Launching a business is hard enough – but try doing it in the middle of a pandemic. That’s exactly what Sally Schimko, founder of The Tahini Goddess, did. Schimko brought to market an authentic and kosher, tahini and sugar-free halva that is made in Israel. The Tahini Goddess has seen great success in this past year mainly in part to Schimko’s social media efforts. With an engaged audience, she found success a lot faster.
Here are Schimko’s four tips on how to grow your engagement authentically.
1. Stay Real In This Filtered World
Almost everything on Instagram and social media is filtered, and this is demonstrated simply in the number of apps there are for photo editing, video editing, air brushing and special effects.
“When people post to social media, they are inclined to post what the world wants them to see and less of what is happening in real life. There are parts of my life I hold private and I suggest for others to do as well, but when I post, I truly try to be real and very much ‘me’,” says Schimko. “When I film, I am in my kitchen and typically showing exactly what meal or snack I am preparing for that day. On the same note, I have posted about when I’m not having the ideal day and it’s when my followers DM me and reach out the most. For example, I had a recent Monday when I was very sad because my parents had left to go back to Israeli after a delightful visit. I cried and ate my way through my emotions, and admitted that online. I also am very realistic about what I eat and do not post that I am eating large portions when I am not. I desire for women and my audience to feel confident and be inspired by my content. Sharing real-life tips has also proven to be very valuable. For example my tip to reuse your lemons ( from morning lemon water ) inside the dishwasher to prevent bad odor went heavily viral!”
Your audience wants to see the real you, not the airbrushed version – keep it real and they’ll be more engaged.
2. Consistently Promote Other Brands You Love
“To grow engagement, you cannot be one sided. It’s important to engage, promote others, be responsive and share valuable content,” explains Schimko. “One way I share value to my audience is by sharing other female founded brands I use and love. Although my company is a food company, I love the world of fashion and beauty and I’m always getting asked about what hair, beauty, accessory or clothing companies I feature. These companies are ones I believe in and they offer products that I purchase. My audience appreciates the recommendations and I’ve found that the cross-promotion helps to grow my personal digital platforms and most important, very loyal audiences that engage with me and purchase from me. What I love most is when I see my audience and other female entrepreneurs in turn promoting my products and content.”
3. Be Attentive And Responsive
“I receive so many DM’s and it can be exhausting to go through them all and respond. I listen to other women and entrepreneurs with social media accounts talk about this and they tell me that it’s just impossible to keep up. While it can be difficult, I prioritize responding to questions over social media, and especially concerns,” notes Schimko. “It’s key to be helpful and attentive to your customers and this will lead to more sharing and positive experiences with your audiences. I have become friends with many of my customers and make it a point to engage with them and also repost their recipes, content and testimonials. While this is time consuming, I take a different perspective and feel satisfaction and joy that other women are using enjoying my recipes, my general tips and sharing my products with their networks.”
4. Use Videos
“A well-done video or reel can take time to produce but they are so well received on social media and I have grown my followers authentically because of the way I express myself through my voice, eye contact and explanations. When I track analytics on my social media, videos receive the highest engagement and more important, they are shared and reposted,” says Schimko. “If you are serious about growing your social media, I’d suggest investing in a good camera and lighting – the pandemic has created a large market for this as we all turned to Zoom and video for both professional and personal interactions. You’ll also learn that the more videos you create, the easier and more efficient you’ll become at churning these out.”
Having an engaged audience means better brand loyalty and faster growth. Use these four tips to build a stronger relationship with your audience.