The importance of Two-Way Communication in Social Media

30_3375_med2By Paige Finney, PR Representative

Most brands understand the importance of a social media presence, but are they utilizing this presence to truly connect with followers?

Social Media is a vital piece of communication in today’s world. It can distribute information around the globe in the blink of an eye. Just the other day, Taylor Swift announced on social media a new album dropping at midnight that night and, 24 hours later, the album sold over 1.3 million copies and broke Spotify and Apple Music streaming records. The only marketing strategy they used: social media.

Okay, Taylor Swift is one of the biggest celebrities in the world with over 137 million Instagram followers; your brand probably does not have the same reach. But this does highlight the power and potential of social media.

There are currently more than a billion users on Facebook, over 110 million users on Instagram, 330 million users on Twitter and 260 million LinkedIn users. That’s billions of potential people you can reach at the click of a button.

Are brands utilizing this potential in the best way to accomplish their goals? Are companies just sharing information they think people would enjoy or are they utilizing social media to actively connect with followers?

Many brands focus their social media strategy on one-way communication. In this strategy, companies dominate the narrative and followers are simply listeners meant to absorb the information distributed. But to truly connect and engage followers, brands need to practice two-way communication. When utilizing two-way communication techniques, brands are active listeners along with their followers, allowing followers to connect on a deeper level. There are many two-way communication tools that individuals can easily utilize within their social media strategy.

Respond to Comments and Messages

Responding to comments and messages is vital to create credibility on social media. It helps connect one-on-one with followers by addressing individual questions and concerns. Responding to followers also helps humanize the brand by showing there are real people behind the organization who are listening to, and understanding, consumer comments and concerns.

Create Interactive Posts

Facebook’s algorithm gives priority to posts with higher engagement, meaning a post with 50 likes is going to be distributed to more people than a post with 5 likes. One simple way to add engagement to a user’s feed is by giving followers something to engage with. Simply adding a question to the end of caption opens followers to respond. Allow followers to respond with their weekend plans by captioning a post with something like, “It’s Friday and we are looking forward to trying out our new product this weekend. What are your weekend plans?”

Utilize Polls

Utilizing polls is another great way to open followers up to engage by giving them a reason. Polls can be used to change up an organization’s typical feed or to celebrate fun events such as national days.

Since followers are more often than not fans of your product and/or brand, polls can also be utilized to gain valuable insight. Thinking of testing out new packaging for your product? Poll your followers to see what colors/themes they like best. Not sure where to go for a pop-up event or photoshoot? Poll followers to see where they think you should go. This helps engage followers but also helps brands make informed decisions. And more often than not, followers will stick around to see the results.

Two-way communication is vital to a successful social media presence. It helps humanize brands and allows followers to actively engage with posts. By creating interactive posts and responding to messages and comments, brands can easily become active participants in their social media strategy.