Digital communication is one of the primary ways that people connect.
Facebook and Instagram are the top two social media platforms in the world. These platforms are fast, visually-driven and far reaching. Small businesses benefit through accessibility and direct conversation.
Community is Facebook’s core. It provides one of the best opportunities to directly engage with target markets. Post with intent and, most importantly, join conversations.
- Comment on posts from relevant groups and media outlets. This is an invitation for users to reply and interact. These interactions increase awareness.
- Share relevant posts from followers and pages. These shares increase reach, visibility and relevancy by association.
- Promote posts to increase reach and visibility. Reply to comments quickly and drive traffic to the business’ page and website.
Visual content drives Instagram. Photo, video and graphic content are the drivers of the platform. Content is the primary focus of posts, second is captions, and comments are supplemental. This means interaction requires more effort.
- Pose questions (polls, trivia, etc.) in posts. Use attractive graphics and fonts to encourage users to comment and participate.
- Follow influencers, organizations and media outlets relevant to the product or service. Create associations that make sense for brand positioning.
- Reply to comments on relevant influencer, organization and media pages. Engage in natural conversations with users.
- Repost content from customers. Showcase successful use of the business’ product or service.
Basic Best Practices
- Enable comments on posts. Reply to comments and welcome dialogue. Respond to negative comments openly and with confidence to establish trust.
- Allow direct messages, even from non-followers. This is an important customer service vehicle that becomes part of the business’ reputation.
- Credit original sources of shared and reposted content. This establishes trust and credibility and, most importantly, mitigates legal risk.
- Be quick and diligent in addressing offensive and abusive comments. Avoid possible mis-associations by quickly addressing and eliminating issues.
Understanding how to engage with target markets on Facebook and Instagram is important for small businesses. Meeting target customers in their digital environment establishes a connection that converts to sales and loyalty. Remain consistent to maintain these connections. Facebook and Instagram provide resources to increase engagement using their platforms.