Feb 4, 2020
Hey guys! Morgan Nield here for another episode of the Simplify Your Sales podcast and I am SUPER excited about today’s episode because I know it’s a pain point for a TON of Etsy sellers and hopefully you’re going to leave today with some incredible gold nuggets and ideas that you can implement right away in your business.
I’m talking ENGAGEMENT on social media.
Because while everyone and their dog shares how important it is to grow your social media, there’s not a lot of stress put on growing an ENGAGED presence on social media.
I want to change that today and walk you through some ideas I’ve tried and tested in my OWN businesses that have upped engagement and actually got people talking. Because there’s nothing worse than putting tons of time + effort into a social media post (and yelling at your kids over and over again to give you a minute in the process) and hearing CRICKETS. It’s the worst, right?!
We’ve all been there. I’ve even seen it in my morgannield.com FB group where I have over 13,000 members and have posted something that got buried IMMEDIATELY. That’s 13,000 people and not ONE of them responding. This happened with my Etsy shop, LittleHighbury as well. So trust me-- I know how hard it is to put yourself out there and get nothing back in return. Nobody is immune to this-- it’s happened to 100% of us business owners. So know that you’re NOT alone if you just saw a tumbleweed roll by on your Instagram account. We’ve ALL seen that tumbleweed
Now, before we dive into 5 engagement-boosting types of posts you can create, I want to make something REALLY clear before we dive in. If people don’t feel safe or heard over on your Instagram account or Facebook page or wherever your audience is hanging out, you will struggle to get engagement. No matter how captivating your post is, if people don’t feel valued, they won’t engage with it. It’s a foundational thing that MUST be fixed before you try to boost your engagement.
It’s the same kind of thing that I tell my MYM students-- no amount of clever marketing can fix a broken shop-- which is why we cover product validation and shop optimization in the course. You could be the BEST marketer in the world, but if your product sucks or your shop looks like crap, you’re never going to sell a thing.
Same deal here with getting engagement on social media. If your profile is a hot mess and you’re ignoring your followers, you’re going to struggle with engagement.
So before we dive into 5 engagement-boosting posts, let me cover a few tips that I’ve found helpful to create that “safe” and “valued” space that our followers need in order to feel moved to engage with our brand.
#1 -First up - Acknowledge all comments.
This is SO important! If you’re asking for their opinion or feedback or just to respond to your post, and then you ignore them when they do, how do you think they’re going to feel? Are they going to keep responding to your posts? Probably not because they need to feel heard. If you’re asking for engagement, be prepared to give some engagement back!
Now, if you’re getting hundreds of comments on every post, obviously that’s a lot of commenting you’d have to be doing. At that level, commenting on just a few is perfectly fine. But you’re listening to this episode, so I’m guessing that *most* of you don’t have this problem...yet.
So if people are taking the time to interact and comment with your brand, YOU need to make the time to interact and comment back at them. Let them know you value them as followers, appreciate their comments, and that they are heard. That goodwill will go a long way not only in building loyalty with the people you comment back to, but also to those “lurkers” that see the positive interaction you have.
Okay, #2 - Delete rude/potentially hot topic comments
This is one of those “nip it in the bud” sort of strategies. The MINUTE you see a customer service complaint or someone else snap at another commenter, you MUST delete that comment. If it’s a valid concern, message them privately and ask them to email it so you can handle it over there. But do NOT allow it to remain on social media. Take it from someone who has learned this the hard way and been bombarded with 10+ personal messages about hurt feelings in our FB group-- you’ve GOT to stop these sorts of comments the minute you see them happen.
Things can spiral out of crazy control very, very quickly in the online world. While someone may mean something in a joking + sarcastic tone, it can be hard to read that emotion over the internet-- and things can be interpreted by others as just plain rude.
This will discourage your audience from commenting if they feel they might get “attacked” for their comment, so keep things lighthearted + positive.
Tip #3 - show up consistently
This one is a constant struggle for me and actually one of the reasons I started this podcast-- so I could have a place where I plan to show up consistently. People flock to consistency and the things/people they can count on being dependable.
So if you’re serious about growing your engagement, then SHOW UP. If you take NOTHING else from this episode, showing up is enough to get the snowball rolling. The rest is icing on the cake.
Alright, so now let’s dive into the 5 different types of posts to create buzz in your community. Remember-- this can be Instagram, Facebook page or group, wherever you’ve built up your community.
Type #1 - Feedback post
We’ll kick things off with one of my favorites-- asking your followers for their opinions! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in creating what we think is going to sell that we forget to consider our customer! Talk about some killer market research! Just asking what they think of a business decision or having them pick between 2-3 options can be HUGELY eye-opening and give them that feeling that THEY matter.
So what does this actually look like?
You could post something like “What should the name of my new product line be called? [offer 3 different options] in the comments, say 1,2 or 3.”
“Playing around with some new design ideas and wondering what you guys think. Which one is your favorite?”
The key here is to make it EXTREMELY easy to respond. Don’t ask them to name your product line for you or tell you what designs to create-- give them 3 options and ask for their opinion on those options you presented.
Type #2 - Permission post
This is a post type where you’re going to get just a *little* vulnerable. Not a lot-- no need for oversharing here-- but enough that your audience feels like you’re approachable. We’re removing that customer/business barrier.
A permission post is simply giving your followers permission to be who they already are. I first heard about this post type from Boss Mom Dana Malstaf and it is BRILLIANT and SO stinkin’ effective. Basically, you’re meeting them where they’re at, sharing that you too have struggled with that EXACT thing, and give them hope that they don’t have to stay trapped there.
For example, if you sell planners, you might give your followers permission to be completely unorganized and a hot mess. Saying something like “I was here, you’re probably here, too. I got out of it-- you’re not crazy. You’ll get it out of it too. Permission to be a hot mess.”
Or if you sell bath bombs, it might be giving them permission to not have a self-care routine right now. To feel frazzled and stressed like they don’t have any time for themselves. And then again, you’re going to reassure them that you struggled with this too and that it’s not the end of the world-- it’s easier than they think to establish a self-care routine and you can show them how using your products.
The biggest thing here is that you point out that
And then b) your product should be the solution to helping them solve that problem you’ve just given them permission about. If you don’t feel like your product solves a problem, you need to head back to that dream customer/target market drawing board and understand the WHY of your product and what it does for your customers. Head over to the show notes to see the link to my podcast episode on your dream customer!.
Type #3 - Human nature post:
This one is a FUN one and while it isn’t a straightforward impact to your sales, it WILL boost engagement and get people talking.
This type of post is a completely RANDOM type of post and asks things that aren’t related to your business at all. You’re showing them that yes, you are human as well, and it’s not all business all the time-- there’s a relatable aspect to your business as well. It also allows you to share what your opinion is so people can get to know you at a deeper level.
The point of this post is to ask a question that people have opinions on that they just can’t help themselves but respond. Now, I’m going to say this with a disclaimer-- I would STRONGLY encourage you to stay away from hot topic posts.
Now, I know some people will say that there are tough conversations (political/religious come to mind) that need to be had and we shouldn’t censor these discussions. I get that. But I need you to understand that there are PLENTY of other places that these comments can be had and usually are encouraged. Unless your brand is political or religious in nature, they shouldn’t be happening on YOUR social media-- it’s not going to help your brand at all and can actually create negative emotions within people that they will automatically connect to your brand. And we definitely don’t want that!
So stick with fun questions--
What's your favorite 90’s sitcom? (the correct answer to that is Saved By the Bell, in case you’re wondering)
If you had to live off of ONE type of food forever, what would it be? Chips + salsa
What’s your favorite podcast episode at the moment?
People LOVE to share their opinions on these types of things so this one is a SUPER easy way to get engagement with your brand!
#4 - The struggle post
This is similar to the feedback post, but a *little* different. This is more of an open-ended type of post asking your followers for their opinions on things that relate to your brand. Mariah Coz coined the term “copy stalking” and it is PERFECT. If you can find out what your people are saying, you can work that into your copy! We want to steal the words right out of their mouth about what they think about our product.
Now, this isn’t just “which cake topper do you like better? This one of that one?” That’s an okay question to ask, but we’re going to go just a little deeper with this type of post.
So going along with that cake topper post, maybe you sell party supplies. So you’d want to ask something like “What’s the biggest struggle you have when planning a party?” but make it more fun like “Party planning is HARD! I always struggle with xyz-- but what do YOU struggle with? I’m curious!” and BOOM. Suddenly you know EXACTLY what your audience is struggling with and you can use that exact phrasing as you write your descriptions + market your product. GENIUS and you don’t have to create it from scratch!
Or say you sell hand-lettered home decor signs. You could ask something like “What hangups do you run into when you’re trying to style your home?” or something more inspirational: “If you had a perfectly styled home, how would you feel?” The comments you’ll get are GOLD.
Alright, so there you have it-- my 4 favorite types of posts to boost engagement within your community. If your community has been silent up to this point, you’ll want to post more than one-- and keep at it. It’s easy to give up when we post once and nobody responds. Save face, right? But the magic is in showing up. Keep trying these posts and I GUARANTEE you will see increased engagement over time.
So I want you to pick just ONE and try it out this week-- and then let me know in our free Facebook group (I’ll link to it in the show notes!) and share how it went-- we want to hear!
See you next week!