We all know that social media marketing is important, but for some people, opening up Twitter or Facebook and staring down that empty status update box can be incredibly intimidating! What should you say? What can you post that will make your followers think that you’re a) witty, and b) not using social media for solely self-promotional purposes?
If you’re stumped for ideas on how to engage your social media followers, check out any of the following conversation starters:
Ask a Question
When all else fails, one of the best ways to get your social followers talking is by asking them a question directly. Keep in mind, though, that the questions you ask don’t need to be business-oriented. People don’t visit social media websites to engage with brands – they stop by their profiles to blow off steam and catch up with friends.
With that in mind, use the following question prompts to come up with your own “off the wall” query ideas to get your audience talking:
- “If you could interview one person in your field, who would it be?”
- “What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today?”
- “If you won the Powerball lottery, how would you spend your winnings?”
- “What would you like to tell your 5th grade self?”
- “What five things couldn’t you live without?”
- “What do you think about [some recent news event in your industry]?”
- “Who is your favorite Disney character and why?”
- “What one decision in your life would you like to go back and change?”
Of course, if your profile is new or if you haven’t yet built up a large and responsive audience, you may not get many answers to your questions initially. To prevent this from making your page look dead, consider partnering up with a few friends or business colleagues and asking them to respond to your questions in order to get the conversation started.
At the same time, while it’s great to mix things up with a few fun, personal questions, your company’s social media updates shouldn’t all be conversational fluff.
In addition to chatting it up with users, you’ll also want to use your social profiles to demonstrate that you’re a credible authority within your industry. So while you still don’t want to dominate your social feed with business statistics and updates, sharing the following types of information will both interest your followers and enhance your overall perception within your field.
- Share an industry statistic
- Share a quote from an industry leader
- Post an inspiring quote
- Post an inspiring picture
- Record a video for your followers
- Share a funny video from another source
- Post a funny meme picture related to your industry
- Share a news article on an industry topic
- Share a colleague or industry authority’s status update
- Post “how to” guides or process tips on industry topics
Obviously, if you do undertake any of the techniques listed above, you’ll want to be sure they’re interesting for your followers. Slapping up news article after news article will only bore your followers, so make sure to change up the types of content you share or put your own spin on the topics you post. Giving your reaction to a particular news item, for example, is a good way to make your updates more interesting for your fans.
Promote Your Business
Again, you shouldn’t rely on these types of social media updates to fill your social media feeds, as too much self-promotional content will discourage even the most devoted of followers.
That said, there’s a time and a place for promoting your business and its product or service offerings. People have followed your brand’s profiles because they want to hear about what’s new with your company. Therefore, when relevant, consider using any of the following conversation prompts to keep audience members up-to-date with the goings-on within your company:
- Host a giveaway contest
- Post hints about upcoming product releases
- Ask followers to “Like” or “Re-tweet” your recent company blog posts
- Share instances of media coverage you’ve received
- Post special coupon codes or incentives for profile followers
- Introduce new products or services
- Share case studies demonstrating your company’s value
Above all, remember that social media marketing should be fun! It’s far better to look at this critical marketing practice as an opportunity to get to know people within your niche and to build the strong relationships that will power your business’s growth over the long-run than to fret over the success of every single status update you post. Enjoy connecting with your followers using the conversation prompts listed above, and you’ll be rewarded with better sales and a higher overall ROI on your social media marketing investments.