Social media is more about sociology and psychology than it is about technology. Energising your brand via social media is a surefire way to engage and reach out to several target groups effectively. But when it comes to social media tips and tricks, there is a problem of plenty.

Most companies create and promote content but ironically fail to truly connect with their consumers. Here are a few easy, but frequently overlooked, strategies for better brand conversation:

Listen to conversations

“Listening is one of the most important things a brand can do online. If your brand is just broadcasting its own agenda, it isn’t truly engaging in a conversation,” says Jeremy Goldman, founder of Firebrand Group and author of Going Social.

It is important to identify the channels and sources driving the highest levels of conversation. Identify most vocal advocates, influencers and detractors. Make full use of free social media listening and monitoring tools.

Use Visual Content

Too much of written content can backfire and show up as laxity in brand engagement. You could never go wrong with videos, stories, guest vlogs, graphs and charts, use of animations, and other uses of the visual medium. The key is to keep the visuals simple and emotionally engaging.  While Facebook users devour 100 million hours of video every single day, about 82% of Twitter users watch video on that particular medium. These stats show how obsessed the web is with videos.

Games and contests are great ideas but seldom implemented well. Create more gaming content and host regular contests on all social media platforms. Research also shows that images can garner a 85% interaction rate on Facebook and 35% increase in retweets.

Create content around events

Every single day, billions of new posts are shared on Facebook alone. Do all of these lead to engaging conversations? It is vital to understand the psychology of social content. The content must lead to conversation, which would lead to more consumer engagement, which in turn gives better RoI.  A great way to do this in by focusing on marketing based on current events.

Is it Christmas, New Year ’s Eve or International Women’s Day? Curate your content based on current events and trending topics. Ask questions, organise polls, run contests, reward consumers and be innovative. Honda got a whopping 1221 % growth on social media in a month when it asked users to retweet posts to enter in the competition.

Build credibility on social media

Building trust and credibility on social media is important when too many brands are fighting to capture the ever-decreasing attention span of the consumers. We tend to trust people we know for a long period of time. And social media isn’t any different either. Just like in a relationship, trust on social media is also built over time. This is achieved by authenticity and consistency.

Initiate conversations with followers, build more ‘brand enthusiasts’ who are your committed fans.  As a brand, don’t delete complaints or argue with customers on social media channels. Make sure you reply to abuses and bad reviews with sincerity and integrity. According to stats, the average response time for a brand to reply on social media to a user is 10 hours, while the average user will only wait 4 hours.