8 ways to boost social media engagement
The “E” word – Engagement – is a word that gets used a lot these days. For marketers, it gets used almost all the time – in strategy meetings, tweets, videos, social media, and blog posts.
But like with many words that get used a lot, what does it really mean?
Most commonly it is used as a reference to the number of shares on a social media post, video or blog article. It can also mean the number of followers on a page, the number of likes on a video, the number of times a comment is retweeted, or the number of comments or conversations resulting from any single piece of content.
Capturing an audience’s interest is the fundamental goal of any marketing activity. An engaged audience means continued interest in the brand, with the ultimate goal of capturing their purse strings and converting them into a customer.
Today, we are fortunate to be able to quantify this “interest” in the form of likes, favorites, retweets, comments, and shares on any given piece of static content.
In the case of videos, the metrics are even better to understand engagement. Since many videos place their calls to action at the end of the video, the viewer’s 100% engagement is critical in getting them to take that next step.
Here are 8 tips on how to boost social media engagement.
1. Images of People
People are naturally interested in other people. Yes, we all love to see beautiful images of far away places, or delicious pics of lavish meals, or indulge in a cute video of a dog chewing up someone’s slippers. But time and time again, if the image contains someone in it, it will be more liked, shared and commented on than if there isn’t someone in it.
For example, if a travel blogger posts an image of them standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, it will get 58% more engagement activity than just simply posting an image of landmark sans anyone.
So when in doubt, make sure there is a person in the post image. It will get more traction.
2. Ask For It
Sometimes just asking for it will do the trick. Posts with a call to action such as “Tell me what you think” or “Who else love this idea?” will incite people to actually do so and in so doing, will feel more connected to your brand’s story.
Just be careful about offering rewards in exchange for likes. Some platforms prohibit this, and anyways its not really in good form.
Plus, it’s better to get feedback from people who genuinely want to provide it, right? It means they probably are interested, and will come back for more.
3. Share A Surprising Stat
While we mostly turn to social media for entertainment, many of us still appreciate some education along the way.
Including a fun, little known fact about something related to your brand is a good way to get their attention, and even a little bit of appreciation.
The best stats are those that can be summed up in one sentence.
4. Hop On Trends
When something is trending on social media, it’s the perfect opportunity to be seized for a quick boost of engagement. As long as it aligns with your brand.
Check online tools like Webstagram regularly to see what hashtag is trending, or mark relevant holidays in your calendar and plan some content marketing in advance.
Always ask yourself if your target audience would actually pay attention to the trend.
5. Paid Influencer Marketing
While this will cost some money, if done correctly it will be good value.
If you haven’t already done so, make a list of large accounts in your niche. Chances are that you are probably already following them. One of the best ways to do this is by using Webstagram and searching for relevant hashtag keywords.
You will want to target those with a following of 20K – 200 K, and an email address posted in their profile. The reason for the latter example is that influencers who publicly post their email address are more likely to be open to paid sponsored posts.
If you are selling a unique product, you may also want to consider sending them a free sample. This way they can generate their own photography (which they generally prefer, anyways), and it will come across as more genuine and authentic to their followers.
Another aspect to consider is their engagement rate. An engagement rate is determined by the number of likes, comments and shares divided by their number of followers. This is why it is OK to approach influencers with lower following, if they have a higher engagement rate then this means their followers are really into their page and will likely respond to your product, too.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? We can’t think of anyone. Can you?
The most effective and used tactic is to swap a like or follow to your page in exchange for a chance to win something. Just make sure that the product being offered is directly related to your brand.
So, for example, if you are a men’s clothing company and your giveaway prize is an iPad, then you will not be attracting the proper audience. Instead, you will collect a bunch of followers who will drop off as soon as the contest is over.
For inspiration, a successful product giveaway from the5th incentivized people to follow their account and tag a friend for the chance to win two free products for the both of them. It was a brilliant way to not only gain 1 new follower, but 2 new followers for each giveaway participant.
7. How To
A post outlining how to do something (much like this article 😊 ) is another great way to increase engagement.
Best done with a video, the How To model offers a very specific set of rules to be followed in a niche product.
The reason why videos are so effective is that people are simply lazy. They would rather watch something than read it.
According to MarketingLand, video posts have 135% as much organic reach as do photo posts, with live video increasing engagement another 3-fold.
8. Be Consistent
People won’t follow you for what you posted in the past, but for the likelihood of what you’ll post in the future.
Having a consistent feed is a way of reassuring your followers that they can count on you for the same kick-ass content every day of the year.
Consistency is not only in the form of the content, but in the timing of when it is published. Stay on top of software such as IconoSquare which produced reports on the engagement activities of your followers throughout the day and on each day of the week.
For example, if you notice that your followers tend to check it a noon on a Sunday, then make sure you are posting at that time. Use a tool like Later to schedule posts at the optimum time.
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