Social media engagement is more than gathering followers and getting likes. It expands your marketing reach and boosts brand awareness among prospective clients. People spend over two hours on social media each day, and more and more businesses are looking for ways to engage with them.
We caught up with Caitlin Lilly, FOX5 Social Media Executive Producer at Meredith Las Vegas to discuss the importance of social media engagement, what to do when things go wrong, and strategies she uses to engage more followers. Read on for a peek inside our conversation with Meredith Las Vegas’ social media expert.
MLV: What is your role with Meredith Las Vegas?
CL: As FOX5’s Social Media Executive Producer, I’m responsible for pushing out content across our different social channels. I manage the day to day social strategy, including finding content and pitching or writing stories that will appeal to our social audience and push traffic to our website.
MLV: How many different channels do you manage?
CL: I specifically help with four main social channels, all with the same handle - FOX5Vegas. Those include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and we’re also big on our Youtube channel.
MLV: What would you say is the reason social media engagement is important?
CL: Showing that you’re acknowledging your customers goes a long way with your followers, and they appreciate it. When I do newsroom training, I tell journalists that their followers appreciate that you're acknowledging them. Whether it’s responding to their comments, hitting like, or commenting with an emoji, it lets them know that you’re not just a robot sharing content and not interacting. You’re showing that you’re a real person, and you see what they are saying. It goes a long way.
MLV: What are some tips you would give someone looking to increase their social media engagement?
CL: One thing that businesses can do is look for that user-generated content and ask for permission to repost it. The fact that you’re reaching out to one of your followers, saying that you like what they posted about you, and you want to reshare it is a big deal. It’s exciting that this big brand acknowledges you and wants to share your content with their followers. So look for that user whose content you can repurpose as another way to engage with your followers. People will start tagging you in even more things because they’ll want that opportunity to be shared.
MLV: What would you say is the biggest missed opportunity for most companies when it comes to social media engagement?
CL: It’s great to interact with all the positive things people say about you, but I think companies and businesses may be a little hesitant to respond to criticism - and I get that. But there is a tactful way to do it. If someone comments on your post about a bad experience, I would recommend taking that as an opportunity to, again, show you’re acknowledging and seeing what people are saying about your company. You can respond to that comment and say, “Hey, we want to know more about this. Send us an email.” That way you’re taking it out of the public space, but people still see that you’re responding. Also, it shows that you’re not only acknowledging when things are positive, but you want to address when followers have an issue and give them an opportunity to move forward.
MLV: How has your social media strategy helped FOX5 engage with more viewers?
CL: Before I joined Meredith Las Vegas & FOX5, they didn’t have a full-time person dedicated solely to social media. To bring someone in whose only job is social has been very helpful in the sense that I can monitor things throughout the day.
One example is that state health agencies have been reporting daily numbers of how many cases of COVID-19 we have. In the beginning, it was very confusing for people to realize that the state numbers were different from the county numbers. People would respond in the comments saying, “You’re reporting one thing, but this number is different.” I was able to take the time needed to break it down in the comments and help people understand the numbers. That’s something that we wouldn’t have been able to do without a full-time social media manager.
MLV: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to a company that doesn’t have a dedicated social media manager?
CL: Engagement is so important. It costs you time, but it doesn’t cost you much outside of that. I get that not everyone has the budget for a full-time social person, but if you spend a couple of minutes reading, liking and resharing posts, it goes such a long way with your customers and followers. They’re going to reshare your reshared post. When you acknowledge them, you show that you see them, and that’s exciting for people. It creates brand loyalty.
Social media engagement is a testament to how many people are interacting with your brand on a regular basis. When you acknowledge your followers by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts, you build brand awareness, loyalty and trust. Subscribe to our blog to learn more ways to engage your target audience and boost your marketing results.