How to Engage With Your Social Media Followers Quickly and Authentically
How do you feel when people comment on your social media posts? Awesome, right?
A comment or some form of engagement is usually a sign that people love your social media content. And it’s important to reciprocate and respond to these interactions.
But at the same time, engaging with your followers can be time-consuming. If you are a solo social media manager or a small business owner, you know you don’t have the whole day to engage with your followers.
So how can you minimize the time it takes to engage with your followers and still be authentic at the same time?
In this post, we’ll share the tactics and tools we use at Buffer to engage with our amazing social media followers quickly and authentically.
5 creative types of replies you can use
If you have been replying to comments and mentions with a thank you, that’s a great first step. But it can be easy to fall into the habit of using a few standard replies. I’m definitely guilty of that!
There are many ways you can spice up your replies, show your brand’s personality and delight your followers. Here are some that I like:
That’s awesome! Any top books in your program? - Bonnie
— Buffer (@buffer) September 11, 2017
Instead of a simple “Thank you,” I love to engage with the person further and continue the discussion. A great method is to ask for her or his opinions on the topic.
For example, if someone commented on your social media post that links to a blog post, you could ask the following questions:
- What is your favorite part of the blog post?
- What’s your main takeaway from the blog post?
- Do you agree with the idea mentioned in the blog post?
- How has your experience with (a strategy or tool) been like?
- Have you tried any of the tips in the blog post before? If yes, how did it go?
If they reply to your questions, that’s awesome! You can continue the conversation and build a good relationship with them.
The easiest way to make your replies a little more fun is to include emoji.
As emoji become part of the social media language, most people are used to seeing and using emoji in their social media posts and comments.
It is also an efficient way to convey your tone and emotions in your replies. Unlike talking face-to-face or on the phone, it’s not easy for your followers to pick up your tone and emotions in a text reply. But with a happy emoji, your followers would know instantly that you’re smiling while replying.
Both Mac and Windows have a shortcut for adding emoji. If you’re on a Mac, an emoji app that I would recommend is Rocket. It allows you to quickly type emojis by starting with a colon (:). Here’s a demo from the website:
You can also schedule posts for custom days and times by clicking on the small arrow next to “Add to Queue” -Kelly pic.twitter.com/m3Jxfd8icy
— Buffer (@buffer) August 31, 2017
Sometimes, the fastest and easiest way to show or explain something on social media is to use an image — especially on Twitter where you have only 140 characters.
We found that images are generally best for answering support questions where we have to show or point to something.
Tools like CloudApp, Nimbus and Droplr (which we’ll discuss below) allow you to add annotations to your images, making your explanation clearer.
Woohoo!! ? ? :cue the happy music: We’re thrilled to have you with us on Awesome, Tobias! Shout if any questions come up ? -Kelly pic.twitter.com/uo3UvjZZKb
— Buffer (@buffer) August 25, 2017
Using GIFs is our favorite way of thanking people who shared our content, gave us a shout out and more.
With the new GIF button on Twitter and Facebook, you can easily find and add a GIF to your replies.
If you would like to create your own GIFs, here’s our guide on how to create your own GIFs in minutes.
— Medium (@Medium) February 10, 2015
In 2015, the User Happiness team at Medium did a #AskMedium campaign where they answered questions with video replies. And their followers loved it!
In a blog post about Twitter’s video feature, Gary Vaynerchuck explained why video replies are great for engagement:
It’s easy to Like a comment or reply with “Thank…