Most auto suppliers claim that audience engagement and connection are the immediate goals for their social media posts.
Beyond that, they want to increase awareness, improve brand reputation and ultimately drive conversion or sales. And they go to great lengths to measure engagement – counting likes, follows, favorites, shares, retweets, reach, clicks and other metrics.
Yet only a tiny share of auto suppliers’ posts are the kind that actually encourage engagement and solicit participation, such as surveys, contests, polls, trivia or opinion questions.
Our recent Social Media and Automotive Supplier Habits™ 2.0 (SMaASH) study of the top 25 North American automotive OEM suppliers (as ranked by Automotive News) showed that, on average, 92 percent of suppliers’ social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were NOT of this interactive category.
If you’re talking about yourself 92 percent of the time without encouraging the other person to speak, just how long do you think they’ll stick around?
If you want more engagement, you need to tap into the one subject that interests your follower the most – himself or herself. So, to boost engagement, encourage interaction by asking for your followers’ opinions, viewpoints and preferences. Ask the participant to talk about, or express, themselves … or to show off their knowledge or creativity.
Here are 9 ways you can make your company’s posts more interactive:
1) Have them fill in the blank. Another way for followers to share their point of view. “I love Google because _________.”
2) Ask a question. Seek their views about a trend, issue or a practice. “Love or Hate?” “Real or Fake?” “What do you think about X?”
3) Ask them to share a photo – of their first car, their favorite wheel cover, the funniest license plate they’ve seen, their pet, etc.
4) Have a trivia contest. Ask questions that touch upon your company’s history or interesting factoids that underscore your company’s messages. “If you lined up along the equator all the bumpers made by ABC Co. since 1916, the resulting ring would circle the Earth how many times?” Or run a photo of an old, rare automobile and have them identify it.
5) Poll or survey your fans. If you produce paint, show them swatches of your new colors and have them vote on their favorite. If you have 3 proposed concept designs for instrument panels, have them pick their favorite.
6) Hold a contest. Post a humorous photo and ask followers to “Caption this.” Or ask followers to create a name for your new product or a slogan for a new service.
7) Ask for nominations. Ask followers to nominate one of your people who does a great job for High Five or Helpful Hero recognition. Or a colleague for some industry recognition.
8) Solicit selfies. Have followers post their own selfies – maybe on the job, using your product or at their favorite pastime.
9) Ask for their stories. How they used your product in a new way. How they solved a problem. How they fixed a broken team. How they handled an irate customer. Everyone has a story to share.
Whatever you do, make it fun and create custom posts – on a regular basis – that will connect with your followers as real human beings.
The bottom line:
If you want to generate more engagement, spend more time and effort creating and posting interactive posts – thoughtful questions, contests or opportunities – that encourage your followers to interact. The metrics will follow.