Your audience isn’t going to automatically engage with everything you post, you’ve got to work for it. That means putting out content that encourages engagement and translates to comments, likes, and shares.
There’s a real power in owning your niche. We’ve seen shop owners succeed in these areas because they know who their audience is and how to engage with them. Merch is a powerful tool you can use to connect with your followers – it takes engagement to the next level. Here are 5 ways to start engaging with your audience today!
Be Interactive, Not Inactive
You could be posting consistently on socials and still not be getting engagement back from your followers. A big reason: your content isn’t interactive! You need to be providing value to your followers first and foremost, but if they’re not responding then it’s pointless. Interactive content doesn’t need to be overpowering, either. Simply asking a question at the end of a video or caption is a good start to gauge peoples’ thoughts. But there are so many ways to encourage people to interact with your content:
– Pose questions
– Collaborate with other businesses/creators
– Share user-generated content (people wearing your merch)
– Offer something of value (merch, content tips)
Asking questions gets people talking, but you can also use hashtags, run contests, or give shoutouts to get peoples’ attention; it makes them feel more involved. Sharing merch photos and updates is a great way to keep people engaged, but you’re more than just a shop owner. As a creator or business owner, you have insight that would be valuable to your followers and help them succeed in their lives. Interactive content builds a solid connection.
Don’t Leave Your Followers on Read
Now that you’ve determined how to make interactive content, you’ve got to keep the conversation going. Responding to comments can be a pain, but it shows you’re invested in your audience. It also allows you to build relationships with the people who follow you. Having a big following is a goal for many creators, but it’s important to have a dedicated group of people that support you and you can turn to for honest advice and feedback. Just responding to comments can leave a big impact.
At Spreadshop, we have brand ambassadors that talk about us in their content and showcase their own merch. Why not recruit your followers to do the same and promote your brand? Send the dedicated commenters merch and let them show it off to their followers. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your engagement will grow when you start showing your audience some love and making the extra effort!
Embrace Trends in Your Content
It’s essential to have a defined social presence and brand, and merch can help solidify that. But it can be fun and generate engagement from different people on socials when you incorporate trends into your content. Use a trending song in a TikTok video, see what the latest aesthetic or style that’s dominating the online fashion space. We have plenty of merch products for different seasons and styles that will spice up your content.
Just because you embrace a trend, that doesn’t mean you lose sight of who you are and your core values. It’s a fun way to pop up in hot topic hashtags and connect with different types of people, but staying true to your personality and brand is the most important thing. Merch helps establish your brand and gives you the freedom to embrace whatever trends and fads are dominating the market.
Your Followers Make the Decisions
Creating merch designs that will resonate with your customers AND generate sales can be difficult. So, why not go directly to the source? Your followers have a different perspective of your brand and content. They might know you better than you know yourself and catch on to the fact that you repeat certain “catch phrases” or mannerisms. Use thus to your advantage to help you create merch that will have a personal connection.
You’ll already be engaging with your audience, so why not bring merch into the conversation more? If your followers are involved in the process, it just motivates them to support you with merch. Making short-form videos or having call-to-action captions are essential social components. Instagram Stories are also an easy way to generate engagement:
– Ask an open-ended question
– Run a poll for followers to pick their favorite design
– Go live to talk about your merch
– Collaborate with other influencers to find new followers
It’s Promo Time!
Every month, Spreadshop has promos for our shop owners to blast out to their customers. Discounts and other offers like free shipping run nearly every week. This is a great way to engage your followers and motivate them to buy your merch. Every loves a good sale, but how you run your promos is key.
Set a strategy for yourself. Maybe you want to push new merch designs or seasonal products. Your followers will find it more digestible when you pull their focus instead of trying to promote your entire shop. Be personal with your messaging. Come up with catchy phrases or tag lines that tie into the theme of your shop. It should still feel like content you would normally put out on socials. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, we make graphics for every promo and post them on our community page.
After a promo has ended, measure your results to see if it was a success. Did your followers like and comment on your posts? How much did you make in merch sales since the promo started? This will help you determine what you need to tweak the next time there’s a promo.
Engaging your audience takes extra effort, but it’s worth it. Talking to your customers directly will generate trust and brand loyalty. And who knows, maybe it will turn them into potential collaborators down the line. Merch builds that connection instantly. Looking to design your own merch line. Launch your shop for FREE today!