Did you know that content is only one part of the social media growth recipe?
For many years now, social media has been climbing the marketing strategy ranks for most modern businesses. But with its huge popularity comes tough competition and just creating and posting social media content doesn’t quite cut it anymore - especially for small organizations.
Of course it’s a Social Media Manager’s dream to have their device constantly pinging with likes, positive comments and shares everyday but while it’s very possible, this doesn’t come overnight - it takes hard work and time to increase the eyeballs and interactions on your brand.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best ways to increase engagement on social media - inside and outside of posting great content - to help you cook up social media marketing success.
What Is Social Media Engagement?
In the vast world of social media, engagement can mean different things for different people and depending on your business, your social media marketing goals and the platforms you use, engagement can be measured in a variety of ways.
Social media engagement includes things like:
Followers / page likes
Whether your social media marketing goal is to boost sales, improve brand awareness, generate leads or increase website traffic, focusing on engagement is one of the best ways to escalate your results.
Ways to Increase Engagement Through Just Posting
Optimize Your Hashtags
From #ThrowbackThursday to #NoFilterNeeded, hashtags have been a main character in our digital lives since they sprung onto the scene in 2007. With thorough research into your niche, hashtag optimization has great potential to help you connect with a wider audience and ultimately level up your engagement rates.
This will take time - it’s well worth the effort to do your research and ensure that you’re using hashtags effectively to reach the right people. There are a few things that you can try, like:
Using hashtags related to your product or service. For example, if you’re a bakery, use tags such as #BakedGoods or #CookieRecipes.
Looking at competitors and seeing which hashtags they’ve been using and incorporating the same ones in your own posts so that they appear alongside each other on people’s feeds.
Utilizing a range of popular and not-so-popular hashtags. Apps like Instagram will give you stats on how many posts and followers a certain hashtag has. You’ll need a range of popular ones so that you can appear in a sought-after feed but also ones that are used less so that your content stands out.
Creating branded hashtags. Along with other other hashtags, make one unique to your brand, like the name of your company or a campaign. This will help store all of the content associated with your brand in one place - including user generated content.
Mixing up your hashtags! Whilst it may seem easier to use the same hashtags every time you publish, some might not be relevant to a certain post. Have a bank of different hashtags that you can use for different types of posts and the products or services you offer.
Climb to the Top With Social Media SEO
Alongside hashtags, your captions are a biggie when it comes to attracting more engagement on your posts. With the way some social media platforms have altered discoverability in recent times, most recommend using keywords in your captions. Take Instagram as an example, it’s not just hashtags that appear when people search for things, posts with keywords do too! By using appropriate keywords for your business and products or services - much like hashtags - it will help your posts reach more people and encourage more engagement.
Let Your Images Do the Talking
Although captions are essential to keep the social media engagement cogs turning, the saying ‘pictures speak a thousand words’ couldn’t be more true for social content. Posts that include images increase the likelihood of people engaging and sharing them. In fact, on some channels - like Facebook - posts with images perform 37% better on the engagement front than just written posts. Eye-catching images and graphics - combined with keyword captions and relevant hashtags - makes for a powerful cocktail for social media growth.
If You Want It, Ask For It!
Another way you can encourage your followers (and potential followers) to engage with your posts is to simply ask for engagement. Ok, maybe in not so many words but there are ways to be subtle about generating more engagement on your posts. Within your captions or graphics, ask questions - encourage your audience to answer within the comments or via direct message. Or, make the most of some of the extra features that most platforms offer, such as polls. It’s hard to scroll past a tweet or an Insta story that asks for your opinion directly - create polls or quizzes that’ll be worthy of sparking up a conversation.
Ways to Increase Engagement Outside Of Your Posts
Other than creating quality content that will create a stream of comments and skyrocket your followers list, there are also ways to boost your engagement rates outside of posting too.
Humanize Your Brand’s Socials
An effective solution to humanize your brand is by responding to all comments (even the bad ones!). Social media takes the throne as the preferred platform for millennials to get in touch with companies, so it’s almost expected of brands to offer some form of direct communication to their customers via social media. Apart from showing your audience that there’s a human behind the brand and not just a corporate robot, by keeping the reponses engaging and the conversations flowing, it’ll help the algorithms detect that your channel or posts are popular in your niche and reward this by showing up in relevant audiences’ feeds.
Monitor Your DMs
Do you check your direct messages? Particularly for organizations that receive an abundance of direct messages, it may seem like a chore to pay more attention to DMs. However, monitoring your DMs opens up doors for lots of customer and follower engagement. New conversations provide you with another platform to engage, entertain and inform your followers - this may just convert into more leads, website traffic or even sales, which is always a winner!
Share Others’ Content
Unpopular opinion claxon! Your social media content schedule / strategy shouldn’t just include your own brand’s content. Hear us out.
Think of your industry’s social media presence - saturated with information and content from other companies and consumers, right?
Use this to your advantage - share a really informative article, the funny meme or useful video from others in your niche. By providing educational and entertaining content for your audience and sector - even when the content is not originally created by yourself - is a way of establishing yourself as a leader in the industry as people will keep coming back to your profile for more.
Who knows, other businesses might return the favor and help your content reach far and wide too.
Reposting UGC (user generated content) is a really simple way to aid your engagement levels and help drive traffic to your business social pages. If a customer has taken the time to mention your company in a post or story, reshare it! It’ll show others genuine reviews and interest in your business but by paying attention and engaging with it too can motivate other followers to do the same - creating even more UGC for your brand.
Two things here - 1) remember to ask permission to reshare their posts on your channel and 2) combine this with our hashtag optimization tips by encouraging them to use your branded hashtags.
Run Social Media Competitions
We’re all a sucker for a giveaway, and competitions are a fantastic tactic to boost those all-important engagement results. Sure, this will come with a small cost - perhaps a free product or service for the lucky winner - but think of it as an investment. It’s a way to push your brand and products or services into the feeds and eyes of potential customers.
Let social media users do the engagement for you - give them a criteria to hit to be entered into the draw. For example, to enter, users must like, share and tag three friends into the giveaway post. The more likes, shares and tags the competition post gets, the more the engagement will snowball as it fights the algorithm to show up in a wider audiences’ social feeds.
We’d always recommend checking the rules and regulations for social media contests to make sure that your planned giveaway is all above board.
Analyze Your Posts
The best way to inform your social media marketing strategy is to check what’s going well, and what could be going better. Track and monitor your engagement analytics - try posting at different times across all platforms to find the best times of day for you to post. Knowing when your target audience is active will help you hit your engagement goals.
Ready to take your social media engagement to the next level? Now that you know some of the things that you can mix into your social media marketing strategy to assist your engagement goals, you’ll be on your way to social media success in no time!