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#SquadGoals: Turn Your Followers Into Advocates

#SquadGoals are not just limited to Taylor Swift and her crew of models, actresses, and singers. Just as T-Swift and her girl squad aspire to accomplish greatness, brands and businesses can do the same by treating fans and followers like their own squad.

More than ever, brands and businesses are competing on social media platforms to gain audience attention and loyalty. To cut through the clutter, it is vital to create engaging content. Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1. Brand the Conversation with #Hashtags

Categorize posts with hashtags so they are easier to find when users are searching for information on social platforms. Posts with a hashtag get twice the engagement of posts without. However, you’ll want to keep it to no more than two hashtags per post. Hashtags should be used with caution and #not #added #to #every #word. Do your research to avoid any potential mishaps (i.e. The Dallas Cowboys and their #CowboysUK or #CowboySUK blunder).

2. Ask Your Audience to Take Action

The call-to-action should be short, easy to understand, and encouraging. Whether asking fans to click a link, like a post, or share with friends, a call-to-action will help drive your audience to respond the way you want them to.

3. Create Posts in Real Time

Find and share timely and relevant content with your followers. Oreo took “newsjacking” to a whole new level with their “dunk in the dark” twitter ad during Super Bowl XLVII’s infamous black out. Whether it’s a highly televised event like the Super Bowl or Grammys, a major news story, or an industry related update, find a way to connect your brand to what people are talking about now.

4. Embed Rich Media

Showcase unique and interesting content via photos, videos, infographics, and memes. It’s estimated that posts including rich media win 45 percent more engagement. Keep rich media content fresh and exciting by asking followers to share their favorite photos and videos. Make your followers and fans heroes through collaboration (i.e. #ShaqInAFall).

5. Ask Questions

Are you looking to engage your audience and gain some valuable information in the process? Including questions in your posts is a must. People LOVE giving their opinion on social media (whether we like it or not). Posts with questions encourage 100 percent more comments than standard posts. Make sure to provide answers in a timely manner—and share the knowledge you capture. Be sure to talk with your community, rather than just at them.

6. Add links

Sharing links has become part of our daily routine. In fact, 60 percent of all retweets on Twitter have a link. For some perspective, an article on GQ about Justin Bieber and his new platinum blonde hair was shared more than 55,000 times in less then 24 hours. As a secondary benefit, adding links to your post will drive traffic to your website.

7. Hold a Contest

Let your followers know about an upcoming contest and invite them to be a part of it. Include a unique hashtag to organize and measure contest entries. Whether asking followers to showcase a talent or share a photo, a contest (and a great prize) will not only engage followers, but also will motivate them to share with friends— in turn amplifying reach. Make it a rule to have all entrants follow or like your brand to help build your base.

Following these tips will help you create engaging social media content, build relationships with your audience, and transition followers into advocates.

Rachel Racoosin is a Digital Strategist at LEVICK. She provides SEO, SEM, and social media expertise to a variety of clients.

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