5 Ways to Successfully Start a Conversation on Social Media
By Erica Dube
As a business just getting started on social media, your first concern will be how you can grow your audience and start generating real traction from the channels you’ve decided to target.
The best way to do this is to jump right in and start engaging.
But how? Even though it seems easier to speak to someone when you’re behind a screen, it can still be hard to get a conversation rolling.
Sometimes the most experienced social media users struggle with trying to come up with the right thing to say, but that’s usually because they’re overthinking things. Talking to your customers on social media is just like talking to them in person.
Here are 5 ways you can break the ice and start engaging conversations on social media today!
5 Ways To Get the Conversation Started on Social Media
1. Start discussions on recent industry news
Since the focus of most social media efforts is to generate more awareness, traffic, and eventually leads for your business, you’ll want to make sure your conversations are engaging the right audience.
Start by following some industry news bloggers, websites, or television channels that your audience watches. Then, as you are browsing through your feed, repost articles or updates they are sharing that you would consider relevant to your target audience. With your repost, comment on the news and ask for feedback from your audience.
2. Ask a Question
I love this example from Zappos’s Facebook page.
In this post, the shoe retailer invites people to ask them a “stupid” question -- not just about shoes or their business, but absolutely anything!
The proposition was unexpected, fun, grabbed their audience, and got them engaging not only with people from the Zappos team, but also with each other.
With the addition of an image, this was a simple post that generated shares, comments, and likes for their business.
Although something like “ask a stupid question day” may not seem super relevant to your business, the attention, engagement, and virality of a playful post like this can generate more followers and help you reach a broader audience with your content in the future.
Here are some other examples of “conversation starter” questions you can use on your social media accounts to generate discussion:
- What are your favorite [industry type] blogs?
- What [industry] product would you say you can’t live without?
- What are some of your biggest [job role/industry] mistakes when you first started?
- What’s the best [industry] article you’ve read this week?
- Who’s your biggest [industry] role model?
- What is your biggest challenge in ____________?
- If you could work anywhere in [industry] for one day, where would it be?
3. Start a debate
Everyone has an opinion and most people would love to share!
A great way to spark a conversation on social media is to start a debate. Consider choosing a news story, recent event, development in the industry, or even a specific subject discussed within an article (don’t forget to link back) and take a stance or explore multiple sides.
*Pro tip: Create a blog article with your opinion and link over to it within the post. See how Dharmesh Shah from Hubspot utilized this tip below.
4. Thank Yous & New Follower Responses
Here’s a really simple way to get going with engagement, especially on Twitter.
As you begin publishing and following new people, you’ll start to see new followers pop up every day.
Reply back with a “thanks for following [first name]” and add in something personal you’ve noticed about their profile or tweets.
Not only does this help increase engagement but it will humanize your brand and people will be more inclined to actually check out your posts and website.
You can also thank someone for sharing, retweeting, or liking a post. Show gratitude for the engagement but also be sure to ask what they thought of the post to keep the conversation going!
5. Monitor Your Brand Engagement
Know who is talking about your brand and what they are saying. If you are using HubSpot, you can create a stream in social inbox which seamlessly organizes what people are saying.
By knowing what people are talking about, you can respond back to them and start a conversation.
For example, if a customer is having a problem with your product or service and they voice it on social media, respond to them. In modern times, social media is really becoming an outlet for customer service.
By monitoring what people are saying, you can also join in on existing conversations that are relevant to your product or service.
Businesses can’t ignore the power of social media and how much it can help you understand your current and potential customers.
Engaging with your audience on social media is a great way to truly get the insight you need to help make critical business decisions and it can be as easy as starting a conversation.
By having a dialogue with your audience, you will see an increase in brand awareness and results from your online efforts.
What are you waiting for? Start talking!
Wondering where to begin?