How starting a conversation boosts social media engagement

As algorithms begin to favor user interaction and community sharing, how can brand managers adapt their campaigns to get better organic reach? Here are some tips.

How can PR pros 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 often include:

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

There are typically three ways you can spark a conversation on social media: You can join an existing conversation, ask provocative questions or share topical news to encourage people to share an opinion or ask a question of their own. Any of these strategies can lead to high levels of brand engagement.

Join a conversation in progress

For conversations to be meaningful, they must be relevant. Small talk is awkward, but if you have something valuable to say then the conversation can be anything but.

Social media monitoring tools can help you find those customers, prospect and influencers speaking about your industry. You 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 X? Have you considered this?
  • Great article. X is particularly interesting. This got me thinking: What are your thoughts on X?
Ask thought provoking questions

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

Example questions to use:

  •  What’s your No. 1 goal to achieve this year?
  • What do you think the future holds for X?

 Share the latest industry news and trends

By keeping up with industry news, you can find trending conversations that are taking place in the moment. This tactic is called newsjacking—and requires a little extra effort.

Sign up for a news curation service or share stories found via a social media monitoring tool to remain relevant. By asking questions about an article, you can gain insight into what your audience thinks about a particular topic and increase brand engagement at the same time.

Plus, sharing your own thoughts enables you to flex your muscles and demonstrate your expertise, thus confirming your position in the market.

 Example questions:

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

How are you inspiring conversation and community interaction on social media, PR Daily readers?

Perri Robinson is an enterprise marketing manager for Meltwater. A version of this post originally appeared on the Meltwater blog.

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