The Importance of Engaging with Your Audience on Social Media | Marketing Your Art BusinessApr 08, 2022
So, this week, I wanted to take a look at engagement on social media, and talk about why likes, comments, shares and saves on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are something you should be paying attention to.
I know a lot of people get hung up on the idea of having a huge number of followers and, I won’t deny that having a big following is reassuring, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. You’re much better off having a smaller, more engaged following. That’s why, instead of making your number of followers the most important figure you focus on, you should shift your focus to the number of engaged followers.
Below is why I think engagement is the most important part of social media, and what you should remember and pay attention to when marketing your art business (or any business, for that matter) on social media.
It's All About Building a Relationship
One of the most important things to remember when marketing your business on social media is that people buy into people. By allowing your followers to get to know the real person, the real you, behind your posts, you're helping them to see your business as more than just any old business in a very crowded market. Helping them to associate a business with a real person builds emotion, trust and loyalty, and will help your followers to build a real connection with you and what you're posting.
When people start to feel like they know you, they'll be more inclined to engage with your content online, giving your engagement rates a boost.
However, the really important thing to remember is this: don't try to be someone else because you think people will prefer it, or because you see someone else doing well. Be authentic, be yourself, and let people like you for who you are. It will make the relationships you build more meaningful and more beneficial to you as a business person.
The Algorithms Will Love You
I won’t go into it in too much detail because it’s quite complicated (and, honestly, a bit mind-numbing), but the social media algorithms favour posts with high levels of engagement, meaning a post with more likes, comments and saves will be pushed further up people’s feeds, making it more likely to be seen by more people. The more people that see it, the more engagement it gets, the further it gets pushed up feeds, and the circle continues.
Now, there are a few things you need to remember here. To start, remember the importance of encouraging engagement from your audience. Try asking questions and talking about topics you know they’re interested in to get a conversation started. Secondly, it’s even more important to engage with your followers in return. If someone has commented on your post, make sure you respond to that comment. Sometimes, all you need is an emoji or a “thank you”, but it's a crucial part of building that all-important relationship I mentioned above.
The third thing you want to consider is the importance of engaging with accounts outside of your following. Being active on social media is vital. It’s not enough just to upload your posts and hope for the best. You need to be spending time on the platform and engaging with other users. That means, finding accounts that have an audience with similar likes and interests to your own. These people may be interested in the products or service you’re offering, and by liking and commenting on other people’s posts, you’re furthering your reach, putting yourself in front of people who don’t follow you already, and making yourself known.
Now, one thing you really have to be careful of when doing this is avoiding piggybacking off other people’s posts. Don’t post comments promoting your pages on other people’s feeds, and keep engagements friendly and considerate of other people’s marketing efforts. Think, how would you feel if someone tried to promote their business on one of your posts? You probably wouldn’t be too pleased! More often than not, a quick “I love this” or “fabulous work” was an emoji or two is all you need to say if you’re struggling to come up with something more.
It Keeps You in the Loop!
If you’re spending time engaging on a platform, you’ll be more aware of the trends that might be worth getting involved in (and I’m not talking TikTok dances!), you’ll know what your competition is getting up to, and you’ll be able to get a sense of how your audience is feeling towards you and your product or service.
Making sure you’re keeping up with the people that are important to your business is vital. It’s better to be known as the helpful business owner who answers questions quickly and responds to their followers, than someone who never says anything at all!
It’s all about being active and proactive. Don’t worry if you don’t have masses of time to spend on social media, dedicate what time you can, make sure you’re checking your feeds at least once a day, and don’t forget how important your audience is! For more of my thoughts on this, give the video shown above a watch.
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