Is your business ready to come back from its social media break? Or perhaps your engagement is dwindling down and your usual strategies simply aren’t working.
Taking a break from the chaotic world of social media isn’t really new, especially among online influencers. With the rising awareness of mental health issues, it has become a simple solution for self-care. Of course, some also decide to take a break due to a sudden personal issue or because of certain controversies.
This applies to businesses too, and sometimes it’s out of their control. Low click rates, few to no likes, low follower count, no comments, no user-generated content—these can discourage a business in their social media endeavors.
But don’t give up! Comebacks aren’t always instantaneous, nor will the engagement be as consistent as in the beginning.
There isn’t exactly a manual on how to make a comeback on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and other social networking platforms. What works for one may not even work for another. Small businesses are even more at a disadvantage because they usually fall short in the budget department to shoot commercials, sponsor content creators, and give out PR packages.
The good news is that you won’t have to start from scratch because we’ve already done the research! Here are four simple yet amazing hacks that won’t break the bank and only require some clever planning, a smidgeon of persistence, and a little bit of patience.
1. Talk to your Audience
All work and no play makes your business a dull one.
While this works for certain companies, it does not when your business relies on sales, subscriptions, and customer satisfaction.
It’s time to put the engagement in “social engagement”.
You can start small by posting a teaser on Instagram or Facebook regarding your comeback, a new product, a new project, and the like. Make it so that it appeals to your original patrons but is also able to draw fresh faces. You can go a step further and create a storyline and increase engagement via discussions.
Be consistent with your output and follow through with your timeline. Build up to the reveal!
But take caution; don’t let the hype become bigger than the product, lest you want the reveal to fall flat and receive a lukewarm reception from your avid audience. The last thing you want to do is disappoint the ones who’ve been patiently waiting for your big comeback. We don’t want a repeat of the Cyberpunk 2077 situation here, whose nine-year development resulted in a rushed product that contained a lot of bugs and became borderline unplayable on consoles. It didn’t help that they generated a lot of hype over the years with teasers, gameplay snippets, trailers, and the famous Keanu Reeves guesting at the 2019 E3 Xbox conference.
If there are existing reviews of your business or if your audience has started interacting with your posts, identify the common opinions and complaints posted by your users. The more genuine interaction with your customers you generate, the more you get a feel of what they are looking for and what you can do to develop your business.
Use the information you gather to refine the content you put out. Once your audience notices that their words are being considered and acknowledged, the more they become hyped about your big comeback.
2. Show some winning personality
Technology is all around us and is gradually replacing tasks usually done by humans. So customers, especially after the pandemic, are expecting to be treated with a personal touch. Which one will your audience most likely latch onto—an upbeat talking paperclip or another automated faceless object?
This is where brand personification comes in, because you can win people over with a winning personality. Instead of the usual corporate jargon or neutral statements (unless those are part of your branding), add a bit of spice to your posts. Make the audience feel like your brand is a living, breathing being.
You can adopt a frank and sarcastic persona and banter with Twitter users like Wendy’s. The fast food chain account even interacts with fellow brands, creating a gold mine of corporate entertainment and memes. In contrast to the usual avoidance of company accounts, several users would mention Wendy’s just for a chance at a reply.
Perhaps you could ask Alexa to add some personality to the cart? Imagine if Gordon Ramsey or, God forbid, Hannibal Lecter responded—some lines that will undoubtedly send shivers up your spine.
Conversely, you can also apply this to make your audience project your personified brand. Commit to the bit and go along with your audience’s perception.
The majority of owners are very protective of their Roomba, a compact and computerized vacuum cleaner that automatically guides itself around its environment. The owners name them, worry about them, and even treat them almost like a lovable pet. iRobot saw this attachment and developed their product around it, prioritizing repairs instead of replacements and improving its detection skills.
3. Be honest
Honesty is still the best policy.
Customers want brands they can trust, and honesty breeds trust. They value a brand that highlights transparency and keeps its promises. Learn from your and others’ mistakes and show that you worked on it and are truly committed to it. Whatever you advertise, make sure to give it all and more.
Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself. Self-deprecating humor is a great way to humanize your brand and bring a sense of self-awareness. If you hit the mark, it becomes a new connecting point with your original audience, creating an inside joke between you. It can even create a more light-hearted atmosphere between you and your audience, encouraging more engagement and maybe some hilarious interactions.
This is what Duolingo did when they acknowledged the humor in their aggressive push notifications. One of their humorous ads features a supposed new function called Duolingo Push, revolving around the Duolingo owl memes and its undying motivation to make you finish your French lesson.
4. Know where your audience is
Which network do you have the most leverage on? Choose one or two where you have the strongest engagement and the most following, then cultivate your audience there.
Focus on these networks, familiarize yourself with the nuances and social dynamics of the users. Think about what your audience wants to hear from you.
If you have a bit of budget to spare, use the ad boost function (if applicable) of your network to help spread your content to more users.
Not every method works the same way for everyone. Find out what works for you and your brand, then start with that. Strike a balance between recapturing your original audience and enticing a new following. Just keep in mind that progress will be gradual and commit to your goals. Then, use any or all of the hacks above as a guide on how to start rebuilding your community.