Social media is the ultimate tool for businesses to utilize today, especially when it comes to building a community surrounding your brand. Engaging your community should be one of the main components of your social media strategy. 

There is so much creative potential for your brand, chances are you could be doing more to take advantage of these opportunities. Below we've compiled four ways you can connect with your audience on social media.

Creating hashtags

Hashtags, especially on Instagram, are a great way to highlight your brand and specify what makes it stand out. They can also encourage interaction with social media users. For instance, let's say you're holding a giveaway. Create a personalized hashtag specific to the giveaway and encourage people to use it in order to enter or participate. 

You can also use hashtags daily or weekly, there's no set limit as to how often you can use them. Do you have a weekly post series? Create a hashtag for it!

Show what your team has been up to

Are there any recent projects that have been completed? Perhaps you helped your client launch their new website? Highlight these projects and accomplishments on posts or stories! Our series, This Week at IFC, showcases what we've been working on and gives viewers a glimpse of recent client projects. 

People like to be kept in the loop, showing your community what you've accomplished on social media makes them feel more connected to your brand.

Giveaways and contests are key

Let's be honest, who doesn't like free stuff? Giveaways are a great way to grab your audience's attention, increase your following and overall engagement. In the past, we've required our followers to sign up for our email list in order to enter. You can do something like that or even switch up the rules, like requiring users to repost the giveaway to their stories as a bonus entry.

Giveaways are fun for everyone and aren't difficult to implement. As word spreads about it, more people will flock to your social media platforms and take part in it. Just make sure you follow the rules of your particular platform!

Be responsive to your audience

Whether it be a comment on a Facebook post or a response to an Instagram story, being responsive is extremely important. It shows that you make time for your customers and makes people more open to taking part in conversations on social media.

The more responsive you are, the more likely you are to maintain and create long-term relationships with customers on social media.

Maddie Szczerba is our IFC Collegiate Messaging Intern. She is currently majoring in Strategic Public Relations and minoring in Business Communication. When she’s not in the office you can find her sipping on an iced chai, scouring Hulu for another show to binge-watch, or venturing across Cedar Falls with friends.