Stay human: Engaging with your audience

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With the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a Congressional hearing taking place in 2018, a lot of trust was lost in social media. Facebook was under a lot of pressure to improve security and increase transparency, while Twitter was dealing with bots leading to millions of fake accounts.

Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Report | 60% of people no longer trust social media companies

Ponemon Institute | Trust in Facebook has dropped 66%

So how do we combat this? We have to look at the positive side of this shift: challenges and opportunities.

Smart brands are focusing less on maximizing reach and more on generating transparent and quality engagement. “Engagement” is more tangible than ever. Not only does it impact brand value but long-term ROI as well. Even big name brands are working at developing meaningful dialogue with smaller, more valuable audiences. They’re creating communities, sharing insightful content and allowing users to talk to one another, and you can too.

Hootsuite | If you have a Facebook Business Page, you can easily create a Facebook Group to complement it. While your page will offer more general information to your followers, your Facebook Group can address niche interests and target your superfans.

The key for brands is to create a space where customers can talk to one another. Facilitate that engagement and then get out of the way. Avoid heavy- handed pitches or product plugs. You can choose to make your group public or closed, and you should clearly identify the purpose of the group so people know why it exists.

Check out Hello Social Co.’s community: Focus On Local on Facebook.

When it comes down to it, users just want to know who they’re interacting and sharing data with and are becoming more and more conscious. Your business, whether online or brick and mortar, needs real customers each day, and can only thrive from community engagement and interaction. Even Facebook is focusing on local.

Content has always been important but now more than ever it’s the context of the content that’s important. Earning trust and providing real value are key for continued engagement. Deliver interesting and timely information all while being authentic, transparent, and genuine to your brand– Stay human.

About the Author:

Katey Crean is the Digital Media Manager at Hello Social Co. When she’s not crafting social media content for clients, she can be found teaching kiddos musical theater. 

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