Don't Just Attract Social Media Followers, Engage Them

It’s a common scenario. Your restaurant sets out to incrementally build a following on Facebook, Twitter and your blog. You carefully crafted e-mail campaigns and newsletters to increase store traffic. And while your followers are steadily growing as a result of your efforts, you eventually hit a plateau. You are left wondering why it took so much effort to build a social media following only for your opt out rates to steadily increase. What you don’t realize is that while it’s important to build a following on social media sites, it’s just as important to keep that following engaged.

The average customer is exposed to hundreds of messages everyday on their computers, on their phones, and on TV. They have become artificially attention deficit disordered, and that doesn’t help your advertising brand. To be successful in the social media market you must create an emotional bond in order to keep their attention. Here are some strategies that can help you to better engage your followers.
  • Create great content. When it comes to social media, content is king. But more importantly, it is about finding the right balance between promoting your products/services and creating a conversation with your followers. For instance, try posting interesting antidotes about the history of certain food offerings, to create more buzz.
  • Add video. The average consumer responds to video better than written content. Try sharing a video of your chef making a signature dish, for example; this is more engaging for your followers than the average post. The options are endless.
  • Add humor to get the customers laughing. If an employee turns a mixer in the kitchen on high accidentally and splatters cake batter all over the place, snap a picture and post it across your social media network.
  • Look at your competition. Look for your top 10 social media competitors. Keep an eye on what they are posting and how many followers they have. Then develop your content in a more interesting and out-of-the-box way from what they are doing. Do it faster, cleverer and better.
  • Look for other companies that are a good fit to team up with. Make an agreement to swap content on each other’s sites so that you can take advantage of co-marketing. This could be another manufacturer or service that complements your business. Take advantage of the communities that have already been built and cross-pollinate them through your posts.
  • Look to younger employees in your company that may be on the pulse of social media. Put them in charge of reporting to you once a week about what the buzz is in the social media realm. Have them come up with different ideas, promotions or creative posts of interest and test them out in the market.
All of the content-rich aspects of social media will attract, but more importantly keep, your customers watching your brand grow. Standing out in the market place is becoming even more important as competition is always knocking at the social media door. Do it better, be more nimble and you will catch your customers sticking around to see what is next.
Genae Girard is a speaker, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of, an online social media tribe of over 23,000 breast cancer survivors and is also the author of “Off the Rack: Chronicles of a Thirty-Something, Single, Breast Cancer Survivor.”
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