the reader from an emotional response to a more logical one. This is when you provide the content you want the reader to have.
Combine Social Media and Your Email
Put sharing icons in your emails; ask your email subscribers to share and give them incentives to do so; put an email subscription option on your Facebook page, and give an incentive for readers to do it – a discount or a freebie.
About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is a content editor at PaperHelp, where he has worked since 2020. His role as an editor involves ensuring that the articles published on the site are free of grammatical and spelling errors and reviewing new articles for content quality.