Many catering, wedding, and event business owners build their social media strategy around creating a stellar plan that includes what to post and when to post it, complete with hashtags and captions. Others may not be too focused on what to post but more on responding to comments, mentions, and shares.
You should be both proactive and reactive in your approach. Both require a specific approach, but their benefits are unique, making them a powerhouse when used together.
Use these techniques to increase your engagement rate, which indicates how many people are connecting with your brand.
How to Use a Proactive Strategy
When you use a proactive strategy, you’re posting consistently and using content that your followers will find useful or interesting, along with relevant hashtags.
Adding captions to your videos is also an important step that you should not skip. Data shows that about 85% of video on Facebook is watched without the sound. That means you could be losing the attention of your audience.
Use the explore function
On Instagram, use the explore function to find and connect with customers effectively. For instance, search for weddings, events, and catering and comment on the posts you see. Step outside your bubble and increase your realm of influence.
Use the hashtags your clients use
Take it a step further and find the hashtags your clients are using. This could be anything from #outdoorwedding to #covidweddings. Once you see these, comment and engage with the people using these hashtags for another effective way to expand your reach and influence.
Host a challenge
Hosting a challenge is another way to be proactive and increase engagement. Consider having a giveaway and promote it as much as you can. When people start to show interest in your challenge, take the opportunity to follow them and engage with them.
Interact with the followers of your competitors
Next time your log into Instagram or another social media platform, look for the people who follow your competitors. Click on their profiles, like and comment on their photos, follow them and engage with them. When you do this, you open the door to connect with people who are already involved with the same topics that you focus on. Kicksta is an excellent program for automating this process, saving you a reasonable amount of time.
Measure your metrics
A crucial step in using a proactive strategy is measuring your metrics to see how well you’re doing. This will help you pinpoint areas you need to adjust from your graphics to your captions. Also, do this with your complementary businesses. For instance, if you’re a wedding planner, engage with the followers of your vendors, florists, etc.
Instagram has insights you can use to see how many likes, views, shares, and mentions you receive for each post. These insights also allow you to see the best time to post and how well each post has performed over time.
How to Use a Reactive Strategy
Respond thoughtfully to comments
It’s easy to get into the habit of responding with simple phrases such as “Thanks!” or “I’m glad you like it!” These types of responses are limiting. To fully engage in a reactive strategy, you need to respond in a way that keeps the conversation going.
For example, if you post a picture of a wedding you helped plan, and someone comments that they love the photo, give them extra insights. You can say where the photo was taken or why you chose to post this photo. You don’t have to stop there. Go even further and weave your brand’s story into your comments by briefly explaining what problems were solved at this moment or how success was obtained.
This approach keeps the conversation lucrative and allows other followers and visitors to see further into your brand and obtain more value.
Engage with what’s on your feed
Reactive also means engaging with what’s on your feed. Engage with your followers by commenting on their posts, sharing their content, and engaging with people who could be your ideal customer.
Why You Need Both Proactive and Reactive Strategies
Having both strategies in your arsenal and using them interchangeably sets your marketing plans up for success and immensely strengthens your social media presence. Not only will you be able to plan out a clear map of what actions you should be taking proactively, but you will also be able to stay connected with your audience reactively while also building meaningful relationships and gaining new clients along the way.
An integrated social media plan is the best of both worlds–having the flexibility to apply the best strategy while building trust and positioning yourself as a knowledgeable source in tune with other community brands is crucial. Balance these two as much as possible to maximize results.