4 ways to increase social media reach and engagement
If you are like 44% of people around the world, you have spent more time on social media during the pandemic. Whether you’re catching up on the latest news on Twitter or chatting with your family on Facebook, social media has allowed us to stay connected.
But as a small business owner, do you spend more time on social media being empathetic?
While it is sometimes confused with sympathy, which is feeling compassion for another person, empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
By empathizing with your customers, you can serve them better.
Here is Merriam Webster’s definition of empathy: “the action of (or the ability to) understand, be aware of, be sensitive to, and indirectly experience the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another.”
It’s important to take an empathetic approach to all of your marketing materials, from your website copy to your social media strategy.
Because social media offers a great way to engage with a large audience, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to ensure that your communications are not only engaging, but also empathetic to what people are going through.
READ: The importance of marketing based on empathy, on our website.
As we move from COVID-19, empathy-based marketing isn’t just the right thing to do, your customers now expect it.
Many studies conducted during the pandemic show that people want brands to be more empathetic and aware of the long-term impact it will have on their lives.
Hopefully, you authentically and empathetically communicated with your clients during this time, and you will have to continue to do so! Here are 3 ways to use empathic content marketing …
According to research from the Braze Brand Humanity Index, about 65% of people were more loyal to brands with which they felt a human connection.
So to help you stay connected with your customers, here are four ways a small business owner can build a social media presence with more empathetic content marketing.
1. Create an empathy map.
This can be a good first step in digging deeper into your customer’s mind. Originally a tool used in the agile development and design worlds, Empathy Mapping provides a deeper understanding of your customer. It is generally divided into four quadrants: says, thinks, does, and feels.
With your target customer’s personality in between, you start brainstorming questions, such as:
Why do you need my product?
How does using my product make you feel / think / do / say?
What are some of the stressors / fears in your life?
How does my product help you achieve your goals?
Write your client’s thoughts in the way you think they would express it. Your needs, wants, hopes, fears, goals, and dreams will begin to become clearer, and you will be able to build a social media presence using messages that resonate with your followers.
2. Take advantage of your customers’ emotions.
I’m not talking about playing on their fears to sell your products, but rather thinking about how your product makes them feel.
Here’s one way a brand helped ease the fears of its smaller customers. Philips invented a miniature version of a CAT scanner called the ‘KittenScanner’, which doctors use to educate and reassure children about the MRI process. Children can test it with toy animals, without focusing on procedure and having fun.
It was created in 2004, but is still mentioned on social media, in videos, and in health magazines as a way to reduce the need for sedation. How could you position your brand in a useful way that reduces stress for your customers?
3. Use social listening to your advantage.
Social listening consists of monitoring your communication channels for mentions of brands and competitors, and certain keywords and comments.
By “listening” to your followers in this way, you can gain valuable insight into what they like, dislike, want, and need from you. You may see a tweet on Twitter from a happy customer who loved your product. Or you can see a comment from someone who wasn’t impressed by how long it took customer service to respond to a complaint.
With social listening, you not only gain insight into your small business’s performance, but you also have the opportunity to provide better customer service and modify a process or product that is not working.
Four. Inspire customers to act.
Showing your customers that you believe in them is an ideal way to increase social media reach and engagement. Think about the product or service that you offer to your customers. How do you get them to use it to add value to their life and / or entertain them?
For example, Home Depot encouraged its customers to grow a living salad bowl with an infographic they shared on social channels. While there is minimal branding in this infographic, it still reinforces Home Depot’s marketing strategy of the things that are possible with their products.
No matter how you are using empathy-based marketing to increase social media reach and engagement, remember your brand. For example, if your brand’s voice is “fun, upbeat, and confident,” using humor might be the best way to engage your audience.
If you are “down to earth, considerate and approachable,” a more sincere and emotional message could be the way to speak to clients more effectively.
And don’t forget to create a social media marketing plan to save time and money!