What is engagement?
Social media engagement is the interaction between your customers (or your audience) and your business. This could be through likes, comments, shares, etc. This is an excellent form of organic marketing. We'll go through different types of engagement and how you can increase engagement with your followers on social media.
Why does engagement matter?
There are many reasons why social media engagement is essential for your business. It's not merely about the number of likes and comments your page receives, though those things can influence potential new customers who look at your social media profiles. Engagement can help you develop meaningful relationships with your customers. Positive interactions and trust will help create long-term relationships. Engagement increases your visibility, and it's a great way to organically grow your following. Below are a few ideas your company can utilize to engage with followers and potential customers on social media.
1. Comment, like, share posts
Reply to comments on your posts, but also comment on others' posts. Your comments will be seen by other users, which may lead them to peek at your profile and see what you offer. Support your fellow estate sale companies in your area or in other areas of the nation by liking and/or commenting on their posts. We can all learn from each other and support each other. It doesn't have to be all about competition. You may find that when you support other estate sale companies, they'll support you, too.
2. Share relevant information
Your followers look to you as a source of knowledge. You can share this knowledge by sharing industry-related articles with your followers that will help them learn more about the industry. Example: share an article about identifying antiques, share a blog about proper estate sale etiquette, or share a piece on organizing collections like books. These articles not only help inform your followers, but it keeps them interested in your page and excited to view more content from your company.
3. Share user-generated content
What is user-generated content, and why is it important? User-generated content is content (pictures, videos, text, and audio) other users have created. Consumers are more likely to follow brands that seem more authentic, and brands they can trust. One way to create authenticity and trust is by sharing content created by your followers. Follow accounts that are related to the estate sale industry. For example, follow Pyrex collectors accounts or accounts who thrift and shop estate sales. You'll find great pieces of content that your followers would enjoy seeing and engaging with. Before you share their content, always ask for their permission to share. If permission is granted, be sure to mention their account in the post and tag their account in the photo if sharing on Instagram. Please be sure to always credit anyone else's work when sharing content that is not yours.
4. Pose questions and answer them
Ask your followers questions like, "What was your best estate sale find last week? Share a picture with us in the comments and tell us about it!" This is an excellent way to spark engagement with your audience. It's also a great way to learn more about the interests of your audience.
5. Address complaints
I once talked with a company that avoided having a Facebook business page because they didn't want to deal with negative comments. Unfortunately, negative comments will happen whether you have a Facebook page or not. But wouldn't you rather the comment be in a place where you can respond and show other visitors how well you can handle a negative situation, rather than the comment appearing somewhere you don't have the authority to reply? I know I'd choose to respond any day of the week. Negative comments stink. But good can come of it. At EstateSales.NET, we look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. It also allows you to make something right, if at all possible. Sometimes the situation is best handled privately through direct messaging, email, or phone. That doesn't mean you shouldn't respond publicly, too. Reply thanking them for reaching out and let them know you've privately messaged them to help resolve the problem. We believe it is best to address each and every single complaint and to do so promptly.
6. Show customer appreciation
Having a presence online doesn't mean you'll only see negative comments. You'll also have plenty of positive feedback that is worth sharing. And you should. Share reviews here and there to show your customers how much you appreciate them and to show potential clients and customers how great your company is.
7. Participate in industry-related conversations
Something I mentioned earlier is following accounts related to the estate sale industry. On Instagram, follow hashtags like: #estatesale #estatesalefinds #vintagefinds or #estatesaleshopping. The list goes on. Many estate sale shoppers are looking for vintage things, so any hashtags related to vintage items is an excellent place to start. When you follow these hashtags, any account that publishes a post using those hashtags will appear in your feed. This gives you an opportunity to like, comment, or share those posts. Join in on the conversation around that post or hashtag and let others know you exist. It's an easy way to grow your following organically and a great opportunity to gain inspiration from other accounts.
There are many ways to engage with your audience on social media. These are only a few ideas to help get you started. My best advice is to follow other business accounts on any social platforms your company uses (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and observe how they interact with their followers and their audience.
Engagement is a crucial piece of the marketing mix that can be easily forgotten. It may seem silly to spend time liking, commenting, and sharing posts, but it's an excellent tool to use to help you grow your business and increase trust with your current and future customers. Try spending 20 minutes a day at least a few days a week. I promise you it will be well worth your time.