In General, Marketing, Social Media

Your business is on social media, not just to make a presence, but to illicit engagement. And a successful social media marketing strategy can do just that.

Engagement is exactly what it sounds like, it’s when your audience interacts with you in some form. This could be in comments, shares or even direct messages. It could also be measured by how often your audience uses your branded hashtag. So, how do you increase engagement to make the most out of your social media platforms?

1. Know your audience

You may find it can be tricky to get the engagement you’re hoping for on social media. You’ll have to learn your audience and know what they want to see. This can take time. But learning about your audience can ultimately help you develop a strong following on social media. Once you know who your audience is you can target them with the right posts which will inevitably drive-up engagement.

2. Use the right format

Certain types of posts tend to perform better than others. For example, people tend to gravitate towards image and video posts. These are two of the more engaging options to utilize.  According to Sprout Social, 68% of people appreciate image posts from brands and 50% tend to engage with videos. Some of the other types of posts you can filter in are polls, stories, gifs, posts that ask questions, and posts that link to relevant articles. You can try out different types of content to see what your audience tends to interact with the most. Utilize a few different types, as you don’t want your content to get stale.

3. Use relevant content

Not sure what type of content you should share for your audience? Consider anything that is currently going on. Are there any references to pop culture you can make or current events that would be relevant to your audience? These could be great ways to engage your following. Just avoid things that could be controversial unless that aligns with your brand and audience.

You can also try utilizing special holidays. There’s a great list on National Day Calendar. Find some special days that would interest your audience.

Other topics to consider would be industry-related articles, customer reviews, fun facts or inspirational quotes that relate with your audience type. There are plenty of possibilities. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

4. Keep it conversational

When you’re considering what content to write, make sure that you address it in a conversational manner. You don’t want to come off salesy. People will be less likely to engage with your brand if they feel as though you’re pushing a sale. Social Media is a place to boost connection and conversation, so keep that in mind when writing content.

5. Consider your word count

The word count you use could impact your engagement levels as well. A post that goes on too long may signal to your audience to keep scrolling right on past it. While word count can differ depending on your audience, there are some basic recommendations you could start with from Sprout Social. For example, they recommend about 40-80 characters for a Facebook post, 71-100 characters for Twitter, and 138-150 on Instagram. You can learn more about ideal character counts on their webpage. It can certainly be worth testing.

6. Try out different times

One of the ways you may drive up engagement is by trying out different times. Some times may actually be more ideal for your audience than others. You’ll find this is not typically a hard and fast rule and that different sources will vary on what the ideal times to post are. This will typically be something that the business will want to test out and see if they find certain consistencies to when the audience engages most frequently. You can start off by using a recommendation from a trusted source, such as Sprout Social. According to them, you’ll find that the ideal times tend to be during the weekdays, not too early in the morning or too late at night. But it really depends on the platform (and the audience). 

7. Try advertising and contesting

There are some other tools you can try to help boost engagement. Advertising can help you increase your followers, hopefully building you a more targeted audience on your social media platforms. Contesting can do the same by targeting your audience with the right prizes.

8. Be responsive

If you want engagement, you’ll need to be engaged. Make sure to respond to comments and messages from your audience. If you’re not responding, your audience may stop reaching out. Plus, your other audience members can see if you reply or react to others that have commented prior. It can send a signal that you’re either an engaged brand or uninterested in what the followers have to say.

On this note, being engaged can also mean sharing other people’s content and commenting on their work as well. Or even tagging thought leaders in your industry to help boost the potential for interaction.

9. Make use of hashtags

Hashtags can be a great way to boost the amount of people that see your brand, which can inevitably increase engagement as well. That’s because hashtags put similar posts all together in one place. So, using relevant hashtags can potentially encourage more people to interact with your brand. Keep in mind, there are recommendations for how many hashtags you should use and on which platforms. Consult this article to learn more on that.

10. Ask for shares and tags

In your posts, don’t be afraid to ask people to share or retweet your post. It’s a simple way to help motivate your audience to do so. You can also ask for them to comment below or tag a friend they think would enjoy the post.

11. Be real

Your audience will be more likely to engage with you if you seem authentic. They want to know that this is a brand they can trust and one that cares. Build trust by showing that you’re a thought leader and also give them a look behind the scenes. Post real photos of the people involved in your brand, the offices or other authentic photos that give them a look into the brand’s reality.

It can be a challenge to increase engagement. You will want to test out different posts, try various times/days, learn about your audience, and write content that elicits a response. It will take some time to establish a strong following that interacts with your brand, you just need a little patience and know-how to get started.

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you’d like additional assistance managing your social media accounts, reach out to us at Headline Consultants.

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