Social Media Conversation Starters GuideKenneth Nel
Social media. The clue is in its name. Or rather, the first part of its name. Social. The hallowed Cambridge online dictionary defines it thus: “relating to activities (that happen during the time when you are not working) in which you meet and spend time with other people.” OK yes, a lot of people do actually access social media when they’re working – or rather, when they’re supposed to be working – but let’s not get too pernickety here! People are social beings. We just luuuuurve to chat about stuff with other people. We also love engaging with brands that invite us to chat about stuff. But as a business, how do you make sure your invitation to chat is accepted? Well, you need a few scintillating social media conversation starters up your sleeve.
What are those, I hear you ask? Well, remember last year’s office party, and how you unintentionally ended up squashed in a corner with Scary Viv from Accounting? Frantically searching your brain for something to say until you could escape to the bar, you mumbled something inane about the weather and your ancient cat’s dodgy bowel habits. Imagine if you’d had a list of awesome conversation starters filed away in your memory! You could have blown Viv away with a witty anecdote, a thought-provoking question or a fascinating factoid.
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Social media conversation starters do exactly this. They pique consumers’ interest and get them engaged with your brand. They inspire comments from people, which, in turn, inspire other comments from other people. And they live up to their descriptor – they start a conversation. When it comes to social media, conversations are just the scenic route to conversions.
Why Are Social Media Conversation Starters So Important?
Before we answer that one, we need to ask ourselves why social media itself is so important. This is actually too enormous a question to answer adequately in the confines of this post. However, if you’ll allow me to boggle your brain for just a minute, I want to share with you a few numbers that might at least give you an idea of the superlative significance of social media:
- Over 90% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media. Why? Because while 90% trust recommendations by their peers, only 14% trust advertisements.
- There are 42 million social media users in the UK, with the number rising all the time. Two-thirds of all online adults in the UK are active on Facebook.
- 71% of consumers who’ve had a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.
- 96% of the people who discuss brands online don’t follow those brands’ owned profiles.
- Facebook, which has over 32 million UK users, influences over 50% of consumers on- and offline purchases.
So, How Do You Start A Conversation On Social Media?
Getting people to engage organically on social media with your brand is like finding the Holy Grail. But how do you achieve this? How do you get that magical conversion ball rolling?
Firstly, forget about the conversion ball, and start working on the conversation ball. Obviously, conversion is where you want things to end up, but you have to do the work first. You need to post interesting, helpful and inspirational content, or simply ask a thought-provoking question. In fact, questions are awesome social media conversation starters. One of the primary goals of any social media marketing strategy is to learn more about your consumers, so questions that encourage a little self-revelation are extremely useful.
Great Questions To Have In Your Repertoire
Bear in mind, however, that not all your questions should be about your brand – we’re not looking to hard-sell here. So be light, fun and interesting. Ask questions such as:
- If you won R10 million, what would you do with it?
- What would you like to tell your 13-year-old self?
- What was your last random act of kindness?
- Which Disney character do you most relate to, and why?
Of course, while these questions are great ways to start conversations, you also need to ask questions that are meaningful, and relevant to your brand. The answers you get are invaluable for market research. A combination of both open-ended and pointed questions gives you unmatched insight into the challenges and problems your audiences faces. Try:
- What’s your single biggest marketing/service delivery/quality control challenge?
- What do you love about your current gym/hairdresser/supermarket?
- What would you like to change about your current cell phone provider/employer/bank?
Of course, social media conversation starters don’t have to be questions. It’s true that people love to complain, and don’t usually need to be asked twice to vent about something. But you can also get people talking simply by sharing or re-posting something interesting or thought-provoking. Inspiring quotes from industry leaders, interesting industry statistics and well-written, relevant blogs are great ways to get others to join the conversation.
Still not sure how to start a social media conversation? Then start one with us instead. At Digital Coach, we’re social media marketing ninjas. We love talking, and we’re experts at getting others talking too. So let’s talk.