In the last year, nearly every major social network has rolled out new features to improve the user experience and expand the platform’s functionality. Twitter raised its character count, Snapchat introduced its Lens Studio and Instagram gave users the ability to save “highlights” from their Stories.
While your brand may not have a need for every single new social tool that emerges, it’s wise to jump on the trend bandwagon and try out these features to see what works with your followers. We gave a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following prompt:
Social media platforms are constantly adding new functions and possibilities for marketers. What’s one innovative way you’ve leveraged a new social media opportunity to engage your audience?
Their best answers are below:
One way we’ve seen engagement increase with our audience is with polling options. Using polls within your social media can be fun, interactive and creative. Along with the increased engagement, you also get a stronger understanding of who your audience is and their preferences. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
2. ‘Snackable’ content
We started creating snackable content to share on social media. Whether it’s a short, interesting video with subtitles or a quote with a beautiful image, think of ways you can deliver your content in the most interesting way. You may find that your snackable content ends up being the most organically shared. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
3. Facebook live
The ability to go live on Facebook gives people and brands a greater reach than a standard post. Consider adding this to your communications mix as it will pay off. Allow the experience to be authentic and provide some content that is short, valuable and entertaining. By doing this, you’ll speak with many potential clients, and it’ll increase your total social reach beyond just the video. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
4. Chat bots
We are heavy users of Facebook, and we’ve recently started using messenger chatbots as part of our marketing plan. Right now, we have it set up where people can message our business page and go on a ‘choose your own adventure’ path. We ask them various questions that can branch into multiple paths and ultimately lead to us getting more appointments set for our sales team. – Justin Cooke, Empire Flippers
5. Facebook retargeting
We added a Facebook pixel to our site to market to people who have been to our site before. We will market blog posts to them to get them to come back to our site and potentially buy something. Most people don’t purchase something the first time they visit your site, it takes multiple visits to develop trust with the brand. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
6. Live Q&A sessions
Holding a live Q&A session lets you engage with customers and prospects in real time. You can do this on Facebook Live, in a webinar, Periscope or other platforms. This gives people a sense of participating with your brand and you can make yourself more dynamic. A variation on this is to interview another expert in your field as long as it’s not a direct competitor. – Shawn Porat, Scorely
7. Facebook groups
Create Facebook groups and provide interesting content to members. This serves as a great way to attract potential clients and keep existing clients engaged. The groups should be related to your brand and they should not seem like a direct advertisement. For example, we created Discover NYC and College Students USA and post about interesting events, restaurants and deals in the groups. – Sama Jashnani, DownToDash
8. Current event-based social posts
It’s extremely important to be up to date. We try to focus on current events to engage our audience on different social media channels. We have alerts set up for specific keywords in our industry via Google Alerts and some other online tools. When we see news regarding those keywords, we then post online with specific calls to action. This has been incredibly helpful in getting new leads. – Michael Hsu, DeepSky
9. LinkedIn groups
We work for startups in our local area and we have created a LinkedIn group for startups in the area. We constantly post new content for startups, like startup events, tips and helpful material that attracts them to us. This has made us very popular in the local area and we have been getting lots of leads through the LinkedIn group. A very specific group works really great. – Piyush Jain, SIMpalm
10. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories, a new Instagram feature released in 2016, has already surpassed Snapchat in users. We find that the stories feature is a great way to engage Instagram users. You can conduct polls, drive users to your blog or specific landing page, feature influencers, highlight promotions and generate overall brand visibility. – Angela Pan, Ashley Chloe Inc.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.