As a blogger, I have the advantage of working with Public Relations (PR) firms across the U.S. As a result, I’m always asking them about the latest in the world of PR based on their clients’ experience with bloggers. And I’ve learned that more and more brands/companies would rather partner with bloggers who have a smaller following but a high engagement rate than bloggers with 50K+ followers with little engagement! This is good news especially for those of us who are looking to grow + establish partnerships with larger, well-known brands. So I’m going to offer you three ways that you can authentically increase your engagement. If you want to learn more, register for my online webinar scheduled for next week. I’ll offer more ways that you can engage with your readers through social campaigns, strategic content and more!
One. Respond to your comments, using their first names. You probably already know that you should take the time to respond to the comments on your posts. First, it shows that you read their comments — and that you appreciate them. Rather than respond with emojis (which sometimes are the best way to convey a feeling) try to craft a more meaningful response. It just takes a second to check out their Instagram page to get their first name. It’s a much more personalized response + definitely makes an impact. Social media is the best tool to showcase your brand’s personality + create relationships with your customers so take advantage of the opportunity to truly connect with them. Most of the time when someone comments, I take the time to thoughtfully respond and then I like a few of their pictures. This is how relationships start to develop on social media and the next thing I know is that I’m having coffee with them!
Two. Encourage your readers to leave comments. The best way to get your readers to respond is to be direct about what you’re asking. When I travel, I love to ask for their recommendations for restaurants and shopping. And honestly, it’s how I created my itinerary for my recent trip to New Orleans — everything I did was a recommendation that one of my readers left for me! Also, Instagram is great for decision-making! Are you trying to decide how to style a wall or which color you should go with for a product? Take advantage of your followers and ask them! I asked for design advice in my butler’s pantry and I received over 110+ comments! Here are some other ways to encourage comments:
- Going to an event or conference? Ask your readers if they will be there too or if they’ve been before.
- Travel recommendations. I find out the best restaurants, neighborhoods and shops when I ask my readers about a location before I visit.
- Product feedback. If you are a retail shop or an artist, ask your followers what they would like to see. Maybe you can’t decide between two colors or which print you should make into wrapping paper. Ask your followers — I know that they have a preference and they’re likely the ones that are going to buy it!
Three. Be personal. This one has been the hardest for me because it’s not easy to put everything out there. But you’d be surprised how many people can relate to your current situation. I shared a lot from my recent experience with Hurricane Irma and it was so nice to see how supportive everyone was during the storm. Take advantage of video as well — record videos for Instagram stories and show the personal side of you. If you don’t like video then take advantage of your Instagram post captions. (However I do think that you need to get on the video train sooner than later).
If you found this helpful, I’d love to see you in my webinar next Tuesday, October 24th at 12:00PM. We’ll be covering much more content so that you can grow your followers authentically. You can register at https://events.genndi.com/register/169105139238467333/70f99f9a92.
Hope to see you there!
Image by Kelli Boyd Photography