Authentic Tips about Increasing Social Media Engagement
The word “social” defined is the interaction of people within a group, and, more casually, the pleasurable passing of time with friends or associates. If you take this definition into the realm of social media engagement, you will get one of the basics of how to engage existing followers and gain new ones. n the world we live in today, where people are connected to their devices at all times and constantly checking their social channels, you don’t need to be a big brand or have a large budget to be considered a social media trendsetter and receive amazing interaction. Social media is reinventing marketing, communications, and the dissemination of information. While businesses now have access to these rich channels, the true promise of social media lies in the direct connections between people who represent companies and the people who define markets of interest. Whether you’re running a social media campaign for a business or just want to enhance your own personal online presence, having material that captivates your followers and leaves an impression is key. This shows the importance of engagement in social media, but doesn’t go very far in providing a definition. To their credit, the authors go on to provide a definition based on what consumers say about engagement in social media. While much better because it’s based on how consumers view engagement in social media. Engagement is more than just a channel. It’s a dialogue; it’s the ability to choose how and when to engage; it’s the value each channel represents; it’s whether or not expectations were met. To me, engagement in social media means the ability to reach out to and get response from a company (as a consumer) or an audience (as a company). There are few tips to increase social media engagement.
• Quality Graphics
Having captivating graphics will make your posts more noticeable in social media feeds and ultimately help you to reach a larger audience. Social media marketing strategist Jeff Bullas points out: “If you are making a blog post, promote this content through a graphic and you will drive more traffic to your website. Additionally, professional graphics will add brand consistency and professionalism throughout your social channels.” The more gripping the graphic, the bigger impact you’ll have on your network growth. Imagine your social media post as a billboard on the freeway. The more compelling the advertisement, the more people will notice the message while driving. With social, more people will notice your graphic in the newsfeed. Having a compelling graphic will make your social post stand out amongst the competition and reach a larger audience. When I make a post on Facebook for one of my clients that has a strong call-to-action on the image, we see 4x the reach and click through rate. For example, if you are making a blog post, promote this content through a graphic and you will drive more traffic to your website. Additionally, professional graphics will add brand consistency and professionalism throughout your social channels.
• Brand Advocates
Brand advocates are defined as individuals that promote and embody a brand’s core values and ethics. External agents promoting a brand not only result in boosted sales and awareness for a company, but they are 50% more influential than the average customer. Successful e-commerce retailers know the difference between the two, and effectively implement social commerce strategies to transform the average customer into a lifetime advocate of a brand. .One of the latest trends in social marketing is letting customers convey the message for you. If customers take the time to create a video or meme about your brand (depicting it in a positive light, of course), why not repost it and give not only the content, but the customer, some attention? Brand advocates amount to big exposure and a real sense of authenticity. Plus giving them a shout-out is great incentive for other satisfied customers to step forward with their own positive experience or feedback about your brand.
• Rewarding Fans
Loyal fans who constantly engage on your posts deserve a thank you gift that isn’t just great content. Giving away an actual prize every so often, like a t-shirt or gift card, will also help to grow interaction and engagement immensely. If you’ve ever attended a sporting event, think about when the promotions team throws t-shirts into the stands. Social media prizes can work in the same way. Promote a t-shirt for your company through a clever campaign and you’ll be getting the message out, improving interaction and making your social fans happy!
• Think Mobile Friendly
Users have short attention spans, especially on mobile devices, so mobile messages should be incisive. Your fans and followers will probably not read anything that is several paragraphs long, so less is more. One simple but attention-grabbing sentence really all you need to spark a user’s interest. The shorter the better! If you have a short message with a great graphic where a memorable character is giving away a compelling prize, you’ll see your interaction skyrocket! This will be the case on mobile or on desktop. Eventually, this will also lead to users becoming brand advocates for your social channels.
One of the number one uses of social media like Facebook and YouTube is for the entertainment value. People share funny videos, captivating photos, interesting quotes and much more. So entertain your fans and followers! You don’t have to go overboard. Cute animal photos or even a funny photo of a coworker will show the human side of your business–just make sure it’s tasteful and that whoever oversees marketing for your company approves it first.
• Spark Curiosity
Most people are naturally curious. Spark curiosity through participation. Ask personal, meaningful questions that are relevant to the area of interest they’re following. Ask What, Where, When, How and Should questions. Quizzes are also great social media engagement tools.
• Get Visual
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. Images immediately engage the eye. Balance visual components of a posting with a short, interesting caption. This is also a effective tip for increasing social media engagement.
• Share Knowledge
Giving information that is educational and useful establishes you as an expert in your area of business. Share tips of the week and interesting facts. It’s okay to share information about your business too. After all, if you’ve got fans and followers already, it’s because they’re interested in what your company has to offer. A running timeline of your business’ founding and history, or its founder’s background, published in increments is a great way to engage your fans without “selling” a specific item or service.
If a fan comments on a post or tweet, make sure to respond, whether it’s with a simple thank you or by answering a question. Your fans and followers will know you care and are in touch with their interests and needs. You can also take the first step, and ask your followers if they have any specific requests or questions regarding your services or products.