A business should have a plan in place on how to handle engagement with all types of audience.

Deciding on who is responsible for engagement with the audience and how it is structured is very important for the overall strategy. 

Figuring out who the business wants to reach with its content is the first step to successfully reach its audience and to build relationships with them.

Engagement Strategy

Anyone can be potentially involved in the engagement strategy of a business. If the business has an in-house marketing team, they should be aware of the latest trends on social media.

The marketing staff should be given the resources to execute effective strategies for engaging with customers and creating quality content. The business should also have a call center team that can handle customer complaints and questions.

They can continue to carry on with this duty but with additional social media training.

The call center team should be encouraged to help the business to develop new methods of serving the customers, using social media platforms. Some businesses often seek the expertise of PR firms and agencies.

It is important to have a primary point of contact, a single manager, who supervises all social media communication. That person may manage multiple teams who together execute the social media strategy.

Define a workflow

Interaction points across different communication channels need to be identified.

Different departments can take up ownership of follow-up actions. For instance, a salesperson should engage with the audience looking for details on a product.

Having a defined workflow is important as it allows a business to link a conversation to an appropriate individual.

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This process can be tracked manually but can be overwhelming after some time with growth in engagement.

There are different systems available today that help to support this process like Zoho and Brandwatch among others.

Test

Once a workflow process has been established, it is recommended that several pieces of test-content are created using the system.

The test pieces should be used in mock-ups, as they would appear to the audience and they should be used with the company stakeholders and the social media team.

This ensures that if there are any leaks in the system, they will be identified and repaired.

The topics chosen should be such that they are always relevant to users. This type of content is known as ‘evergreen content’. The resultant content will also be stable. The content should also have a unified voice that is engaging and aligned with the company brand.

Interactions Should be Prioritized

The audience is never a homogenous mass. They include different types of people with different likes and objectives and hence, their interests in a business will be different.

The indicators of their intent will help to prioritize  the level of engagement and the associated level of urgency.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.