Activate These Customer Engagement Tips

When you have customer engagement, you’ll grow your business with social proof, but more than that, you’ll be able to design your business in a way so that it caters to the needs of your audience.

It used to be that you could engage your audience by sending out an email, but that’s all changed. Customers aren’t interested in a one sided relationship anymore.

You can’t just have an online presence. You have to be interactive. You need to engage - and if you think this something that only small businesses do, you’d be mistaken.

Big businesses have learned that social proof matters and they’re engaging with their fans. It’s especially important if you’re a solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have the same branding as a big company does on a global scale.

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Where to Engage Your Audience;

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage with your audience online. Depending on the social media platform that you’re using, how that engagement takes place might differ.

If you’re using Facebook, then you need to have a variety of posts. One mistake that entrepreneurs make is to post the same kind of stuff day in and day out. You need to shake things up a bit so they don’t grow stale.

People don’t want to see the same things all the time in the same format. By switching it up, you can see what kind of posts your audience reacts to the most. Use posts of videos, photos, links, pose questions and more to draw your audience in.

You can create quizzes, share articles and other content that’s related. You can also do things like asking the audience to caption a photo or have a throwback post.

That’s where you post a picture from years past - like funny 80s clothing or old technology to stir up the conversation. Make sure that you post consistently and that you when you do, you’re available to interact with the audience.

There’s nothing worse than a drive-by poster. Use a Pinterest account to interact with your audience. You can do things like holding a contest where everyone has to share a photo of something.

You can offer prizes and other perks to increase interest. Use the site to offer consumers deals where, by sharing what you pin, they can have access to some type of discount.

Have more than one board because this lets you have more content and the ability to share more topics, which offers a wider range of appeal to your audience.

Re-pin what your audience posts. This causes consumers to submit topics and feel like they’re part of the inner circle. Twitter makes if pretty easy to engage with an audience fast.

Make your Twitter account personable. Don’t use a fake profile or avatar. Talk about things that you’re passionate about and share pictures. Talk back to others.

Respond, thank people, and share their news to give back. Your audience will feel connected to you. When sharing content that’s not yours, don’t just pass it along, say something even it’s just “love this” and don’t use all the 140 characters.

This allows people ease of use for when they pass it on. Get involved in chats that your audience is part of. Keep your sentences short. It’s okay and even eye-catching to not have the sentences on the same line.
Use hashtags (#) and @mentions to engage your audience.

If you use Instagram, keep your attention on the personality behind your business rather than the selling. Make sure that you take advantage of re-gramming a post.

That’s where you will repost something your audience shared. Make sure you acknowledge where the original post came from. Don’t ever share things just to share them – make sure you support or are intrigued by the idea.

Use videos and offer promotions such as telling the audience if they comment, they’re eligible to win a particular prize. Keep an eye on the influencers on Instagram and engage with them.

This helps build your audience, too. Take advantage of the hashtags like #follow or use the emotion ones like #happy. Interact with the audience by commenting on the conversations they’re in.
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How Often Should You Post and Interact?

People handle social media in two ways. They either bombard the site or they use it every now and then. You must be consistent with whichever social media method you use.

But being consistent doesn’t mean posting so often that people get sick and tired of seeing your stuff. There’s a fine line between sharing and spamming and you don’t want to cross that line by not understanding how social media should work.

It’s true that you should post frequently. No one can get to know you and you can’t engage with your audience if you’re never around. At the very least, you should post something every day - and those posts should be done often enough so that you build a relationship.

How often you should post is going to depend on which site you’re using. If you’re using Pinterest, it’s okay to spread out your posts up to 4 times a day. Just don’t do one giant post.

Post in the morning, once in the afternoon, once in the evening and once at night. Each time you post, you can engage with your audience. For Twitter, don’t post more than three times each day.

You’ll actually find that your audience starts to grow tired of seeing your content if you post more often than that unless it’s highly useful or reevant. Instagram analytics don’t really show that audience engagement lessens with multiple posting as long as you interact.

Facebook interaction should be done once in the morning and once in the evening, minimum. If you post all day long, it looks like you spend all your time there, and you don’t want to give that impression as a leading expert.

You can engage more often if you use Google+ because this site actually sees audience engagement boosts when you post more often. Still, you want to spread it out through the day and stick to about 3 times each day.

What to Post for Increased Engagement;

You might sometimes feel like you don’t have a lot to say on social media. Maybe that’s why you haven’t posted as much as you should. But coming up with something to post is a lot easier than you think.

When you do post, make sure that you post something with a picture. Studies have shown that if there’s an image with whatever you post, it gets a higher response rate and people tend to share pictures more than other types of posts.

People love to be inspired - and a great way to engage with your audience is to share quotes that inspire them. You can use ones that have a special meaning to you.

When you run across something that you really like, save it to your computer in a folder so that you’ll also have a supply of inspiring quotes on hand to share. These quotes can range from business inspiration to personal motivation to quotes that make people stop and think about life in general.

The good news is that when they see that quote later, more often than not, they’ll remember that you’re the one who shared it before. If you think that you have trouble knowing what to say on social media, keep in mind that other people do, too.

They might see a post they really like but won’t comment on it because they’re too shy or don’t know what to say. You can stir up more engagement by asking questions on your social media sites.

People will answer questions because it’s more of a group effort. When they see others responding to the question, they’ll jump in. It’s okay to share posts about new products that you like or even your own products.

Just make sure that you don’t let the post come across as a pushy sales post. Instead of hawking the product, you can post it and say something like you just finished working on it and you’re so excited.

Then it comes across as you letting them see behind the scenes rather than you turning into a sales person. Share personal stuff, too. This doesn’t mean that you showcase embarrassing things or any family drama.

It means sharing a picture of your garden or your vacation. You can share the latest antics of your cat or dog - or an event that you attended. What this does is it makes you come across as a human being rather than a business - and people connect more when they feel like they see the person behind the brand.
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Reward Your Audience for Engaging;

When you reward your audience for engaging, it helps build loyalty. People love to be rewarded. They love to get something that they weren’t expecting. It helps them feel appreciated.

When people feel appreciated by someone, it makes them feel as if they know you and that you’re someone they can build an online relationship with. It’s easy to find ways to make sure you regularly reward your audience.

You don’t want to do it so often that people only show up and only interact because they think you’re giving something away every time. But you want to do it often enough so that it makes a difference.

Small giveaways throughout the month are appropriate with bigger giveaways spaced out through the year like a grand prize. You can arrange it so that when someone in your audience comments on something that you’ve posted that get access to information or maybe a beta version of a product before anyone else does.

If someone shares one of your posts, you can reward them with the same deal. What this does is it creates a kind of street team of loyal followers who will gladly promote you to other people on their own social media sites.

People love to have the chance to win prizes too and you’ll see your engagement soar when you offer specific prizes. Gift cards are extremely popular. You can offer coffee store gift cards, bookstore gift cards, ones to restaurants or Amazon gift cards.

Some people will use Rafflecopter to handle the entries in any type of contest they have. But that’s not the best course to take because you can have people sharing just the link to the Rafflecopter widget.

That means that it won’t increase views or interaction. It also means that people who don’t have the slightest interest in you or your brand will enter the contest multiple times in hopes of winning.

What you want to do is to pay attention to the people on your social media who actively engage with you. When you see this, reach out to them and offer them some exclusive perks.

Maybe you can give them some new software you created or a special report that’s usually only available in your membership forum. There are endless ways you can go above and beyond with your audience!

Use Data to Make Your Engagement Soar;

Knowing when to post something on social media is just as important as knowing what to post. You don’t want to spend time and energy focused on creating engaging posts only to have them disappear unnoticed into the cyber void of social media.

This void is what occurs when interest and engagement is at its lowest point – your audience is offline, sleeping or doing other things. If you know when those times are, then you can avoid it.

You can also make your posts more audience specific if you learn who they are. Posts that are directed to a narrower audience will hit their target more than a broad, all inclusive post will.

It’s just a fact of life that not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to say. So why not gear your interaction toward the people who do want to hear what it is you share?

You can use data to make sure that you’re posting during the times that your audience is most active. By posting during these times, what you post will end up at the top of their feed rather than buried at the bottom.

For example, if you use Twitter and you tweet during the week, you don’t want to tweet first thing in the morning. Most people don’t hop right on. They take care of a few things first, then check their social media.

So you would want to put your tweet out there in the mid morning. You would also not want to engage in posts on Twitter late at night because that’s when the site is the least active and your tweet could end up getting missed by your target audience.

This information can also help you redefine your marketing campaigns when you do those. By knowing when and what to post, you can create content that’s tailor made and hits the mark.

Most social media sites have analytic tools that you can use. Plus, there are outside ones that you can use to check on how well your posts are performing. You can use Facebook insights to see what demographic was interacting with your page.

You might see something that shows that 65% of your demographic were women while 35% were men. You’ll also be able to see age and relationship, language and the size of their household.

You’ll be able to ascertain how often your audience is active on the Facebook site. If you check out page insights, you’ll see the number of people who shared your posts or engaged on your page.

All of this information and research into your social media experience can help you build a rabid fan base of people who not only like what you share and teach, but feel compelled to get others onboard, too.

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Shelve Your Overwhelm at the Volume of Required Content Creation

When you look at the amount of content required – on a daily basis – for your online business, it can be overwhelming, especially if you think you have to do it all by yourself.

What often happens is newbies get skimpy. They slap up the minimum amount of content required. This fails to help you build trust and relationships with others – you need content – with personality – and a lot of it.

You’ll need content for all aspects of your online business – info products, blog posts, social networking posts, email autoresponders, opt-in reports, bonus reports, product reviews, sales copy and much more.

But, there are ways to lighten the load if you’re willing to use them. They’re the methods that the gurus use and they work if you do it right. You’ll be able to lighten the overwhelming amount of content necessary to grow your online business and get the most from your time, effort and money.

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Plan your content meticulously. Without a content plan, you’ll be frustrated and won’t get the most out of your time devoted to the content. Your plan should include an outline of all of the content you’ll need for a certain time period, what you want to include in the content and a deadline for getting it out there.

Don’t rush the plan. Take your time and make sure it’s right. It’s better to do one thought provoking blog post each week than to slap up seven posts that are light on personality, details or value.

Writing and editing is something some marketers hate about this part of their online businesses and they outsource it to more qualified writers. Even though you plan to outsource, you should still know some writing and editing basics so that you’ll know if you’re getting what you need (and your money’s worth) from the writers.

It’s good to have a working relationship with a writer that you trust and who knows your style and is familiar with what you require. Look for someone whose portfolio or talent enables them to speak “for” you online with minimal tweaking.

Outsourcing will certainly lighten the overwhelming amount of content needed for your business. There are freelance writers who specialize in writing online content. Just make sure you don’t go for the cheapest writer or you’ll end up putting more time into it than if you did it yourself. Choose one who is recommended and who has some experience.

The great go-to resource for online entrepreneurs
is private label rights content and you can find PLR on just about any subject. They’re remarkably inexpensive and can be purchased in bundles. You can then change the writing to reflect your own subject matter or ideas – and put your name on it to use online.

Before you hand your content assignments over to someone else, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the subject and are very clear about what you want. You may want to offer websites or other writings for research and inspiration.
Don’t be overwhelmed at the amount of content needed for your businessjust be creative and find different ways and means to get what you want for the least amount of effort. 

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Skills to Learn for Success

Being an entrepreneur is something that a lot of people dream of becoming.
It’s a great dream to have and there are so many avenues open to the person who’s willing to put in the effort to make the business succeed.

Part of succeeding means being honest about areas that you feel you lack in, such as advertising, writing, social media, etc. To be good at what you do means that you have to engage in continuing education.

It’s important that you do this because in the world of entrepreneurial pursuits, not growing in knowledge can kill your business. Strategies change and so do business models and you have to be able to keep up.

This is something that can be good for you as you discover things that can take your business to a new level. Not only will being part of continuing education in your business prevent boredom from setting in, but you can also find things that will feed your motivation and keep you excited about the business.

Are Your Writing Skills Adequate for Content Creation?

When you’re creating written content for your business, you want to let who you are shine through in your voice. Your life’s experiences are what makes you unique.

It’s what helps your audience to be able to connect with you.
Your writing should be as unique as you are. It should be something that’s 100% you. If you take writing from other people and plagiarize that as your own, you risk a couple of things happening.

First, it’s not going to be fresh if you’re copying content from someone else. Second, plagiarizing is morally despicable and can hurt your business. Once people learn that you’ve plagiarized something, your reputation is ruined online.

People don’t want copycat information. Plus, if you do it, your actions can subject you to fines and other penalties because it’s against the law. With the passing of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the works that people write and put online are protected.

When you write, you need to write material that’s engaging. When you write in such a way that your audience can connect with you, it’s easier to develop a business relationship with these people.

They will invest their time and money in someone that they feel they know over someone that they don’t. When you write in an engaging way, you’ll be writing things that others find interesting and they’ll keep returning to your site to see what else you have to say.

Many marketers have built huge careers simply because they knew how to engage an audience with their words. Whatever you write needs to be well-written.

You need to know how to formulate your thoughts and come across in a logical manner. If you write in a way that’s confusing and unorganized, your audience will label it as rambling material.

Your spelling and grammar should be good and what you write should be free of typos. Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a given. But if you’re constantly churning out writing that’s full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes, it will make you look unprofessional.

At the same time that you need to be sure your writing is free of grammar and spelling mistakes, you don’t want to write in such a pompous way that you come across as talking down to your audience.

Write in a tone that reads like you’re sitting across from the person having a cup of coffee and conversation. Your material should also be up to date. If you’re always writing about things that are a few beats behind the information that’s fresh, people will turn to your competitors to get what they want.

Coming up with content yourself might not be a talent that you naturally possess. However, it can be learned. Take the time to assess your writing skills. You can analyze your shortcomings with writing content by being honest with yourself.

If you find writing a chore and you hate it, you’re not really going to want to give it your best effort because you just want to get it over with. If you know you struggle with grammar and spelling, you can either take some refresher courses, adult education courses, or you can outsource to someone else – even an editor for simple proofreading!

Does Your Social Networking Need Improving?

Social networking opened up the world for entrepreneurs.
You can reach out online and have access to people thousands of miles away, in different countries and different time zones.

It’s made doing business faster and easier. Plus, it’s a great tool for building relationships. Like any tool, though, you have to know how to use it well in order for it to perform for you.

There are too many people who come across as uninteresting, too business focuses or too standoffish and an audience doesn’t feel a connection to those people.

These are the entrepreneurs who languish in relative obscurity while their competition builds thousands of followers. You have the ability to make social networking a powerful tool if you use it right.

When you’re online, don’t retreat into yourself.
Don’t clam up and let self-doubt have a field day with you. This is what happens when that internal thought track tells you that you’re not interesting and that people don’t want to hear what you have to say.

Don’t sign up for social media and then stay behind the scenes.
That defeats the purpose of having the accounts to begin with. Once you sign up with various social media sites, start to engage with people.

That’s how you build your audience, your mailing list and basically your business. Let people feel as if they know you, as if they have a peek inside your life.
Share both personal and business stuff on social media.

Personal doesn't mean that you air your dirty laundry.
Don’t get on there and talk about your uncle getting drunk every holiday and dancing on the table. It’s okay to share things like photos of pretty flowers that you took or a picture of your dog.

You can start conversations about foods that you like, about a movie you recently saw or a book that you read. Some social networking sites are better than others depending on what your niche is.

For example, Pinterest is a good platform for someone in the wedding or fitness niche. You can post pictures of weddings and wedding accessories. Or you can post workout gear, before and after shots, or pictures of workouts.

Facebook is good for niches that use videos or tutorials and you can create a group dedicated to that particular niche - such as pets. You can share information about dog products, how-to train videos etc.

Google+ has a lot of tech people, a lot of professionals. It’s not used by the baby boomer crowd as much. So this would be a good social media site for niches that are into information products.

When you post on social media, pay attention to which ones get the most interaction. If you post a video and then a picture, if one got more interaction and more views, then you know what the audience prefers.

The timing of your posts is important too.
Don’t push any sales or information when there’s a national crisis going on. You’ll look insensitive. Likewise, you can use stats to tell you when your audience is most active on the site.

Bring Your Advertising Efforts Into a New Day

Advertising is something that never stays the same. All you have to do is look at the advertisements from 20 years ago to see that focus changes, attitudes have changed and people have changed.

What was cutting edge and worked then won’t work now.
If your advertising methods are more than six months old, it’s likely that they’re out of date. You can’t use old, outdated advertising strategies - not if you want to bring in today’s audiences.

Even though it’s a powerhouse social media site, there are still many entrepreneurs who don’t take advantage of using Facebook for their business advertising.

That’s a huge mistake because currently, there are over a billion people on Facebook. You can’t afford to overlook those kind of numbers. Advertising on Facebook is fast, easy and gets your business in front of a huge audience.

Make sure you know what the purpose of having the ad is for. For example, let’s say you want to gain new subscribers. Then define your objective by using the ads tool.

You’ll be given choices like promoting your business page, boosting posts or having ads that will lead the audience to your site. In the ad manager, you’ll be able to custom pick your audience according to where they live, their age level, what their shopping interests are, and so on.

You’ll also be able to set a budget based on how much you can afford to spend. You can also use retargeting. This is an ad method that uses cookies that are placed on websites.

Many times people visit a site and don’t stick around.
What these cookies do is they track the visitor’s Internet visits. When this visitor heads to a different site, your retargeting service can follow the cookie trail.

Then your ads will appear in front of these visitors at another time on a different site. Retargeting works to land potential buyers because your ad appears again and they remember your site and their original interest.

They head back to your site and buy this time, giving you a boost in your ROI. With ads, you’ll want to analyze them. By monitoring them, you can measure what you’re spending on the campaign versus what you’re gaining in new customers or revenue.

Follow the information on your ad tool dashboard in Facebook to tweak your ads. You may find that you need to change location or gender or other things that can improve how your ad performs.

Get Brave and Start Video Marketing and Live Streaming

If you want to grow your business and increase sales, then you need to be part of the video marketing world. Video marketing helps you connect with people and build an audience right on your own blog.

Videos are popular because of the depth of the connection that’s available. With certain ads (and even text) on your site, you can’t grab an audience with storytelling the way a video can.

Videos are more personable. Your audience can see you or visualize what you’re talking about if you’re showing how to do something. Because we live in a visual world, people tend to relate to videos over just reading something.

You can have a lot of success with video marketing because you can make them personal and fill them with tips or advice that can help your audience. Not just that, but your videos will have additional value over just a “buy me” sales pitch that the audience reads.

They get to see that there’s a real person behind the product or the information. They’re able to put a face with the name or with the brand. What this does is remove that wall of anonymity even though they won’t know in depth personal information about you.

With videos, you become a storyteller and you can literally captivate an audience and in some cases, create a viral marketing tool. When you use videos, they help convert the tire kickers into solid buyers more so than if they just read the sales copy.

Live streaming is an excellent way to market because you get to interact with the audience and there are several platforms you can use to do this with. One of them is Blab.

On this platform, your audience can join you once they’re accepted and you’ll be able to see what they want to ask you. It gives you and the audience the ability to have a conversation in real time that goes below the surface.

It builds trust and enables you to discuss ideas, offer solutions and it’s great for getting feedback from your audience. Periscope is a live streaming app that lets you broadcast in front of an audience.

You can build a tribe, meet your audience and build a business by increasing sales. You’ll get greater exposure for your business with each broadcast. It gives you real time access to customers almost as if you’re having a face to face meeting with them.

This allows your audience to feel as if you’re authentic - and that in turn builds trust. People can use Meerkat with their mobile devices connected to social media to connect with their audiences.

With live streaming, what you’re seeing is what your audience sees.
They can comment as they watch and you can reply back.
It’s an instant connection and interaction.

Plus, the Meerkat platform lets you share the video and then it alerts the audience with a link. You can immediately have a thousand people watching your video.

Convert Better By Improving Your Sales Copy

You need sales copy in order to have sales of your product. But not all copy has the potential to convert. Sometimes there can be something missing that causes your audience to move on without ever making the purchase.

If you notice that people are landing on your page but they’re not buying, that’s a good sign that they need a little more convincing because your copy isn’t compelling enough.

You need to analyze how people are responding to your page.
If you have a high bounce rate, it’s time to make some changes. While you certainly don’t want to copy your competition, if they’re successful, then you do want to check them out to see what it is that they’re doing right.

It could be that they’re doing something with their sales copy that you’re not doing. Or maybe they’re not doing something that you are. Either one of those could be something that you can tweak and see if you get better results that way.

Locate some of the competitors in your niche and go over their site carefully. Make notes of how they persuade an audience. Check out their ratio of sales push to advice.

How personable are they? What topics are they talking about? How often are they talking about new things?
Study how much or how little detail they give about their product or information.

Could it be that you’re giving away too much? Or not giving away enough information to hook a person’s interest? What is your competition’s sales to personable ratio of information on their site?

How fresh is their site content? Once you’ve compared your copy to a competitor that you know is successful, you can make some changes on your own. One way to do that is to use split testing.

With split testing, you create two copies of something like your sales letter. Copy A would have one headline while copy B would have a different headline. Then you would send your sales letter to your email list so that half your list gets copy A and the other half gets copy B.

Then you can see which headline was more effective. You can figure that out just by looking at your data. You can check your colors, formatting, and even font this way to see how it impacts the buyer’s final decision.

You can use split testing to send traffic to two separate landing pages and then you can see which one performs better. You can use video on one page and plain text on another.

To keep from getting overwhelmed by all of the possible changes you can make, only implement one change at a time. You can also make a hybrid sales page - using both video and text on your copy to attract your audience.

If you want to test this, you can use video in split testing and send half your list video and the other half text. Then compare those results to a hybrid mix, where you combine different media formats on the page, to appeal to more potential buyers. 
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