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July 28, 2015

What to Do When Your Audience Doesn’t Want to Engage

If you’re like any of the businesses I work with, you’ve probably experienced and encountered inactive social media followers. You know who they are! They have egg icons as their Twitter photo or they liked your page years ago but you never see them post a comment or share a story. Should you give up on them? Or is it possible to win them back?

Before we can answer that question, it’s important to understand the motivations and behaviors of your current fans. While we all want to attract fans and followers who want to engage with us by sharing, commenting and creating content on our brand’s behalf — even the most engaged and connected brands have inactive fans. It could be that they are fake or it may be that they’re more comfortable lurking — consuming information, reading interviews — but anything more than a like or favorite may be too much commitment for them.

Can You Re-Engage Inactive Users?

What can you do if you have inactive users? Is it worth it to find new ways to re-engage with them? Do they want anything to do with you? Of course, it depends, but if they’re already in your circle — whether it be on social or on your email list — most likely you have information about them that you can use to determine their viability.

By researching their connections to you, you can glean valuable intelligence about who they are and their customer journey. If they’re a customer — say they bought your product — maybe they want to stay connected to your brand, but you haven’t given them anything to do. Many companies forget about the post-customer experience. What happens after a customer purchases a product? Do you ask them for a testimonial? Do you call to check up on them? Do you send them promotional codes to give their friends and family? Do you even know they’re there?

Best Practices

Once you have identified your inactive fans and their relationship to your company, you can begin to re-engage them.

Leverage Your Influencers

Who are your most active and influential followers? Put them to work by highlighting their voices on your networks. A blog post by your company about how great you are may not persuade many; but a blog post from a current or former customer may convert new customers.

Make an effort to incorporate new voices into your messaging. If you ask a question and hear nothing — arrange to have a well known influencer or trusted third party source comment on your post — to help get the conversation started. This can inject a new perspective and energy that can excite users.

Reward Engagement — Any Engagement!

And you can reward them for doing basic things. You can randomly pick 10 people who liked a post on Facebook or favorited a Tweet or Pinned something from your website — and let them know you appreciate it.

Redefine Engagement

Engagement is what engagement does. Every brand is different and as a result some audiences will act differently than others. Ultimately it comes down to what you want users to do and the experiences that you’re creating for them.

Facebook insights can tell you what they consider to be engagement — but you know your audience better than anyone, or at least you should! If getting 10 people to like a post is a big deal — ask yourself why that matters? If you want them to comment on something — ask yourself why? What does that type of engagement mean to you as a company or brand. Then think about your customer — what does that same type of engagement mean to them?

Ultimately, re-engaging inactive followers comes down to investing some time and energy (and some money) into learning more about what motivates your audience.

Want to learn more?

Join Marisa Peacock, Principal of the Strategic Peacock, for “What Happens When Your Audience Doesn’t Want to Engage?” on Wednesday, August 5 from 6:30-7:30pm. By the end of this class, participants will know how to identify audience behaviors of your current fans across social media and how to determine if it’s worth developing a strategy designed to re-engage them. Register Here


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