We recently shared an infographic and article that detailed eight steps to launch your social media strategy. Many of you have already launched your social media strategy but may not be seeing as much engagement as you expected. Some of that may be filtering algorithms within the platforms. Facebook, for example, would much rather you pay to promote your content than display it forthright to anyone who follows your brand.
It all starts, of course, with making your brand worth following.
Why Do Consumers Follow Brands Online?
- Interest – 26% of consumers say the brand fits their interests
- Offering – 25% of consumers say the brand offers high-quality products or services
- Personality – 21% of consumers say the brand fits their personality
- Recommendations – 12% of consumers say the brand is worth recommending to friends and family
- Socially Responsible – 17% of consumers say the brand is socially responsible
That said, if you're not seeing the engagement you're expecting, this infographic from Branex, 11 Social Media Engagement Boosting Tactics That Actually Work, details some tactics that you can use:
- Master your target audience – Figure out what matters most to your audience by observing other content that's been shared and commented on the most… then utilize the same strategies. I love using tools like BuzzSumo and Semrush for this. At a minimum, you can review search results and forums, too.
- Customize your posts for each social media platform – Optimize your video, imagery, and text for each platform. I'm always surprised when I see someone publish a great image… only to see it cut off in the application because it wasn't optimized for viewing on the platform.
- Surprise people – Consumers love to share facts, statistics, trends, research (and memes) on social media, especially if they're interesting or challenging insights.
- Create content that has high engagement – Given the choice between frequent updates or amazing updates, I'd rather my staff and clients spend more time and do an amazing update that grabs the attention of the audience.
- Work with social influencers – Influencers have the trust and engagement of your audience. Tapping into them through partnerships, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships can drive their audience to your brand.
- Provide a clear call-to-action – If someone discovered your latest tweet or update, what do you expect them to do next? Have you set that expectation? I continue to warn against hard selling within social updates, but I do love teasing a trail back to an offer, or providing a call-to-action in my social profile.
- Find the best time to post – You may be surprised at this one, but it's not always about when you publish, it's about when folks click-through and share the most. Be sure you're staying ahead of that curve. If, in the afternoon, click-rates are higher… then be sure to publish by noon in the time zones of your customers.
- Use live videos on Facebook – This is the one strategy that isn't pay-to-play (yet) and that Facebook continues to promote aggressively. Take advantage of this and go live periodically with some great content for your audience.
- Join relevant groups – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ have some incredible, lively groups with a huge following. Publish information of value or start a great dialogue in those groups to position yourself as a trustworthy authority.
- Share great content – You don't have to write everything you share. As an example, this infographic wasn't designed nor published by me – it was done by Branex. However, the content and tips it includes are highly relevant to my audience, so I'm going to share it! That doesn't take away from my authority in the industry. My audience appreciates that I discover and find valuable content like this.
- Ask for feedback – Shifting an audience to a community requires dialogue. And shifting a community into advocates requires a ton of hard work. Ask your audience for feedback and respond to it promptly to grow your social media engagement!
Here's the full infographic from Branex:
Not enough? Here's some more from Around.io, 33 Easy Ways to Boost Your Social Media Engagement Right Now.
- Asking questions in your social posts gets people to comment, increasing the engagement on your posts. Ask specific, pointed questions instead of what sounds like rhetoric.
- AMAs have worked great on Reddit and Twitter. Now, they work great on Facebook too. Let people know that you will actively answer all questions (on a specific topic) for a couple of hours.
- When a customer uses your product and posts about it (a text review or a photo or a video), promote that content to your fans. These kinds of posts (user-generated content) cause more engagement.
- Anything trending has a greater chance of being liked, shared or commented upon. Find out what’s trending and relevant to your fans and share them regularly.
- Search for users using hashtags and reply to their tweets and posts: this increases engagement on your own profile when they check out your posts.
- Also, search for keywords related to your market and engage with people using those keywords in their posts.
- Always reply to any @mention you receive on social media – this lets people know you care and you listen which in turn increases engagement.
- Curate and promote other people’s content but with a small hack: always tag the source so the source knows they’ve been mentioned. Content without a mention earns lesser engagement (sometimes none) than one with a mention or two.
- Post what’s good for the society and let people know you care about social values. Charity, help and social responsibility drive engagement up.
- Run a giveaway or a contest where liking / commenting is inherently a part of the giveaway/contest. Automatically increases engagement.
- Curate a lot of links / resources and share them with the credits (tag the source). Massive mentions often gain a lot of engagement.
- Make use of trending hashtags when you find ones that can be linked to your market/brand some way.
- Search and find out questions people ask (relevant to your market) on places like Twitter, Quora, Google+ and more and answer them.
- Introduce a limited-time sale/discount or tell fans stocks are running out on a product – fear-of-missing-out will help you get more clicks on your posts.
- When you tweet or reply to a post, use animated GIFs. GIFs are inherently funny and get people to like/comment on them (more engagement).
- Ask for feedback (on some product you’re working on) and ideas (for new products that people want). It’s surprising to note how many of your fans have some feedback or idea (but keep quiet just because no one asked them).
- Infuse humor into your posts. The occasional humor attracts more likes / shares or even comments at times – all leading to more engagement and so, more reach.
- Do surveys and polls (using native poll features in places like Facebook, Twitter). Even a small set of people participating in the poll helps increase your engagement and reach easily.
- Participate in relevant Twitter chats because engagement is usually high during a Twitter chat for a variety of reasons (amount of tweets, popularity of a #hashtag, the chat-community etc)
- Got customer reviews? Share them on your social profiles and tag the customers who gave you a review / rating.
- Always set aside a few minutes of your day to find and follow relevant people from your industry / market. (You should also use tools that automate this for you)
- Show your fans that there’s a human behind that handle – by using emoticons like the rest of humanity.
- Share relevant content during holidays and other seasonal events. These posts usually have a better engagement rate than other regular posts.
- Show gratitude; thank your fans for milestones (and in general) and your fans will engage with you.
- Find out what’s the best time to post (depending on your fans’ demography) and post at these times. You should optimize your posts for maximum reach because that has a direct impact on engagement in most cases.
- If you want to get people to click, mention that explicitly. “Click here to find out more.” Posts with Call-to-action text perform better in engaging people.
- Ask your fans to “Tag a friend”. A lot of people do and that only increases reach and engagement on your post.
- Social posts seem to reach more when you tag a location to them.
- We all know photo posts get more engagement (both on Facebook and Twitter). But aim for the best-quality photos when you share them.
- Also, ask people to retweet or share explicitly. This follows the CTA rule.
- Found a resource that was helpful? Or someone helped you in your business? Give them a shoutout, tag them and let your fans know.
- Cross-promote your social profiles on other social channels. Got a great Pinterest board? Don’t forget to promote your Pinterest board on Facebook or Twitter (or other places) every once in awhile.
- Collaborate and partner with other popular brands / businesses in sharing posts or creating offers. Collaboration helps you reach more fans (from other brands), increases engagement and number of followers you have.