Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By YEC and AllBusiness.com
September 17, 2016

This piece originally appeared on AllBusiness.com.

Social media is an invaluable tool to help market your brand, but what good is it without a target audience? There are plenty of unique ways to engage your community and boost your social following, each of which helps customers get to know the names and faces behind your brand and stay loyal to your product or service.

That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

Q. What’s one unconventional way I can use social media to increase customer loyalty to my brand?

1. Use More Video

Video is an effective way to increase your customer loyalty on social media. It brings out your personality much more than a photo or text can. There’s also more nuance and feeling in a video, and you can even leave people with a smile. It breaks the redundancy of content-driven posts and creates more energy and excitement for your feed. This helps followers feel more connected to you and your brand. —Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell

2. Create a Compelling Story

Social media is an opportunity to create a compelling story that your audience can become emotionally invested in, beyond their need for the product or service. Take consumers along for your brand’s journey and make the experience interactive so that they have a say and feel like they are a part of the brand’s success. —Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media

3. Be Active on Facebook

It’s (relatively) easy to start a Facebook group (fb), but maintaining an active presence can be pretty draining, especially if you have three or four groups that have been established for the long haul. I’ve noticed that group members stay a lot more active and engaged when they see that you place a high amount of value on interacting with them as well. —Nathalie Lussier, AmbitionAlly

4. Follow Back

In a small way, giving customers a follow on social media helps them feel more loyal to a brand. That’s why major brands follow some of their customers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram–to let customers know that they are unique. —Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

5. Stage a Competition

Offer customers the chance to win a free consultation with you or a free demo of your product by winning a game or a competition. For example, the first person (or several persons) to correctly answer a question about your business wins the prize, which could be anything you determine to be of value to your customers. Throw in a free prize periodically that everyone wants to win, like a gift card. —Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking

For more on social media, watch this Fortune video:

6. Use Live Broadcasts

I really love the video features that allow me to record live broadcasts where I can share my thoughts and directly answer my audience’s questions. I see the level of loyalty rise from this degree of interaction. Plus, it’s lots of fun! —Murray Newlands, Due.com

7. Reward Customers for Their Loyalty

Today, online reviews can make or break a business, especially in the local small business space. The more positive reviews you receive on your business’s Google+ (Google My Business) page, Facebook page, and Yelp, the more traffic, calls, leads, and SEO impact you’ll receive. To encourage reviews, reward your customers for leaving a positive review online. —Wesley Mathews, High Level Marketing

8. Stop Talking About Your Product

Show your philanthropic side on social media, and engage in stories about your brand that aren’t just about selling. Invite others to share what they do so they can participate in their community. Take advantage of tools that segment your follower list to find those that represent the best opportunity for your business. This way, you can ensure your message fits and communicates to the right audience. —Dan Golden, Be Found

Read more from Fortune: How Lilly Pulitzer, an Almost 60-Year-Old Brand, Became a Social Media Darling

9. Introduce or Highlight Your Employees

Publicly acknowledging the individuals behind your business is a meaningful way to bring your company recognition and trust. Consumers enjoy doing business with people they feel they know. Additionally, when you introduce or highlight employees in the public eye, your business will gain greater exposure among your employees’ friends. —Anthony Pezzotti, Knowzo.com

10. Get Personal

Yes, your corporate social media accounts should be professional, but everyone loves a story, and the process of building a business is a real adventure. Letting people get a glimpse into your life and the passion you have for what you do can really pay off. Also, people like to know that they’re following a brand that has authenticity behind it, and personal passion is great evidence of that. —Adam Steele, The Magistrate

11. Use Snapchat to Make Customers Feel Like Family

Snapchat can drive deep engagement and customer loyalty when used strategically to tell stories around your brand. It’s basically the opposite of LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is about being buttoned up, Snapchat is about revealing the real. Snapchat is the perfect platform for making your customers feel like family; it gives your audience a unique and personal perspective. —Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard

More from AllBusiness:
Your Personal Brand Is the Most Important Part of Social Media
How to Take Back Control of Your PR From Journalists
Conquering the Social PR World: Q&A With Stephanie Abrams Cartin of Socialfy

12. Take Social Listening Seriously

When a customer tweets about your brand, respond and react. It’s small, delightful acts that turn customers from casual users into super fans. Social and community managers should keep track of active members on all social channels, and reward them for their participation with personalized notes. These folks are the ones who will turn into major brand advocates. —Chris Savage, Wistia

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