How to Start a Conversation on Social and Increase Brand Engagement

How to Start a Conversation on Social and Increase Brand Engagement

Perri Robinson
29 July 2015

The secret to a successful social media strategy is flirting. Yes, flirting! Only in this case, lines like “So, do you come here often?” aren’t the ones lead to increased brand engagement.

We often talk about how we need to be social on social media in order to increase brand engagement. So how do we break the ice and start a conversation? Even the most extroverted among us face big challenges in creating brand engagement. The obstacles standing between us and brand engagement include:

  1. Google and Facebook’s ongoing algorithm tweaks, which decrease organic reach
  2. Multiple competitors all vying for the same audience
  3. The ever decreasing attention spans of social media users

Conversations should be designed

There are typically three ways we can spark up a conversation on social: by joining an existing conversation, by asking questions, and by sharing topical news to encourage people to to share an opinion or ask a question of their own. Any of these strategies can lead to high levels of brand engagement.

Join relevant conversations

For conversations to be meaningful, they must be relevant. Small talk is awkward, but if we have something valuable to say then the conversation can be anything but. Social media monitoring tools can help us find those customers, prospects, and influencers speaking about our industry. We can then join relevant conversations and boost brand engagement. Alternatively a hashtag search on Twitter is also a great way of discovering relatable chatter.

Example entry points into existing conversations (plus follow-up questions):

  • We disagree, what about _____. Have you considered this?
  • Great article, ____ is particularly interesting. This got me thinking, what are your thoughts on ____?

Ask thought provoking questions to boost brand engagement

A community member who retweets content that we’ve posted offers the perfect chance to increase brand engagement by simply asking them questions about the article. If we show an interest in them and their ideas, chances are they will show an interest in us.

Example questions to use:

  • What’s your #1 goal to achieve in ______ this year?
  • What do you think the future holds for _____?

Share up-to-date industry news and trends

By keeping up to date with industry news, we can zero in plug into trending conversations that are taking place in the moment. It’s called news hijacking. Sign up for a news curation service or share stories found via a social media monitoring tool to remain relevant. By asking questions about the article, we can gain insight into what our audience thinks about a particular topic and increase brand engagement at the same time. Moreover, sharing our own thoughts enables us to flex our muscles and demonstrate our expertise, thus confirming our position in the market.

Example question:

  • What’s your biggest question mark over ______? We’ll try and answer it.
  • What’s the most insightful article you’ve read this week?