Culture

How We Engage Our 43,000+ Social Media Followers

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“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” – Lori Ruff, ALPFA

With close to 4 million Piktochart users and counting, we are finding it increasingly a challenge to pay special attention to every single user. However, we still strive to engage every user and social media is one of our channels in doing so.

As an organisation, we are user-focused and we strive to engage our users on every level. Previously, Harrison shared about how we use email to engage our users and in this blogpost, I will be sharing some of the ways we are using social media to do the same.

Ever since taking the role as a Community Jedi (yes, we do have super cool job titles!) in July 2015, I have been focusing on engaging our users through our social media platforms. At Piktochart, we see social media as a platform to increase our brand awareness and engagement with our users who are following us.

Here’s a look at the number of our followers on our social media platforms in November 2015:

Piktochart_Social Media Growth

Over the years, we have seen a consistent growth of followers and in this year alone, there is an increase of 25,829 followers in early 2015 to 43,225 followers currently. That is a 67.3 percent growth on our social media platforms, which is a good sign!

We’re certainly not content to rest on our laurels, but with more followers naturally comes a greater responsibility to engage every last one without leaving anyone out.

To be sure, we’re not social media experts in any way, but we’ve come to learn some lessons along the way in getting social with our followers.

Three Ways to Get Social with Social Media Followers

Maintaining an always-on social media presence

We have an amazing support team – dubbed the Customer Delight team – who are always ready to provide help 24/7. The same goes for our social media platforms, and we found that our highest engagement on social media comes from Twitter.

On a daily basis, we receive tweets from followers requesting for help or sharing about our product and what they have created using Piktochart:

When used efficiently, social media can be a great platform for having real-time conversations with your followers. Nothing says we love you better than being present at the moment when your followers reach out to you through social media for help, or simply just mentioning your brand.

According to The Social Habit, 42 percent of consumers expect a response from your official brand within sixty minutes. Hence, it is important to never go hiatus on your social media.

Every day, I find joy in reading all the tweets from our followers sharing about their experience of using our tool, and their stories never fail to amaze me. From using our tool in a classroom to teach a language, to securing a job with a resume designed with Piktochart, these stories never fail to inspire our team to further improve our product knowing that it’s making a difference to the lives of others.

We make an effort to engage with all the tweets by either giving a heart (thumbs up for Twitter’s latest heart feature!) or replying to tweets if assistance is required.

The key to gaining such engagement is by maintaining an always-on social media presence and giving the assurance to your followers that you will be there for them when needed. Posting regularly on your social media platforms is another way to maintain your online presence, and I’ll be sharing more about that below.  

Knowing your brand voice

Every brand has its own voice, and knowing your brand’s voice is key in getting social with your followers. Our friends at Buffer wrote an insightful blogpost about finding your social media marketing voice, and emphasized the importance of humanizing your brand to create authentic conversations with your audience.

Simply put, your audience wants a genuine voice – and not a generic voice trying to sell your brand. They want a voice that relates to them, and the brand voice is essential in reaching out to our audience on a more personal level.

Because of this, I constantly try to put myself in the shoes of our audience. Here are some questions that I ask myself:

  • Why am I following this brand on social media?
  • What do I want to gain by following them on social media?
  • When is the point that I will decide to stop following this brand?

The answers to these questions can give you an idea of what your brand voice should be like and you can work your social media strategy around this.

Beyond just knowing your brand voice, social media specialist Lauren Sieben also talks about the importance of brands to respond to conversations on social media instead of having a one-sided communication.

Here’s an example of a conversation on social media, and how we would respond:

Piktochart_SocialMediaConversation_1

Now, you have a frustrated user (as the username implies) and your response could determine the outcome of this conversation. The usual automated bot response will be as such:

Piktochart_SocialMediaConversation_2

While that is a valid response, it is still missing the personal touch and doesn’t feel authentic. Always remember to put yourself in the shoes of your audience, and that should be a starting point to help you understand how to respond in such situations. Here’s how we would respond, using our Piktochart brand voice:

Piktochart_SocialMediaConversation_3

From an audience’s perspective, which response would you prefer? I would personally prefer the second response (not totally biased), which sounds more personal.

The addition of a signature at the end of the tweet also gives me the impression that I’m not receiving an automated response. Try adding signatures to your conversations on social media to create a personal touch. This is something our friends at Buffer are really excelling at!

Also, using emoticons and smileys in appropriate situations can help to show that you have emotions, which help you to connect better with your audience. Here are some examples of tweets we have made to our social media followers:  

And here are some #piktolove shown!

Create engaging and valuable content

Content can be found everywhere on a social media’s news feed, so what will make your content stand out? Research has shown that the key to making your content stand out is in creating content that is both engaging and valuable for your audience.

Images, videos, infographics and GIFs – all visual content – come out tops when engaging your audience. If you’re still not convinced, have a look at these 17 statistics you should know about visual content marketing by HubSpot. Here are three statistics just to put things into perspective:

  • Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.
  • Images and photos are the most important tactic in optimizing social media posts.
  • Adding a photo URL to your tweet can boost retweets by 35%.

In the case of Piktochart, we witnessed a significant increase in engagement by taking advantage of visual content. Studies haveshown that our brains not only process visuals faster but also retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually.

The-Importance-of-Visuals

But could it be as simple as adding visuals to create engaging contents? Once again, my challenge to you is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Ask yourself:

“What type of content will draw me to click on the post and share it on my news feed?”

Creating engaging content is more than just attaching a visual to go with it. It also has to be relevant. Your goal is to create content that you would personally find it intriguing and will actually share on your own news feed.

With that in mind, your focus will be on instilling value for your audience instead of selling your brand. Adding value by sharing content that will make your audience’s lives easier is one of the best practices of social media.

Content which contain tips and tricks, tutorials, and hacks will not only add value to your audience, but also has the potential to reach a wider audience when it is shared by them.

Another great way to get your audience to engage with your content is by adding a call-to-action. Check out these 16 call-to-action formulas that make people want to click by Neil Patel.

Recommended Tools

This article would not be complete without sharing some of my favourite social media tools that I use to engage our Piktochart followers.

Buffer

Buffer is a life-saver for all social media managers in terms of scheduling posts for social media, and helps to save time. I’m an avid Buffer user, and I use it for all social media scheduling for Piktochart.

You can schedule your preferred time to post on social media, or rely on Buffer’s optimal scheduling tool which automatically determines the best times for you to share content based on your audience.

The new social media calendar feature also allows you to easily manage all your social media platforms at a glance. With Buffer, you can maintain your online presence by scheduling posts regularly on your social media platforms.

Tweetdeck

I started using Tweetdeck a few weeks ago as another alternative for a social media management tool, and I have been hooked to it since then. It is an easy-to-use tool that helps you to stay updated with all the latest activity on Twitter.

You can add different columns to view mentions of your Twitter account, direct messages, and also mentions of your brand keywords. This allows you to be present in real-time with your audience, helping you to respond to them immediately. It’s a great tool to maintain an always-on social media presence!

Piktochart_Tweetdeck

Giphy

Giphy comes highly recommended, especially if your brand voice is more fun and engaging. GIFs are interactive visual content that can be used to better engage your audience. We are huge fans of GIFs here at Piktochart, and since we started using GIFs to respond to social media mentions, we have received a lot of positive feedback from our audience!

While GIFs can bring a smile to your audience, do bear in mind not to overuse GIFs. They are best used only in appropriate situations.

For example, sending a GIF to a frustrated social media follower who reached out to you might give the best impression. You also wouldn’t want to spam your social media feed with endless funny GIFs. Knowing your brand voice will help you to decide on the appropriate use of GIFs.

Who doesn’t love some brownie points?

As mentioned, we’re not social media experts at Piktochart in any way and we’re still learning on a daily basis about using these platforms to engage our audience. These are just some of the lessons that we’ve learned along the way, and we hope they will help you to engage your social media followers. Here’s an infographic we created to visualize this article. What are some of your best practices in engaging your audience on social media? What tools do you use to manage your social media accounts? I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to share it with us! 🙂 Image via TNW News  

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