4 Rules for Engagement Success on Social Media




(Image source: http://peopleinsight.co.uk)

If you are in a business with presence on social media, you must want to attract as much audience as possible on the channels you are on. If you are just an individual who has fun on social media for personal life, you must want to be a star among your friends and earn as many likes/shares as possible. Not matter it is a business or a personal social media platform, you will want to engage people on it. But how? I think there are 4 rules to follow:

  • Target the right people

In Chinese, there is an idiom, Dui Niu Tan Qin, which literally means playing music for a cow and expect the cow to compliment the player. This idiom tells us if you put your effort into someone who are not interested in you or have no value for you, you are not getting what you expect. There are so many people on so many social webs. But there is only a small portion of people who are your target audience. For example, if your product is car seat, you will only target parents with younger kids rather than parents with teenager.  In other words, parents with teenager will not engage with you. Only when you are having your target audience, your goals of social media engagement will be accomplished.

  • Choose the right platform

There are an uncountable number of social media webs out there. Not all of them are good for your business or personal brand. So you have to be wise when you try to choose the right ones. Each social web has its only unique features and audience demographics. For example, there are much more female users on Pinterets than male. Users on LinkedIn are mostly professionals or B2B business practitioners. By determining which social media platforms are good match for your products or services, there are more chances that you will fully engage your audience there.

  • Optimize the content

Ever landed on a website with boring topics and unappealing images? Ever found some Facebook pages with only product information but no other content that makes you feel like interacting with the business? Ever hid a friend’s activity feeds only because he/she always posts something uninteresting? These all mean the content is of low quality. This is what you should avoid when trying to engage people on social media. Post only the content that brings value to your target audience. Put up qualified images, as we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Create content that are inviting to your audience so that they may want to interact with you.

  • Dedicate to manage your online communities

Social media is a fast growing industry. But the success on social media requires lasting time and effort. To engage people on your social webs is a time consuming task. You will need to have someone especially responsible for replying to and interacting with your audience, so that the audience will feel they are cared and want to engagement with you more. People also tend to engage more on those social webs that update frequently and response fast. This also requires some dedication from the community management team.

All in all, if you have the right people on the right social platform, and there are dedicated people who optimize your social web content effectively, your audience will for sure be engaged.


Summaries of 3 HootSuite Video Lectures


Lecture 1: How to Amplify Your Paid & Earned Social Media with Storify

Storify is a social network service that enables users to create stories with any content that can be found online, including article, image, blog post and tweet, mostly from social media.

The video presentation was given by Xavier Damman, Founder and CEO of Storify. He demonstrated in the video that users can search for content related to their story from sources such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Google, as well as other stories on Storify, and then drag that content into their own Storify story timelines. Users can add comments to each link within the story, and can also embed URLs in their stories. Users can also embed their own Storify stories elsewhere on the internet, for example on their own blogs.

Xavier also introduced to us different types of stories that users can create with Storify:

  • News: Collect reports from the ground reported on social media and live blogging
  • Events: Conferences, sports, concerts, and personal events (weddings or parties)
  • Debates: Collect and publish the highlights witness them.
  • Memes: Curate and publish highlights of trending memes
  • Content Marketing: Curate the views from experts in your industry
  • Micro Sites: Show the social momentum around a product launch

Xavier also mentioned that, when you embed a Storify story, you could either embed it as a classic story or embed it as a slice show. This is an interesting feature that many people don’t know yet.

Lecture 2: How to Use Social Video to Drive Results

Videos are becoming one of the major sources of information. Marketers are using more social videos to draw attention from consumers. Meanwhile, people are consuming videos in the ways that they never had before. So how to use social video to drive result has become critical.

In the video presentation given by Cameron Uganec, HootSuite’s Director of Marketing, we first learned the definition of social video, which is: Online video that is designed to be shared through social networks. And then Cameron shared with us some social video strategies:

  • Clear and measurable objectives: The success metrics for social video objectives are usually cost per view, shares, views, click through rate, embeds, clicks and time spent.
  • Customized content: Focus on your target audience and corporate beliefs. Always know what is the one key message you want your audience to take away.
  • Distribution plan: Either the videos are going to be distributed through paid, earned or owned channels, you should always have a well designed plan. Otherwise, users and consumers are not coming.

Ok, strategies are done, now what should we do to ensure successes in social video? Cameron told us 11 secrets in creating videos:

  • Make it shareable
  • Tell a story
  • Shorter is better
  • Always start strong
  • Try non-linear storytelling
  • Remember search
  • Have a long tail
  • Focus on evergreen content
  • Take advantage of Youtube as a search engine
  • It’s now always the case to have a lot of product information
  • Always consider music as an important component in the video

With all these strategies and practical tactics, we are all going to achieve more success in social video marketing.

Lecture 3: Customer Service in a Social World

With the blooming of social media, organizations have more channels to connect with their customers. Meanwhile, the customers are experiencing more services from the service providers. The more good experience they have, the stronger engagement they would have with you. Social media provides the opportunities of connecting customers anywhere and for anything.

In the video of Customer Service in a Social World, Sharad Mohan, Director of Customer Success here at HootSuite, introduced to us how we can leverage social media to provide awesome customer service.

Where are your customers?

Before you jump out to create social presence in the market, you need to know where are your customers. In social media context, that means which social media channel your customers are using. After identifying this, you can place your focus on that channel and maximize the customer satisfaction there.

What are they talking about you?

Listen first. Try to response to the dissatisfaction with a prompt solution. At the same time, amplify the positive sentiments from your customers through social media. Spread every good word about your organization and product/service.

Are you meeting their expectation?

Social media are fast and inpatient. So once you create a presence on social media. Make sure you response fast and cover different time zones and languages. Customers expect you react on social media reactively and proactively. Keep that in mind.

Are your teams collaborating?

There are two types of conversation on social media: band conversation and product conversation. So internal teams (or individuals within a certain team) need to collaborate when trying to response to customers’ inquiries and solve different type of problems.

The strategies in leveraging social media to provide customer service introduced in this video are great guidelines for organizations and individuals. Applying these strategies will bring the customer service experience to a new level.

In general, HootSuite not only developed a fantastic social media network management dashboard, but also provided us splendid self-taught content in HootSuite University. All those lectures are specific and practical. Professionals in social media or digital marketing industry would all benefit from these great resources.

Define the Target Audience: 3 Variables That All Organizations Should Consider

The first step to execute your social media strategy is defining your target audience, so that you can customize your message and ways of delivering the messages. Different organizations have different groups of audience. For business, this is usually your potential buyers. For a nonprofit, it can be donors to support a cause or potential clients for a program. For government entities, it can be voters, constituents or general citizens. Within one organization, target audience may vary when conducting different campaigns.


(Image from Yahoo!)

Though the business, nonprofit and government face different social media audience, they share common variables when trying to define their audience.

Objective of initiatives:

To achieve different objectives, you need to go to different people. So always keep in mind your objectives. For example, to generate profit, a business will target people who have potential needs for that particular products or services. If a nonprofit plan to fundraise for its organization, it would cover existing donors and people who care about the cause. The elected officials and their organizations would pay much more attention to the constituent communities if they want to compete for those areas.

Demographics of audience:

Knowing the characters of your target audience makes your target shooting more accurate. Should your audience be young or middle aged? Are they with college or higher education? Are they more attachable to mobile or computers? No matter you are with a business, nonprofit or government, answering questions like these will help you narrow down the general public into more specific groups that you can more easily target with appropriate messaging.

Media preference of audience:

What social media platform are your target audience using? If they are more interested in images than videos, you may need to consider Pinterest rather than Youtube. If you are targeting well-educated professionals, people on LinkedIn would be your first choice. Moreover, organizations in business, nonprofit and government sectors have their own preference on content management. So when trying to define the target audience, matching what you have on your platform and what they are interested is also very important.

Apart from above mentioned variables that all organizations need to consider when defining target audience, there are specific aspects that require each organization to think about. The key is focusing on a well defined group of audience who are closely related to your products and causes. And then monitor what they say, response to them at a personal level, amplify the positive while desalting the negative, and finally lead the audience to take actions you want them to.

Reading source:

Demystifying Social Media, McKinsey & Company

Who is Your Social Media Audience? Really, Who is it?, Kelly Jennex, February 14, 2013

Social Media in Government: Five Considerations, HootSuite White Paper, 2013

How to choose the right social media platform for your business?


In this fast-paced ever-evolving digital world, every few months a new social media platform launches, urging businesses to create an account and catch up the new features of this new “toy”, with the goal of attracting more fans in mind.

It’s very crucial to choose the right social media platform with the mindset of putting PEOPLE first, technology second. Regardless your thorough understanding of all the traits of each social media platform, if your social media platform hasn’t been chosen via the first consideration of your PEOPLE – customer and prospective, your engagement with your social media audience will be facing great challenges. We are not saying it’s not important to monitor the evolution of technology, it is only less important when it comes to the decision-making point of which platform and what strategy you are going to adopt.


Choosing the right social platform for high quality engagement


By Ian Stockley | August 5, 2013 | ww.fourthsource.com